Best Instagram accounts for New York history fanatics


Instagram is chock-full of photographers capturing visually arresting photographs of New York Metropolis within the right here and now. However for those that want the town’s previous to its current, there are additionally a bunch of accounts devoted to curating a veritable treasure trove of historic photographs of the 5 boroughs. (And actually, who doesn’t love a great classic picture of New York?)

Right here, we’ve discovered 16 of the perfect accounts for NYC history fanatics, whether or not you’re into previous maps, previous buildings, previous subway pictures, or all the above. Did we miss your favourite? Tell us within the feedback.

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️ “LIVE from New York…”⁣ ⁣ “Saturday Evening Dwell” first aired on Oct. 11, 1975. It didn’t take lengthy after earlier than it was “a little bit of a ache” for the solid to stroll round collectively in New York Metropolis, @nytimes reported in 2013. ⁣ ⁣ Photographer Kenneth Siegel captured a uncommon group outing in the course of the early days of the present. Anybody hungry for souvlaki? Spot @nbcsnl solid members (from left) Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, and Invoice Murray. ⁣ ⁣ A group of Siegel’s pictures from the ’70s, together with this one, got to New-York Historic in 2008. ⁣ ⁣ : Kenneth Siegel Assortment, circa 1977-1980

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New-York Historic Society

No shock right here: the town’s oldest history museum additionally maintains an exquisite Instagram account that’s chock-full of previous New York ephemera straight from its archives. It’s additionally nice for sneak peeks on the museum’s present and upcoming displays.

NYC Urbanism

Observe this account when you like previous maps, classic pictures, and studying issues you might not have identified about New York’s previous. (Comparable to: apparently Port Authority officers used to zoom by the Lincoln Tunnel in tiny little vehicles that hugged the partitions of the tunnel. Who knew?!)

City Archive

The oldsters behind the City Archive app, which factors customers to quirky or fascinating historic tidbits primarily based on their location, additionally run an Instagram that’s filled with pictures of previous New York. Our favorites: Those the place a classic road scene is in comparison with its present-day state.

Large Onion Strolling Excursions

The Instagram account for Large Onion Strolling Excursions is much less a repository for previous pictures and extra a spot to be taught the sort of quirky historic info you’d need to drop at a cocktail get together, lots of which you’d doubtless decide up on one of many firm’s history-focused strolling excursions.

New York Public Library

You’d by no means have the ability to comb by all the treasures within the NYPL’s archives in a lifetime—however fortunately, the library’s Instagram account is there to showcase a few of these superb findings, together with sketches, pictures, letters, and maps (see under).


When you just like the New York Public Library’s account, you’ll nearly actually love NYPL Maps, dedicated to all issues cartography. The posts aren’t restricted solely to maps of New York Metropolis, however there are many gems that present key factors within the evolution 5 boroughs.


The bio for Younger Gotham’s Insta account notes that it focuses on “New York earlier than 1840,” and certainly, followers of 19th-century structure will discover lots to like right here. However this account is all about context; relatively than simply displaying off previous pictures, the historic buildings are proven of their present, preserved state.

Retro New York

In distinction to young_gotham, the pictures on the Retro New York account are all from the 20th century, and spotlight the fast change that the town has undergone prior to now 100 years or so.

New York Metropolis: Then and Now

Because the identify guarantees, this account is all concerning the #TBT: classic pictures of New York road scenes are paired with photographs (taken by actual property agent Kate Walter) of the identical scenes within the present-day.

NYC Division of Information

History nerds will discover this account, run by the town’s archivists, deeply satisfying. It’s devoted principally to classic pictures, however we love the #TBT posts, which examine a scene of previous New York to its present-day incarnation.

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#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1925, an extension of the IRT Flushing line opened with a brand new station at 111th Avenue & Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens. The debut of the IRT in Corona opened the world to huge industrial and residential improvement. In line with US Census knowledge, the inhabitants of the neighborhood skyrocketed from solely 27,00Zero residents in 1920 to 61,00Zero in 1930. Served as we speak by the 7 prepare, the 111th Avenue station options 5 tracks, together with two heart tracks resulting in the Corona Yard, the place 7 trains are each maintained and saved. Situated simply 5 blocks north of the New York Corridor of Science, the 111th Avenue station boasts an annual ridership of over 3.6 million. This #NYTMCollection archival picture from the Ralph Curcio Slide Assortment reveals redbirds in service on the 111th Avenue station within the early 2000s. What’s your favourite station on the IRT Flushing Line? #nytransitmuseum #newyorkcity #nyc #prepare #trains #trainstagram #mta #nycsubway #subway #subwaycar #nychistory #history #classic #redbird #redbirds

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New York Transit Museum Outdated Classic New York

This one is for the railfans: The Transit Museum’s account highlights each the current and previous of the town’s subway system, with numerous pictures of classic prepare vehicles, previous subway commercials, and stations from again within the day.

