Then vs Now: 47 Photos Showing How Places Have Changed Over Time

Time is an absolutely vexing force. It’s slow during youth and speeds up as we age. It is unstoppable and cannot be reasoned with. It marches in one direction, dragging us with it. We look to the past not only to remember what we’ve lost but for clues as to how not to lose more in the future. It is quietly the most destructive force in nature, and we are completely at its oblivious whims.

One way we cope with this invisible enemy is through photography. We capture these little moments in time as a way to go back and touch them. Photos often capture things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to remember or even articulate.

This collection is focused on contemporary photos of places around the world juxtaposed with photos of the same place taken sometime in the past to show how they’ve changed, or haven’t changed, with time.

1. “Kansas City before and after Urban Renewal.”

A comparison of Kansas City in two different time periods: the upper image shows a city view from pre-1940s with a tall, white skyscraper and densely packed buildings; the lower image shows the same location in 2022 with modern buildings and surrounding areas.
u/unroja / Via

“Put it back. Just put it all back. I hate seeing some of these because the afterimage always looks ugly without the trees and beautiful buildings.” – Mcg3010624

“I think I like the before better. Much better.” – StartingToLoveIMSA

2. “The Curecanti Needle, Black Canyon, Colorado, 1880s vs 2024”

A split image comparing an old photograph with a modern photo of a narrow canyon called "Currecanti Needle, Black Canyon of the Gunnison." The left shows a sepia-toned, historical image with railway tracks; the right shows a vibrant, modern view of a river and greenery.

“I like the change. Let’s keep it that way.” – LongFeesh

“One of the only photos I have ever seen where 2024 looks better than 1880s” – next2021

3. “Tower of London: 25 years ago VS today”

Two photos of the Tower of London and its surroundings. The top image shows a view with older, shorter buildings in the background, while the bottom image shows modern, taller skyscrapers. Both images have the historic Tower in the foreground with green trees.
u/Max_MM7 / Via

“I actually like the towers in the background. The mix of the old and new adds something, I feel. It combines the history of London with the modern day.” – bihmg

4. “1959 vs 2023 Elbbrücke Bridge Germany.”

A side-by-side image shows a bridge before and after renovation. The "before" image features a castle-like design with multiple arches, while the "after" image presents a modern, sleek design with large, simple arches and a bold, orange section.
u/Parlax76 / Via

“What a downgrade.” – xopoc177

“Important to note this bridge was renovated in 1959.” – derpbagels

5. “Kedarnath Temple, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India. Photos from 1882 and 2022.”

A split image shows the same mountainous landscape in 1882 and 2022. The top part depicts a sparse, undeveloped valley with a few buildings. The bottom part, showing 2022, illustrates a densely built town with numerous colorful buildings and bustling activity, surrounded by snow-covered mountains.
u/1NbSHXj4 / Via

“Wonderful how the central shrine and the mountains are nearly identical. You can understand why people make pilgrimages here.” – MazigaGoesToMarkarth

“Interesting story! In 2013, there was a huge flood flowing through the area. A rock came down the mountain and stopped just before the shrine, blocking the floods from hitting it. What you see now in the 2022 picture is just half of what was there earlier. Most of the structures around the shrine got wiped out.” – nakkula

6. “Australia’s Wonderland, Sydney. Now lost.”

The image is split into two parts. The top shows a lively waterpark full of people swimming and enjoying the pool in 2003. The bottom shows the same waterpark in 2017, but it is abandoned, with dirty water, overgrown plants, and debris scattered around.

