Disable Facebook New Haven Then & Now
1970s photographs of downtown New Haven, recreated in 2013
This page was inspired by
Andy Blair’s photos of Connecticut towns in the 1970s.
I set out in March–April 2013 to recreate as many of them as I could.
News! This little project was featured in the New Haven Independent on April 26, 2013!
Click any image for details and interactive comparison fun!
The buildings at Crown & College are largely the same, though harder to see behind all those trees.
This block (Orange & Chapel) is undergoing some changes with the opening of Elm City Market next door.
It’s amazing how many furniture stores you can fit in one block. (Orange & Crown)
End of Orange
No longer Funiture Row, this end of Orange Street (where it T’s into Crown Street) is more of a lazy village now.
This end of Chapel is now dominated by the new 360 State Street tower.
The stores have changed, but with the exception of the middle building torn town on the left, these few blocks (Chapel between College and Orange) look largely the same as they were 40 years ago.
Then as now, the intersection of Chapel and Temple is a constant morass of buses converging from all corners of the city.
New Haven Green
Buildings and trees may come and go, but New England town greens are forever.
The view up Church Street next to the New Haven Green.
Center Street Opera
No drunk opera singers on Center Street today, but at least the Dunkin Donuts is still there!
First New Haven
New Haven is a strange animal, with parts of the city having been demolished in the last few decades, while other parts have been built up. Here, looking north up Church Street from Rt 34, you can see many newer buildings in the background, as well as the huge new Gateway Community College that replaced Macy’s.
The Macy’s skyway has been replaced with Gateway Community College’s four-story elevated connector over George Street.
I was blown away when I saw that New Haven used to have a Macy’s. The building was torn down and has now been replaced by the new Gateway Community College.
Looking south down Church Street from Chapel, the buildings are the same but most of the businesses are gone. Amazingly, even the McDonald’s is gone! But not to worry, just off the frame to the right is now a Starbucks.
I’m glad to see that Subway kept those great window pods. And interestingly, these two intersections on Chapel (Church and Temple) appear to still use the very same poles for their traffic signals. You’d think those would stick around, but all the other photos in this series show new traffic signals and streetlamps everywhere.
Temple Street Garage
The view up Temple from its eponymous parking garage. The concrete ain’t so new anymore.
Temple & Knights
The Temple Street Garage is one of those rare concrete monstrosities of the mid-20th century that has actually stood the test of time. I actually find it quite beautiful, especially the stairwells that I climbed several times to take these photos.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this photo, but I think it may be the best-aligned recreation that I managed to pull off in this whole set.
This little stub of a highway had big dreams, but alas it is not to be. The city just broke ground (April 2013) on the project to convert it back into a neighborhood-integrated surface street. Around it over the years, the various medical campuses have grown dramatically.
Temple Medical Center
Another example of the vast expansion of the medical campuses in this part of town. For reference, I also took a
shot of these three smokestacks from a different perspective.
Looking east from York Street and North Frontage Road, this former parking lot at the end of the highway is now the Air Rights garage. The photo isn’t exactly reproducable since the struture it was taken from no longer exists. In any case, matching the exact perspective would be difficult with the new garage blocking most of the view.
About the photographer: Hi, my name is Chris Lewis and my day job is web developer and general technology guy at The Font Bureau. Before 2012 I was webmaster of MyFonts.com for 12 years. I currently live in New Haven, Connecticut (as you may have guessed), where I enjoy singing in Yale Camerata and New Haven Oratorio Choir, making beer, and taking the occasional photograph.
Many thanks to Thomas MacMillan of the New Haven Independent for the interview. Here is
my Flickr page if you want to poke through my other (random) photos!