I had a request for cross-time images set in Tacoma. Fortunately, the "City of Destiny" has preserved a wealth of beautiful old buildings, which makes aligning past and present images much easier. Here's a view looking roughly southeast, shot by Tacoma photographer Paul Richards in 1910. Richards' shot looks across the Puyallup and Foss Waterways to the industrial heart of New Tacoma with "Mount Tacoma," as many called Rainier at the time, looming in the distance. Tacoma's old City Hall can still be seen near the foot of South Stadium Way, along with the pointy-topped dome of the Northern Pacific Building. The view from the roadway is only visible during the Fall and Winter these days -- a wall of white maple trees have put the intervening 100+ years to good use.
I've always been a fan of Paul Dorpat's "Now & Then" feature in the Seattle Times. I noticed a guy in the UK was making composited cross-time images by matching Google's Street View with vintage photos, so I made some of my own -- though I sometimes take my own "now" photos to improve alignment. It's been fun to time travel and think about people and events that happened in our region's past. All images can be clicked to see them at full size.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
The postcard image was listed as a "1930s" street scene from Bremerton, but the movie marquee at the Tower Theater tells a different story. "What A Woman" starring Rosalind Russell premiered in 1943 so the scene dates to the heyday of my hometown -- The war years when the intense level of activity at the ship yard swelled Bremerton's population to 80,000. It's never matched that number again, but that's just as well. Many images from the time show shipyard workers living in hastily built shacks as the town struggled to house its mushrooming workforce.
The Tower Theater at 522 4th Street was one of a good half dozen movie theaters in downtown Bremerton. Those that weren't irreparably damaged by the quake of 1949 (like the Rialto) fell victim to the shifting economics of the region and were mostly gone by the 1960s.