“Man, I loved this place.” – Zuffa_Shill10er

“I’ve never seen my dad as green as he was when he got off the demon ride.” – Lots_to_love

7.”Caesars Las Vegas, Julius Executive Duplex Suite”

Split image comparing hotel lobby designs from 1968 and 2023. Left side shows vibrant 1968 decor with pink carpet, golden mirrors, and retro furniture. Right side shows modern 2023 decor with neutral colors, contemporary furniture, and minimalist design.
u/IronSpaceRanger / Via

“I enjoy the lady at the bottom in 1968, carrying on a riveting conversation with the statue.” – diygardening

“So much better before. It’s gaudy, but it’s interesting and fun and looks cozier.” –Aruaz821

8. “A 1950s shop building was replaced by a new Beaux Arts building in NYC in 2010”

Two comparison images show a building before and after renovation. The "Before" image features a modern, two-story structure with large windows and a flat roof. The "After" image shows a grand, multi-story, classical-style building with ornate details.
u/NewYorkvolunteer / Via

“Wow, they actually made it way better. That’s a nice change of pace from the usual.” – TexansFo4

“It’s called “New Traditional” architecture. There’s been a push over the last decade to bring old building philosophies back in style.” – StreetKale

9. “1910 vs Today in Los Angeles, Ca”

A split image showing the same location in different eras. The top is a historic photo of a street with oil derricks and a few people walking. The bottom is a modern photo of the same street, now lined with houses, cars, and greenery.
u/Parlax76 / Via

“Wild. That small little house saw SoCal go through several booms in its existence.” – Ok-Resource2214

“They are still pumping oil out of the LA basin. The Tar pits aren’t that far from here either.” – ursixx

10. “Boston before and after ‘Big Dig'”

The image shows a side-by-side comparison of an urban area. The top part depicts a busy elevated highway surrounded by buildings. The bottom part shows the same area transformed into a green park with trees, walkways, and an open, traffic-free space.
u/StrategyOdd7170 / Via

“They took the elevated freeway and buried it underground. At the time, it was the most expensive civil engineering project in US history and took 20+ years to complete.” – alohadave

11. “Bonn, West Germany 1945 vs Now”

A split image shows the same location at different times. The top half is a black-and-white photo of a war-torn area with ruined buildings including a church steeple. The bottom half is a present-day vibrant street scene, with people walking near modern shops and the same church steeple in the background.
u/Maximum-Language-522 / Via

“Those newer buildings are destroying the look of our cities. I wish they would have cared at least a little about aesthetics. In Frankfurt, the people wanted their old city back after the war, but politicians followed their own agenda.” – UltimateShame

12. Ohio State “Past vs Present”

The top image shows undisturbed grassy areas with several dirt paths made by students cutting through the grass. The bottom image shows the same area with paved walkways in place of the dirt paths, following the same patterns as the original desire paths.
u/Traditional_Call9256 / Via

“In college in the 90s, there was a snowstorm. During that snowstorm I was helping my girlfriend move between dorms. Since there was like a foot of snow, we took the shortest direct path, forging a trail through a grassy field between buildings. Other students ended up using that trail. It was a very snowy winter, so the trail remained and, in spring, became a dirt path. That dirt path remained for the rest of my college career. Years later, I returned to campus, and the path turned into a sidewalk. It made me so happy to see and really neat to think it’s all because of one snowy day a long time ago.” – RangoonRunner

13. Lahaina, Hawaii in a span of 6 months

The top image is a bustling seaside town on 2/11/23 with a calm street and beachside views. The bottom image shows the same location devastated on 8/11/23, with burnt-out cars and buildings, debris, and waves crashing over the seawall.
u/Nailhead / Via

“The number of cars is haunting. All those people hoping to drive out of harm’s way, ending up trapped and/or in the ocean. I wish I could say my personal evacuation plan is in better shape, but I can’t, and I think most places don’t have good enough official ones to rely on either.” – sawyouoverthere

“Absolutely heartbreaking.” – real-ocmsrzr

14. Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France

A split-image comparison of Mont-Saint-Michel, France, showing a black and white photo from 1908 on top and a colored photo from 2016 below. The iconic abbey and surrounding structures appear largely unchanged, though the area has modernized and is more developed with paved walkways.
u/Actual_Macaroon_3024 / Via

“Yeah. It changed from sepia to natural color.” – No-Crew4317

15. “A view of the New York skyline from the same bench in 1957 and 2021”

A side-by-side comparison shows a black-and-white photograph of a person sitting on a bench in front of the Manhattan skyline (left), and a modern color photograph of the same view with an empty bench (right).
u/mrl33602 / Via

