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Photographing the Extreme Transformation of the Meatpacking District

Images from 1985 and last year show viewers just how much the Lower West Side neighborhood changed from Koch to Bloomberg.
10th & 11th avenues as seen in 1985
10th & 11th avenues as seen in 1985Brian Rose

Perhaps no part of Manhattan has changed as dramatically since the 1980s as the Meatpacking District. Located on the Lower West Side, the district has gone from a blue-collar warehouse district with a seedy side into a hyper-luxurious, bustling neighborhood.

From the High Line to the expensive shops and restaurants along the old cobblestone streets, everything looks quite different from when Brian Rose first brought his camera to the Meatpacking District. A young photographer in 1985, Rose spent a few days that winter walking around the area in the mid-afternoon, after the meat markets closed and before the sex clubs opened. Right around the time Rose took his photos, one of those clubs, The Mineshaft, was shut down by the city for permitting ''high-risk sexual activity'' during the worsening AIDS epidemic.