Things change over time, including the places where we live. Looking at the past gives us a sense of how we’ve shaped the world around us.
Here, we looked at the largest cities in the United States by population — sorted from biggest to smallest — and compared them to what they were like decades ago. Denver, Colorado, looked like you could spot a tumbleweed blowing through it 150 years ago. Chicago was once devastated by fire and San Francisco was nearly destroyed by an earthquake.
Today, they all stand as some of the most thriving cities in America.
Here are the 25 biggest cities in America as they once were, compared to today.