New York City is certainly not immune to destructive urban "progress."
Here's a shot from Shorpy of Cortland Street from 1908.
Here's the view today:
But what's really interesting is what happens when you turn around. Back then, it would have looked much like the picture above. You were in the heart of what was known as "radio row." But they tore down that area for... The World Trade Center. Here's the view today (or really about a year ago):