Photographers James and Karla Murray embarked on a journey to capture the mom-and-pop stores of New York City in Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York.

A decade later, they returned to capture what those stores have become.

The answer: Subways, Chase bank branches, and Verizon stores.

The before-and-after photos "provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in the commercial space’s replacement," the photographers say.

"Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood," according to the photographers.

They plan to eventually visit all 225 of the storefronts they photographed between 2001 and 2004.

They'll highlight the character and sense of community that's lost as mom-and-pop outfits fold, often driven out by steep rent increases.

New York's Changing Storefronts, In Photos

All the world's a Subway.

In the early 2000s, photographers James and Karla Murray embarked on a journey to capture the mom-and-pop stores of New York City. Their book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, showed a city that's quickly fading into memory: one full of local delis, beloved bars, and shops devoted entirely to hosiery. A decade later, they returned to capture what those stores have become in a new project, "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York—10 Years Later."

The answer: Subways, Chase bank branches, and Verizon stores. The before-and-after photos "provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in the commercial space’s replacement," the photographers tell Co.Design in an email. "Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood."

They plan to eventually visit all 225 of the storefronts they photographed between 2001 and 2004 to highlight the character and sense of community that's lost as mom-and-pop outfits like the 2nd Avenue Deli, Casa Nova Pizzeria, and Optimo Cigars fold, often driven out by steep rent increases and replaced by ubiquitous chain retailers, the occasional high-priced cupcake shop, and generic glass-encased condo buildings.

The one bright spot? Ideal Hosiery's signage may be showing the passage of time, but the store itself is still in business, available for all your panty hose needs.

[H/T: Gothamist]

[Images: Courtesy of James and Karla Murray]

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6 Comments

  • alex.ames.writing

    "True sense of loss..." - I don't get it it. Half the photos shown in this article either show a derelict location either before or after ten years. There is always passage of time for all kind of neighborhoods: some go from gentile to slum, some go from derelict to hip and some go from gentile to mainstream.

  • Cara Mahoney

    Did you photograph Gitlitz Delicatessen? My great grandparents owned that, and last I checked it was a T Mobile store. :(

  • Subway & Chase ... okay, not mom & pop. But some of the others could be mom& pop, just not done in the old cliche mom-N-pop style. New style doesn't necessarily mean BAD!EVIL!OHNOES! Resist chicken-littleing change. Change doesn't HAVE to be scary.

  • I'm sure the 'originals' took another storefront's spot at some point as well. This is a cool idea for a project, but is very limited in its perspective.