Thursday, December 5, 2013

Schenectady in the 1970s and 1980s through the Eyes of John Papp

An undated wintertime view of State Street through the railroad overpass, circa 1970s. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection.  


The Library recently received a significant addition of material to our John Papp Photograph Collection. John Papp, who has been referred to as "a photographer by trade but a history buff by desire and avocation," was very interested not only in collecting and reprinting historic photographs, but also in documenting Schenectady in his time. He photographed numerous street scenes, construction and demolition projects, aerial views, and local events from the 1960s through the 1980s. He took a number of photographs of the city of Schenectady, as well as many photographs of Rotterdam. Papp lived many years in Rotterdam and served as the town's historian for a number of years. Here we have included just a few images that show Papp's documentation of downtown Schenectady from the 1970s and 1980s.


One of two featured views of Jay Street between State Street and Franklin Street as it was transformed into a pedestrian-only block. This photograph, taken from State Street in March 1984, illustrates this process. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection. 

This view of Jay Street, taken from Franklin Street in July 1984, shows the transition to a pedestrian-only block near completion. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection. 


Once processed, this recently-acquired addition to the Papp collection will add approximately 3-4 cubic feet of materials to the existing collection. An updated finding aid will be featured in an upcoming Grems-Doolittle Library Blog entry and be made available on our website. If you are interested in viewing photographs in this collection, please visit us or contact our Librarian.


Exterior view of Peggy's Restaurant at 426 State Street, ca. 1980. The collection includes a number of photographs of local businesses in downtown Schenectady as well as in Rotterdam. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection. 

Aerial view of downtown Schenectady, taken April 1981. State Street runs down the center of the photograph, from Erie Boulevard near the top of the image to Nott Terrace just past Veterans Park near the bottom. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection.

Corner of State Street and Clinton Street. This photograph was taken in February 1984. Image from John Papp Photograph Collection. 

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