“Not the same exact bench as evidenced by the slight change in angles between buildings that are in both pictures.” – raosko

16. “1892-2024 Old town center in Chester, Massachusetts”

A split image shows a historic church and road scene in rural New England. The top part is an old black-and-white photo of a church with a tree-lined path. The bottom part is a modern color photo, depicting the same church and road with leafless trees and houses.
u/andeo1996 / Via

“That’s cool. Those small towns and villages in New England are great, really quaint.” – Taptrick

“I love small New England towns. So many of them look borderline from the middle ages. Cozy as well. Once you go out west, all the small towns look all the same, sterile, generic, and boring in general.” – NewYorkVolunteer

17. “Mumbai City, India”

The image shows a comparison of a city's skyline and infrastructure in 2006 and 2023. The 2006 photo depicts a simpler highway and fewer tall buildings. The 2023 photo displays a complex network of highways and many modern high-rise buildings.

“Someone dropped their plate of spaghetti highways onto the beach.” – StoryAndAHalf

“Sick Hot Wheels tracks.” – Original_Danta

18. “1880 to 2018, VandenBoom Chair Factory, Quincy, Illinois”

A side-by-side comparison shows the transformation of a building from 1880 to 2018. The 1880 image depicts an ornate, brick structure labeled "Chair & Furniture Manuf'g H.A. Vandenboom & Co," while the 2018 image shows a simplified, unadorned version of the same building.
u/basnectar / Via

“It lost a floor.” – Noname_Maddox

“And a ton of character.” – whitelouisboatshoes

19. “Ostend Belgium, 1899 and present day”

A split image showing a historical and a modern view of the same beachfront promenade. The top image features people in early 20th-century attire walking along an ornate building-lined promenade, while the bottom image shows a modernized area with contemporary buildings.
u/Opposite_Ad8878 / Via

“What a shame; I’m assuming these were bombed in the war. It’s a tragedy that they’re gone, but it would be even worse if they were pulled down for no reason.” – ISaidDontUseHelium

“I’m from Belgium, and they did get demolished for no reason; more people wanted a secondary house by the coast, so they put up all those big apartment blocks.” – userdeleted

20. “My grandma in the 1950s in Los Angeles vs her approximate location on Google Maps”

A grayscale photo on the left shows a woman in a striped blouse standing in front of a cityscape, including a tall building. On the right, a modern color photo shows a freeway with signs pointing to San Pedro and Pasadena, with tall buildings in the background. Text reads "1953 E Arcadia St.

“Probably at a time when there was still a semblance of downtown Los Angeles left before the highway plexus consumed it all, and they hauled off Bunker Hill completely. It’s amazing to think that that city once actually had a pretty nice 19th-century downtown. It still has a wonderful 20th-century core, but the whole Victorian side vaporized.” – Different_Ad7655

21. “Chichen Itza 1892 and 2020”

Two side-by-side images depict a pyramid: the first (top) shows the structure covered in dense vegetation, partially buried and obscured, while the second (bottom) reveals a restored and fully visible pyramid with clear, defined steps under a bright, cloudy sky.
u/Killadee / Via

“I can’t imagine being the first person to find that in 1892” – LastKaaN

“This is why I don’t trust any mountains” – 2wenty2wenty

22. “Woodstock Festival Site 1969 vs 2020”

A composite image shows the same location at two different times: the top image depicts a large crowd gathered outdoors, and the bottom image shows a couple posing in an empty, grassy field. The couple is wearing casual clothing and sunglasses.
u/spkelly37 / Via

“I’ve wanted to metal detect that site for years” – server_busy

“There’s a great museum on site, and if you get the tour, it’s usually guided by someone who attended the festival.” – thecashblaster

23. “The Flatiron building, New York 1917 and 2012”

Side-by-side images of the Flatiron Building in New York City. Left: Black and white photo from the early 1900s with vintage cars and fewer skyscrapers. Right: Modern color photo with yellow taxis, updated street signs, and more developed surrounding buildings.
u/chriscambridge / Via

