Gnome Bakers, Then and Now


In the thirties and again in the early eighties, the city government took photographs of 700,000 buildings around the city as part as a jobs program for and to make property assessments for tax purposes. Times photographer Fred R. Conrad returned to twelve of the sites to see how they had changed over the years, including 316 East 59th Street, above, which is now a chiropractor’s office but in the thirties was the home of Gnome Bakers. As you can see, the owners back in the day “redesigned the façade to look like a place where the legendary little men might be baking unusual breads and rolls that the bakery sold.” (Thank God: For a second we thought they baked gnomes.) At one point — the Times tells us, although we can’t see it in the picture — “a giant bearded gnome, munching a piece of bread, rested against the chimney.” Sigh. They just don’t make giant gnomes the way they used to.

Evolution, as Traced by the Lens [NYT]
Tax Photographs []