The southwest corner of Lenox Avenue at 125th Street in 2004. (Photo: Albert Vecerka | Esto)
Albert Vecerka first came to Harlem in 1993 to study architecture at the City College of New York, and he quickly learned two things. The first was that he was more interested in photographing buildings than in designing them. The second was that the neighborhood around him provided a story that could be told visually through its architecture. It was a story of money, which really does change everything: the height of buildings, the people living in them, the light in the morning or evening, the sounds and smells that constitute urban life.
Mr. Vecerka, 45, found himself returning to the block of Malcolm X Boulevard, also known as Lenox Avenue, between 124th and 125th Streets. “I would go by and see scaffolding going up, then parts of a building would have disappeared, then the whole building disappeared,” he said, in a voice that still bears a Yugoslavian accent.
Read more: How Harlem Has Changed: Photographs by Albert Vecerka – NYTimes.com.