Bil Cunningham is a familiar presence on the social and fashion pages of The New York Times, and the streets of New York City, riding a bicycle with a small camera bag strapped to his waist.

But long before his images of street fashion became a regular newspaper feature, Cunningham and his fellow photographer and muse, Editta Sherman, would comb thrift stores, auctions and street fairs for beautiful vintage finds, as well as scout interesting architectural sites. They collected some 500 outfits and photographed more than 1,800 locations for the Facades project, pairing each site with the era of its accompanying outfit.

The New York Historical Society has unveiled Bill Cunningham: Facades, a retrospective dedicated to the legendary photographer and his eight-year project. The exhibition presents 80 thoughtfully juxtaposed images, evoking the spirit of the duo’s treasure hunt and their passion for the city. Through June 15h, explore the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City through the eye of the renowned New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham.

3-19-2014 3-43-26 PMAt the Paris Theater

3-19-2014 3-43-44 PMAt the 21 Club

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 At Federal Hall

3-19-2014 3-45-12 PM At the Gothic Bridge in Central Park

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 At Grand Central Terminal

3-19-2014 3-47-13 PM3-19-2014 3-47-43 PM At the Associated Press Building at Rockefeller Center

3-19-2014 3-42-43 PM At the General Motors Building

3-19-2014 3-44-12 PM Mr. Cunningham at work outside the olde New York County Courthouse