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[SPECIAL IN COLOR 4] Bustling Broadway: you may see the Flatiron Constructing within the background, Manhattan, New York Metropolis, 1910. At left we will see the Lodge Victoria, constructed by Paran Stevens in 1877. Occupying your complete block on 27th Avenue, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, it was the one resort within the metropolis with entrances on each the latter thoroughfares. The resort was owned by the American Lodge Victoria Firm. George W. Sweeney served as president and Angus Gordon was supervisor. In 1911, it was introduced that the resort had been redecorated, renovated, and refurnished at a value of $250,000. Room choices included with out bathtub, with bathtub, and suites with charges ranging between $1.50 and $6.00 per day. Lodging have been obtainable for 500 friends. Sadly, the resort closed its doorways on February 26, 1914. The furnishings have been offered at public sale the identical day. The demolition was to make approach for an workplace and loft constructing on the positioning after the resort was torn down.

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Outdated Classic New York

As Outdated Classic New York’s bio places it, “who stated that point machines didn’t exist?” This account is loaded with vivid road scenes of 19th or 20th century New York, and contains captions filled with nifty info concerning the folks, locations, and occasions of yesteryear.

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Trying south in the direction of Excessive Bridge and the Washington Bridge, 1893. Excessive Bridge, initially often known as the Aqueduct Bridge, was constructed as a part of the Croton Aqueduct system and designed by its chief engineer John B. Jervis. When it opened in 1848, it included a pedestrian walkway that grew to become a well-liked spot for folks to go to and parade; closed within the 1970s, the walkway was fortunately restored and reopened to the general public in 2015. Simply to the north is the Washington Bridge, first proposed in 1868 by civic chief Andrew Haswell Inexperienced (Inexperienced considerably advocated for #CentralPark, helped consolidate a number of libraries into the #NYPL, and championed the creation of Higher New York). A web site was chosen in 1876, and fourteen proposals have been thought of earlier than a design by Charles C. Schneider and Wilhelm Hildenbrand was chosen. The bridge opened to pedestrians in December 1888, and to autos in December 1889. This view is especially fascinating, because it reveals the rocky shoreline of higher #Manhattan, which rises up over 200 toes to the west. The mud flats have been a major spot for fishing and launching small boats till the channel was widened and deepened by the Military Corps of Engineers to enhance navigation. As a part of these enhancements, the #SpuytenDuyvil Ship Canal was constructed to the north, permitting for a direct connection between the Hudson River and Lengthy Island Sound. In 1894, development started on the Harlem River Speedway, a 2.Three mile lengthy street that ran alongside the river from 155th Avenue to #DyckmanStreet. In its early years, it was a well-liked spot to race horses, drawing hundreds of spectators. Individuals typically made a day of it, gathering to look at races earlier than heading to the close by #FortGeorge Amusement Park (billed as “#Harlem’s Coney Island”) to get pleasure from refreshments and rides. Motorists have been truly prohibited on the Speedway till 1919, and the stretch wasn’t paved till 1922. The fitting of approach was later used for the #HarlemRiverDrive, which opened in 1964 #NYC #Highbridge #WashingtonBridge #engineering #infrastructure #summer time #history #NYChistory #DiscoveringNYC

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Discovering NYC

Come for the cool photographs, however keep for the precise history lesson: Every classic picture on this Instagram account, run by a New York historian and tour information, is paired with a caption that provides a little bit of backstory on the place or factor depicted.

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You have to *sea* this *boat*-ful #PhotoOfTheWeek! ⚓️⛴ This {photograph} comes from the Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard assortment (ARC.023). Costanzo was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and served in the US Military Air Pressure throughout World Battle II. In 1963, he moved to New York Metropolis for school, ultimately taking a job as a Public Info Officer for the U.S. Division of Navy on the #BrooklynNavyYard. He would stay on this place till 1966 when the Navy decommissioned and closed the yard. . . . . . . The USA authorities first established the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1801. For the following century and a half, shipyard staff constructed naval vessels. By 1938 it was offering jobs for over 10,00Zero folks. A number of historic ships have been constructed or launched on the Navy Yard equivalent to The usArizona, the united statesMissouri, and the united statesAntietam. . . . . . . The Anthony Costanzo Brooklyn Navy Yard assortment accommodates supplies documenting the final years of the Navy Yard’s existence by 1966. For extra info, try our discovering aids and galleries on-line! . . . . . . Anthony Costanzo, [Brooklyn Navy Yard], circa 1960, v1988.37.118; Brooklyn Historic Society. . . . . . . #POTW #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #BrooklynPhotos #BHSArchives #NoFilter #BrooklynHistory #Navy #NavyYard #Waterfront #shipyard #InTheNavy #AnchorsAweigh

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Brooklyn Historic Society

This one is for the Brooklyn obsessives: The borough’s premier historic establishment maintains a swell Insta account with pictures, prints, and different ephemera that inform the story of Kings County.

Museum of the Metropolis of New York

Sure, it’s one other museum account, however hey—they’ve the perfect archives to scour. MCNY tends to deal with the exhibit they’ve on view, sharing photographs and different ephemera. However typically, the photographs are simply delightfully random—like this one of many Macy’s Victory Barnyard, which was established throughout World Battle II.

Bowery Boys

Fittingly, probably the greatest podcasts about New York’s history additionally has an Instagram account that spotlights classic New York—each previous pictures and websites of historic curiosity all through the town. (You’ll be able to see a few of these for your self on the Bowery Boys’ newly launched strolling excursions.)


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