Photos taken by Google over the past decade show how drastically the NYC skyline has changed in just 9 years

Shutterstock/littlenystock
  • New York City’s skyline is constantly changing.
  • By using the Google Maps Street View tool, you can see how the same corner of the city has evolved over the past nine years.
  • An area known as the “last frontier in Manhattan” is now home to the third-tallest building in the city, for example.

There are 273 skyscrapers in New York City, and more than a dozen more being built at any given moment.

It can be hard to appreciate how different a city block can look in just a matter of years, but luckily, we have Google to help us out. Using the Google Maps Street View tool, we can see photos of the same corner in the city several years apart.

By comparing photos from 2009 to what they look like today, you can see just how dramatically recent construction projects have changed the skyline. The industrial area known as Hudson Yards, for example, was once known as “the last frontier in Manhattan,” but today, it’s home to several new high-rise office and apartment buildings built in a massive redevelopment project.

You can also see how Manhattan’s Financial District has changed with the addition of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the US, and even how high-rises have altered the landscape in a residential area of Brooklyn.

See for yourself how much how new skyscrapers have changed New York’s skyline in just nine years.


New York has one of the most iconic skylines in the world.

Getty Images

Dozens of new skyscrapers are under construction at any given moment, meaning the same street corner could look completely different in just a matter of years.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The rebuilt World Trade Center complex is located in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District.

Google Maps

This is a street in FiDi back in 2009.

Google Maps

Here’s what it looks like now, after One World Trade Center was completed in 2013. At 1,776 feet, it’s the tallest building in the United States.

Google Maps

Nearby in the Financial District, One World Trade isn’t the only skyscraper to join the downtown skyline.

Google Maps

This is what part of the World Trade complex looked like back in 2013 …

Google Maps

… and here’s the same view earlier this year, after the completion of 3 World Trade Center.

Google Maps

A few blocks up the road on Murray Street, things are changing fast.

Google Maps

This was what one stretch of Murray Street in Lower Manhattan looked like in 2016.

Google Maps

By February 2018, the luxury apartment building called 111 Murray Street topped out at 792 feet and 58 floors.

Google Maps

Midtown Manhattan is packed with several of the tallest buildings in the country.

Google Maps

This section of Midtown overlooking Central Park was already crowded in 2009.

Google Maps

Five years later, the area welcomed 432 Park, a luxury condo building that’s the second-tallest skyscraper in New York.

Google Maps

This is Hudson Yards, an industrial area on Manhattan’s West Side overlooking the Hudson River.

Google Maps

Back in 2011, there wasn’t much to show for Hudson Yards.

Google Maps

Construction on a large-scale, 16-building real estate development began the next year. Here’s what it looked like in 2017 …

Google Maps

… and here’s what it looks like today. The tallest of the buildings, 30 Hudson Yards, topped out at 1,268 feet, surpassing the Empire State Building as the third tallest-building in New York.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Not far from Hudson Yards, another building has added to the skyline.

Google Maps

This block in Hell’s Kitchen was fairly empty back in 2009.

Google Maps

Here’s what it looks like ever since Sky, the biggest condo rental tower in New York, was finished in 2016. The building has nearly 1,200 apartment units.

Google Maps

Skyscrapers are a fairly new development in the Flatiron neighbourhood.

Google Maps

This was a typical scene on Flatiron’s East 22nd Street back in 2011.

Google Maps

This photo from 2017 shows what the neighbourhood looks like after Madison Square Park Tower was built.

Google Maps

Then there’s One57, a luxury condo skyscraper built in Midtown near the base of Central Park.

Google Maps

Here’s a photo of West 57th Street from 2011.

Google Maps

Here’s the same stretch in August 2018, after the completion of One57.

Google Maps

Now, skyscrapers are spreading beyond Manhattan. Across the East River in Brooklyn, there are some changes going on, too.

Google Maps

In recent years, skyscrapers have been built in areas where tall buildings were once something of an anomaly. Here’s what one corner of Downtown Brooklyn looked like in 2009 …

Google Maps

… and here’s a picture of the same corner in September 2018, three years after an apartment building known as “the Hub” was completed, becoming the tallest building in Brooklyn.

Google Maps

In the near future, the skyline of Queens could dramatically change as well. Over the next 10 years, Amazon will be building a 4-million-square-foot headquarters to accommodate thousands of workers in Long Island City. We don’t know many details yet, but the construction project is expected to cost almost $US4 billion.

Plaxall

Read more about Amazon’s planned HQ2 here »

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