“So nice to see the original buildings around it have survived the reckless urban redevelopment of the late 20th century” – gnelaidir

“An architectural masterpiece.” – ogpalm

24. “Abandoned restaurant in Petropolis, Brazil 1960s and 2013”

The image shows two views of the UFO-shaped "Casa do Disco Voador," a modernist building in Brazil. The top view is a black-and-white photo from the past with people and vintage cars. The bottom view is a color photo showing the building in a neglected state.
u/Mackelowsky / Via

“Someone needs to make that into an awesome home.” – LezPlayLater

“Looks like something from the Jetsons.” – jzspess

25. “1955 and 2021 Vilnius, Lithuania”

This split-image shows two buses on the same street in different eras. The top half features a vintage bus with a cream and orange color scheme in an old setting. The bottom half shows a modern bus with similar colors in a contemporary neighborhood.
u/NeisviresKoldunas / Via

“Nice to see that the bus company is still using the same colors.” – SuperTulle

26. “Czech out Prague 1910 and 2020”

A split image shows a street scene from Prague. The top half is a historical black-and-white photo with people walking on a curved street lined by old buildings. The bottom half is a contemporary color photo of the same street, with modern buildings and more people.
u/Stotallytob3r / Via

“So little has changed, but the modern street is so full of parked cars.” – Stotallytob3r

27. “Ancient Greece before and after excavation”

Two images show a restored and unrestored ancient amphitheater. The top image portrays an overgrown, grass-covered site with trees and vegetation. The bottom image reveals the restored amphitheater with stone seating and two standing columns, highlighting archaeological work.
u/Just_Another_Gen-Zer / Via

“Nature has a way of kicking any human record off the planet.” – heroic-abscession

28. “10 years in Detroit. 2009 and 2019”

Two side-by-side images show the same street in different years. The top image, dated July 2009, depicts well-maintained houses and cars parked along the street. The bottom image, dated May 2019, shows a more deteriorated street with neglected houses and overgrown vegetation.

“Even in 2009, there’s a boarded-up house two doors down. I’m from Detroit, and this is the era when banks were handing out mortgages like candy, whether the borrowers had any reasonable chance of repaying them or not, and people were trying to revitalize neighborhoods that were long dead. I would bet dollars to donuts that this is what happened here. People were given mortgages on these houses, couldn’t keep up with them, got evicted, and the houses have been vacant since.” – gofatwya

29. “Twenty-year difference in Dallas, Texas 2001 to 2021.”

A split image showcasing an aerial view of a city's skyline at two different times. The top image shows sparse development with fewer, smaller buildings, while the bottom image reveals a more developed cityscape with numerous high-rise buildings and increased infrastructure.
u/dallasstars5 / Via

“I moved from Dallas in 2022. Whole different world now.” – DLM2019

30. “Arch of Constantine in Rome, 1943 (taken by my grandfather), and what it looks like today.”

A side-by-side comparison of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy. The top image from 1943 shows the arch with a few cars around and sparse surroundings. The bottom image from 2020 depicts the same arch bustling with tourists and lush greenery around.
u/PrivateTumbleweed / Via

“Trees always seem like fixtures, but photo comparisons like this make it seem like they are only slightly less ephemeral than the people.” – WONKO9000

“Wow, it’s crazy to see how the trees lining the street have grown.” – ctadgo

31. “The main entrance to the city of York, England 1865 to 2015”

A composite image of the same street scene in York, England, taken in 1865 (top) and the present day (bottom). Both images feature historic buildings and a large stone gateway arch in the center. The older photo shows horse-drawn carriages, while the modern one has cars and traffic lights.
u/hasanah78 / Via

“Mickelgate Bar is the main entrance to the city through which monarchs would enter. It was also a popular practice to hang the heads of traitors from the gatehouse.” – hasanah78

“This is similar to the city of Canterbury, you can walk along the old walls, along the moat, beautiful city, whenever I visit I love coming in, across the old bridge, through the gatehouse, into the ancient streets. Simply a great experience.” – Mega-Humanoid-Robot

32. “Unfinished Manhattan Bridge in 1908 and 2021”

A black-and-white photo above and a color photo below show different time periods of a street view towards the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. The top image shows the bridge under construction, while the bottom image shows the fully completed bridge with modern surroundings.

