The Bronx Parkway Commission Photograph Albums primarily document conditions that existed along the Bronx River before construction of the Bronx River Parkway in the nineteen-teens and early 1920s. Gathered into twenty-two photographic albums by the Bronx Parkway Commission, many of the images in this collection are also part of the Archives’ larger Bronx River Parkway Photograph Collection. Some of the images in the albums are specifically identified as “before” and “after” photographs of particular locations, showing the tremendous efforts made to clean up the Bronx River in the early part of the 20th century, while others are identified by their map sheet and parcel numbers. To some extent, the album number in which a photograph was included represents the map “sheet” on which the property depicted was located. This may help explain why there are twenty-two albums that are numbered 1-30, with gaps. James Owen is the photographer for many of the images in this collection.
Included to a lesser extent in this collection are images of people enjoying activities along the Bronx River as well as a few scenes of cars along the completed parkway. The larger Bronx River Parkway collection, available to researchers at the Archives’ public Reading Room, with a small portion available online, documents this historic transportation route from ca. 1912-1925, including a large number of construction and post-construction images.
Additional images of the Bronx River Parkway, mostly from the latter half of the 1920s, are available online in other parts of the Archives’ Digital Collections, specifically the John Gass Photograph Collection, the Parks Department Lantern Slides, and the Parks Commission Photograph Collection.