Revisit the iconic Apple stores in New York City in the 1940s

Long before the days of the iPhone Photo Walk, the future sites of Apple stores in New York City were captured on film as part of a citywide project. Eighty years later, the photos give you unique insights into the history of your favorite stores and the changes in the neighborhood.

The New York City Municipal Archives manages a large collection of tax assessment photographs taken between 1999 and 1941. The archive documents most of the buildings that existed in New York City during the Five Old Age. By sewing together images with almost identical perspectives around the Apple Maps look, we can identify the reason Apple stores appeared in the city 35 years before Apple was founded.

Use the sliders below to compare each site to the modern times of the 1940s. Some of Apple’s historic historical storefronts appear almost identical to historical historical figures. Other locations appear to be anonymous, recognizable only by street address. What will these landmarks look like in these 80 years?

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Soho

103 Prince Street

Soho is home to Apple’s first store in New York City. The building was originally a U.S. post office, was rebuilt by Apple and architect Bohlin Sivinsky Jackson, and opened in 2002 as Apple’s largest store. The first major renovation of the store came in 2012.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Fifth Avenue

767 Fifth Avenue

The glass cube (all three versions) contained the sunken plaza at the foot of the GM building behind 767th Fifth Avenue. The site was housed in the Sabay-Plaza Hotel before the GM building, pictured above still standing in the 1940s.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Bonus perspective: 1980s

The Department of Finance in New York City introduced the second set of shot shots between 1983 and 1988. The following images after the GM building capture the site on Apple Fifth Avenue

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple West 14th Street

401 W 14th Street

Apple’s location in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District was restored in 2007. The 1940 figure shows that the former warehouse is still occupied with industrial activity. The huge tracks on the left were Ninth Avenue L, which ended service in 1940.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Upper West Side

1981 Broadway

The Apple Upper West Side was a completely new construction project, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that the Victoria’s Secret Store was replaced. The northern end of the site was once the home of Alden (later known as The Regency), a classic movie theater that closed in 1999.

Photo Historical Photo: Library of Congress

Apple Grand Central

45 Grand Central Terminal

New York City’s tax images failed to capture the building’s interiors, but Grand Central Station was heavily photographed in 1941 when the firm’s security administration placed a huge defense bond photo mural on the entire east balcony of the terminal. The ladder to reach Apple’s space was installed in 1995 at the opposite end of the station to match the western ladder.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Upper East Side

940 Medicine Avenue

The building of the U.S. Mortgage and Trust Company at 940 Medicine Avenue was completed in 1922. When the photo above was taken, the branch became a chemical bank and trust company. Prior to Apple’s extensive historic restoration, the building served as a VBH luxury showroom.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Queens Center

90-15 Queens Boulevard

The Queens Center Mall did not open until 1973, and it was largely empty in 1940. A small Sanoco service station first occupies the corner of 59th Avenue and 92nd Street.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple Williamsburg

247 Bedford Avenue

The Apple Williamsburg site was once a nonscript warehouse that looks like New York City’s tax cameras were left out when the city was assessed. The edge of the building at the intersection of North Third Street is now visible in a photo of a property in a collapsed neighborhood. Before the Apple building was rebuilt, 247 Bedford kept the Bagel store.

Photo: NYC Municipal Archive / Apple Map

Apple World Trade Center

185 Greenwich Street

The Hudson Terminal once occupied the site today at the Oculus and Westfield World Trade Center. The office buildings of the terminal were demolished in 1972 to make way for the World Trade Center complex.

Apple Downtown Brooklyn

123 Flatbush Avenue

The triangular plot, bordered by Lafayette Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, and Ashland Place, was once a collection of signature small shops to take advantage of the highly visible intersection. The lot was eventually reduced to surface parking and was later renovated between 2015 and 2017.

For more history, see and to browse New York City tax photos on a map. Follow on Twitter for daily Apple Store news.

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