“Just watching Once ‘Upon a Time In America’. Looks familiar. Most of the movie is set in that spot.” – fireball2294

33. “Street in Kaunas, Lithuania then and now.”

A black and white photo of an old gabled-roof brick building with leafless trees is shown in the top half. The bottom half shows the same building now enclosed within a modern shopping mall, surrounded by escalators and indoor lighting.

“Crazy I’ve been to Kaunas two years ago and also visited this mall. Somehow, I did not notice this.” – mathild4

34. Singapore 2000 to 2020

Top image labeled "2000" shows a less developed cityscape with a few skyscrapers and boats on the water. Bottom image labeled "Now" depicts the same location with a highly developed, illuminated skyline including Marina Bay Sands, arts structures, and more skyscrapers.
u/BS0Bymaye / Via

“I know Singapore is a fast developing nation but that’s really fast.” – somewhat_toasty_

“The picture cropping cheats a bit. The bridge over the water exists in the 2000 photo, too, but it is mostly cropped out. And even in general, that particular spot south of the Central Business District was heavily developed in the past 20 years. A lot of the rest of the city-state hasn’t changed significantly in the same time.” – ohitsasnaake

35. “Hong Kong’s Kowloon peninsula 1964 to 2016”

Two side-by-side panoramic images show the transformation of Hong Kong’s skyline over several decades. The top image depicts a sparsely populated landscape with limited high-rise buildings, while the bottom image shows a dense urban area with numerous high-rise buildings.
u/Logan-rice88 / Via

“Nice if you’re into apartments.” – v8powerage

“The sky disappeared. This is depressing.” – Spinningalltheplates

36. “Main and Delaware St in Kansas City, MO 1906 vs 2015”

A split image showing the same street in two different years. The top shows a bustling 1906 street with horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and pedestrians, alongside vintage buildings and Owl Cigars sign. The bottom 2015 scene depicts a quieter, modernized street with few buildings remaining.
u/RigatoniNoodles123 / Via

“That’s just depressing.” – FairlyInconsistentRa

“Worst one I’ve seen so far. What a nightmare.” – Silver_Variation2790

37. “Greenpoint, Brooklyn 1916 and 2021”

A two-part image comparison of the same street: the top part shows an old black-and-white photo with vintage cars and storefronts; the bottom part displays a modern color photo of the same street with contemporary vehicles and updated shops.

“It’s insane how many cars exist now. Totally messes up what could be nice, mostly walkable cities” – GetMeThePresident

“Not to mention the existence of streetcars/trams. That’s what you get when automobile companies lobby the government, though.” – gregy521

38. “Hiroshima 1945 to 2020”

A comparative image showing Hiroshima in 1945 and 2020. The top image depicts Hiroshima in ruins just after the atomic bombing in 1945; the bottom image shows a rebuilt, modern city with numerous buildings, lush green spaces, and bridges spanning the river in 2020.
u/Adamstowellll / Via

“All the radiation from the bomb dissipated within a few days. It’s totally safe to live in Hiroshima and to visit as a tourist. Fukushima, on the other hand, is still highly contaminated nearly 10 years after the disaster and is practically a ghost town.” – LateralPlanet

“Visited Hiroshima back in 2017. It is such a beautiful city, and it is so impressive to see how far the city has come in less than a century. It was easily one of my favorite cities during my travels in Japan.” – WalkingOnSunshine_

39. “The Pines in Fallsburg, NY. 1950s to somewhat recently.”

