Looking Back at Brooklyn

It’s hard to imagine what Brooklyn looked like back in the day – so we’re sure you understand how excited we were to stumble on these vintage gems from the Wurts brothers, thanks to the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections. The Wurts brothers’ studio was one of the first in New York City to specialize in architectural photography, known for capturing the city’s industrial boom at the turn of the century. Their photos depict a Brooklyn that we’re not too familiar with today – quiet, empty, and serene. We invite you to explore Brooklyn through the lens of the Wurts brothers:

The Dime Savings Bank - 86th Street, 19th Avenue.
The Dime Savings Bank – 86th Street, 19th Avenue.
Kings County Nurses Home.
Kings County Nurses Home.
Skyline of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights.
Skyline of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights.
Brooklyn Public Library, Main Entrance.
Brooklyn Public Library, Main Entrance.
East Midwood Jewish Center, Ocean Avenue.
East Midwood Jewish Center, Ocean Avenue.
Abraham and Strauss building under construction, Fulton Street and Hoyt Street.
Abraham and Strauss building under construction, Fulton Street and Hoyt Street.
View of Lower Manhattan from Hotel St. George.
View of Lower Manhattan from Hotel St. George.

Loved these photos? Check out more of the Wurts brothers’ work In the NYPL Digital Collections.