They haven't changed as much as you'd think. Let's take a look. . . .
Early 1900s - Heins and LaFarge-designed subway stations for the elevated lines
1913 - "News From Other Cities"
1937 - Eighth Avenue newsstand, photo by Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress
1960 - street piles
1989 - open
1989 - closed
1991 - Porn curtain along the top . . .
For more, check out Rachel Barrett's 2008 NYC newsstand project. And, if this inspires you to become a newsstand operator, the process starts here.