The Life Cycle of Eldridge Street
In this video, creator Zac van Schouwen explores the visual history of Eldridge Street between Rivington and Stanton Streets. By animating sketches, he brings to life what the block might have looked like through its eight-generation lifespan. A much slower video can be seen here.
In his own words:
Awhile back, I was trying to find out the history of a building that my great-great-grandfather had lived in — an old five-story tenement on Eldridge Street in Manhattan. With some help from Christopher Gray’s guide to researching New York City buildings, I discovered that the building had been erected in 1834, on the site of an old house. It was demolished in the 1940s; its lot later held a garage, then a housing project.
My mystery was solved, but the project had piqued my interest anyway. I decided to try a more mammoth task, compiling a complete record of the life cycle of a single city block. That’s what I’ve presented here. Beginning in the 1780s with James Delancey’s farm, and ending with the present public housing structures, erected in 1985, this is a record of eight generations of buildings on two-thirds of an acre.