Vintage Photograph of a Neglected Block in Brownsville, Brooklyn Back in 1969

Dec. 18, 1969: A neglected block in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where a nationwide Model Cities program — which aimed to bring a holistic improvement regimen to selected neighborhoods in 52 cities — was seen as stumbling. “Half of the program’s first year is gone,” The Times reported, “but only $7.7 million of the year’s allocation of $29 million in Federal funds have been spent.” The mayor blamed a heavy-footed city bureaucracy. “The mood is typified by Prospect Place in Brownsville, flanked by desolate acres of rubble-strewn lots,” the story read. “Rotted tenements have been torn down, but almost nothing is being built because contractors’ bids have come in above the per-room cost ceilings permitted by Congress for Federal projects.”
Dec. 18, 1969: A neglected block in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where a nationwide Model Cities program — which aimed to bring a holistic improvement regimen to selected neighborhoods in 52 cities — was seen as stumbling. “Half of the program’s first year is gone,” The Times reported, “but only $7.7 million of the year’s allocation of $29 million in Federal funds have been spent.” The mayor blamed a heavy-footed city bureaucracy. “The mood is typified by Prospect Place in Brownsville, flanked by desolate acres of rubble-strewn lots,” the story read. “Rotted tenements have been torn down, but almost nothing is being built because contractors’ bids have come in above the per-room cost ceilings permitted by Congress for Federal projects.”
Photo: Lively Morgue
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Photo: Lively Morgue

The Lively Morgue is a daily photo blog from the New York Times in which an original photo from the newspaper's archives is reposted along with tidbits of information gleamed from the historical article it accompanied. Along with a rescan of the original photograph, the backs of each photo are also scanned, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process of one of the world's best newspapers.

Today's posting features a shot from December 18th, 1969, showing a neglected street block in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Dec. 18, 1969: A neglected block in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where a nationwide Model Cities program — which aimed to bring a holistic improvement regimen to selected neighborhoods in 52 cities — was seen as stumbling. “Half of the program’s first year is gone,” The Times reported, “but only $7.7 million of the year’s allocation of $29 million in Federal funds have been spent.” The mayor blamed a heavy-footed city bureaucracy. “The mood is typified by Prospect Place in Brownsville, flanked by desolate acres of rubble-strewn lots,” the story read. “Rotted tenements have been torn down, but almost nothing is being built because contractors’ bids have come in above the per-room cost ceilings permitted by Congress for Federal projects.”

The original article in the New York Times from 1969 has more.

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