A two-part image showing a contrasting scene of the same location. The top part depicts a crowded, vibrant outdoor pool area from a past era, with people sunbathing and swimming. The bottom part shows the same location in a state of decay, with overgrown vegetation and a derelict pool.
u/PugetSoundOgre Via

“There’s a lot of abandoned places in Catskill, NY. Tourism died out, and a bunch of resorts closed down.” – Aviaja_Apache

“It’s crazy how many tourist places died in the USA and Canada. I’ve encountered dozens of abandoned places with cool-looking pools/designs.” – MatsGry

40. “Hollywood sign, Los Angeles”

Two images display the iconic Hollywood sign on Mount Lee in Los Angeles. The top black-and-white photo from the 1920s shows the original "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign. The bottom modern color photo shows the updated "HOLLYWOOD" sign amidst urban sprawl and radio towers.
u/TogderNodger / Via

“The sign was originally an advertisement for a new subdivision called Hollywood Land. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce entered into an agreement with the landowners to maintain the sign and removed the Land portion in 1949. It eventually fell into disrepair but was rebuilt in 1978 after Hugh Hefner hosted a fundraiser for the cost of rebuilding it. It is now a Los Angeles official cultural-historic monument.” – Secretagentmanstumpy

41. “Krakow, Poland 1939 and 2010s”

Two photos show the same street in different eras. The top image, in black and white, depicts an old tram and vintage cars with people walking. The bottom image, in color, features a modern tram and contemporary vehicles on the same street, now more developed.
u/Mackelowsky / Via

“Amazing! Wish we had kept our streetcars here in America” – booberryyogurt

42. “Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois in 1861 and 2021”

Two images of the same two-story house: The top, an old sepia-toned photo showing a Victorian house with shutters and a picket fence. The bottom, a current photo showing a well-maintained yellow house with green shutters and decorated with patriotic bunting.
u/Le_Rat_Mort / Via

“I always thought Lincoln’s home was in Pennsylvania. I always hear about his Gettysburg address.” – Norsegod26

43. “Manhatten 1931 to 2018”

Two aerial images of Manhattan, New York City are shown side by side. The top image is labeled "1931" and shows a less developed cityscape with visible building growth and open spaces. The bottom image, labeled "2018," depicts a densely built and urbanized skyline.
u/Poppintoaster / Via

“That East River (on the left of 1931 pic) was evidently a Raging Bull in tidal activity. The undertaking to “Calm it down” was, in fact, one of the greatest feats of engineering ever” – TheOriginalSpartak

44. “A former public bath in Wuppertal, Germany. Now a brewery and beer hall. 1993 vs 2019”

u/Injustpotato / via

“In Germany, everything eventually becomes a beer hall!” – Arthur_Digby_Sellers

45. “Chernobyl power plant control room in 1986 and 2021”

Top: A person in a white suit and yellow boots stands in a control room filled with numerous monitors, buttons, and control panels on the walls and desks. Bottom: The same control room appears deserted and decayed, with broken equipment and debris scattered.
u/Scientiaetnatura065 / Via

“I love that their protection gear had flared trousers.” – stompusmaximus

“They’re flared intentionally, not for style. You have to be able to pull them down over the protective boots easily.” – DerekL1963

46. “Lincoln Memorial 1922 to 2016”

A historic photo comparison shows the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The top black-and-white image captures the site around 1917 with sparse surroundings, while the bottom recent image shows the memorial surrounded by greenery and tourists.
u/KyserSoze94 / Via

“I like how it was just sitting in a field.” – pbmcc88

“Somehow, it looks more majestic to me. I think there is something really intriguing about big man-made structures placed in the middle of nature, hundreds or even thousands of years ago when civilization and massive architecture projects weren’t as common. Just imagine you are a little boy/girl, all you know are dense forests or a vast steppe/desert, then for the first time in your life, you travel to a population center; as someone who had lived a very simple life, suddenly seeing something that huge must have been mind-blowing.” – Xarthys

47. “Stonehenge: 1877 and 2019”

A side-by-side comparison of Stonehenge: the top image is an old black-and-white photograph showing a dilapidated, partially collapsed state, while the bottom image is a modern color photograph showing the iconic stone structure largely intact and bathed in sunlight.
u/ProjectFailure / Via

“Is it weird that I’m slightly annoyed they restored it? Seems way cooler in disarray” – cammyboom

“I went to Stonehenge in 1975. You could still walk among and touch the stones then. It was pretty amazing.” – Esaukilledahunter

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