Marc Hermann (his site) is a photographer and historian who has a very interesting hobby. He likes to pull historic crime scene photos from the New York Daily News archive and blend them with photographs of the same New York City locations today. Combining vintage New York with the modern one.
His project is meant as a tribute to New Yorkers – on both sides of the camera’s lens – who have gone before, and as a window into the past for those who appreciate it.
Grisly violence is obviously an undeniable part of New York’s history so some of the photographs are somewhat mature in nature.
Brooklyn – July 1, 1928. Original photographer unknown.
Frankie Yale, a gangster known as the “Al Capone of Brooklyn,” lostout to rivals as he drove a Lincoln coupe through the streets of Borough Park. ln what is believed to have been the ﬁrst New York mob hit thatemployed Thompson sub-machine guns, he lost control of his car and smashed into the front stoop of a house on 44th Street. The block is quiet today, but the building still stands – as does the tree at right, the only living witness to the mayhem of a past era.
Hicks St. & Summit St., Brooklyn – January 11, 1951. Original photo by Paul Bernius.
The bells in the steeple rang even as flames consumed the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary one chilly afternoon. The 90-year-old landmark was practically destroyed by the five-alarm blaze, but was rebuilt and still stands today.
Brooklyn – July 28, 1957. Original photo by Paul bernius.
A recently released inmate of the Brooklyn House of Detention had forgotten some clothing, so the obvious solution was to steal a car with two friends to go retrieve it. They didn’t get far, however, coming to a crashing stop against a light pole at Classon Ave. & Pacific St. The auto body shop visible in the background is still in business, though relocated across the street.
66 Court St., Brooklyn – January 31, 1961. Original photo by Ed Peters.
A leaky gas pipe was the cause of a massive explosion at this Downtown Brooklyn office building that shattered storefronts and injured 28 people. The sturdy 30-story building survived without any lasting scars from this incident.
497 Dean St., Brooklyn – March 19, 1942. Original photo by Charles Payne.
Edna Egbert proudly displayed a blue-star banner in her window, in honor of her son being in the service. However, after not hearing from him since his enlistment, she became distraught and climbed out onto her ledge. Cops Ed Murphy and George Munday distracted her so she could be pushed into a safety net, the precursor of today’s standard airbags. A favonte of many Daily News staffers, this photo is also known to present-day residents of the building.
31 grand St., Brooklyn – February 16,1946. Original photo by Paul Bernius.
Firefighters fought a blaze at Grand St. and Kent Ave. in Williamsburg from the street as well as adjoining rooftops. The toll taken on this building is clear today – and is now only two stories high.
Park Row, Manhattan – July 22, 1943. Original photographer unknown.
An M-7 Priest, a self-propelled 105mm gun, rolls up Park Row in front of City Hall en route to the Fifth Ave. library, where it was placed on display as part of a war bonds drive.
7th Ave, 8. Sterling Pl, Brooklyn – December 17, 1960. Original photo by Leonard Detnck.
A day after what was, at the time, the worst aviation disaster in the U.S., wreckage of United Airlines ﬂight 826 ﬁlls the intersection of Sterling Pl. & 7th Ave. in Park Slope. 134 people were killed after the jet collided with a smaller TWA plane over Staten Island, killing everyone aboard both planes and people on the ground in Brooklyn. Many of the buildings, including the Pillar of Fire Church, were destroyed beyond repair while others still stand. Veteran cops and ﬁreﬁghters still speak of this incident as one of the most memorable-and tragic-of their careers.
Porter Ave. & Harrison Pl., Brooklyn – April 4, 1959. original photo by Dan Sforza.
A car crash resulted in the death of Martha Cartagena, 3, who rode her tricycle across from her home on Porter Ave. her older sister, Sonia, is consoled by Rev. Eugene Emy. The scene has changed remarkably little in five decades, the bricks of the building at right showing the scars of impact.
Prospect Park West & 15th St., Brooklyn – July 30, 1959. Original photo by Owen Milmoe.
Policemen guard Detective Michael Dwyer, a veteran of the Wall Street squad, who committed suicide near the entrance to Prospect Park. many people were out for a Sunday stroll in the quiet neighborhood when the tragedy occurred.
475 1/2 hicks St., Brooklyn – January 31, 1957. Original photographer unknown.
“Black Hawk” gangster Salvatore (Sammy) Santoro met his end in the vestibule of this building. he was shot four times in the head, and the murder weapon left at the scene. once part of the powerful force that was the longshoremen of the Brooklyn waterfront, Santoro’s brother said he had lately been running a pet shop.
Fulton Fish Market, Manhattan – February 26, 1961. Original photo by Jerry Kinstler.
34 years before News photographers once again converged on the South Street Seaport, another ﬁre did damage to the older portion of the Fulton Fish Market on the west side of South St. This two-alarmer sent a ﬁre lieutenant to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. These buildings still stand, in various states of occupancy, and minus a few ﬂoors here and there.
East River & Jackson St, Manhattan – March 16, 19591. Original photo by Judd Mehlman.
Pablo Melendez and Arcadia Santos met at a dance on the night of March 15, 1959, after which Melendez offered to take his date, whose name he reportedly didn’t know, back to where she lived in Brooklyn. She would never make it home. After stopping at the foot of Jackson St. for a few minutes, Melendez lost control of the car and plunged into the East River. He managed to swim to safety; the 20-year-old Santos did not. The Con Edison plant can be seen across the river with more smokestacks than remain today.
137 Wooster St., Manhattan – February 16. 1958. Original photo by Charles Payne.
A massive ﬁre in the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Wooster St. claimed the lives of two ﬁreﬁghters and four members of the New York Fire Patrol. The building was a total loss, and was demolished shortly after the last of the victims’ bodies was recovered. Eight years later, the carnage would be eclipsed by a ﬁre on 23rd St. in which 12 ﬁreﬁghters were killed, leaving the tragedy on Wooster St. to fade into a distant memory.
992 Southern Blvd., Bronx – September 25, 1961. Original photo by Alan Aaronson.
Josephine Dexidor holds James Linares, who had just been shot by her jealous boyfriend on the stairs of this Bronx apartment building. News photographer Al Aaronson was likely tipped off by a cop about the scene playing out inside the building, down a long corridor and around the corner from the building’s front door. One could imagine Dexidor’s reaction an instant after the ﬂashun went off, and a quick exit would have been necessary by the lensman. A doorway on the landing has been covered over since the original picture was made.
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