Brooklyn Boro

Want to see what your house looked like in 1940? Now you can

November 5, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
70 Willow St., where Truman Capote lived. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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In a boon for researchers and amateur historians, the New York City Department of Records and Information Services has made available online 720,000 digitized images from its 1940 tax photo collection.

Beginning in 1939, city officials traversed the five boroughs to document every single structure for tax purposes, according to Brownstoner. While these photos have long been available to researchers, in the past people had to visit the Municipal Archives in lower Manhattan to try and find their building using reels of microfilm.

While users still need to know their building’s block and lot number, they can easily do so because the system portal has a link to the NYCityMap site.

To access the database, visit

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