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. I made some of my own -- Handy way to time travel without leaving the house, though I sometimes do take the present day shots when things don't align. All images can be clicked to see a larger size.

Monday, August 17, 2015

An Arterial Materializes


Seattle commuters: Expect construction delays on I-5 before 1962. Not that things cleared up much after that.
 
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Onward & Upward

 
For many Seattle old timers, 1st Avenue was historically a patchwork of bars, second hand stores and some of the city's more colorful adult-oriented businesses. As Seattle made the transition from a blue collar town to an epicenter of technology many of these institutions and the buildings that contained them have given way to a more gentrified (some would say clinical) appearance. Here we see present-day 1st Avenue near Virginia Street contrasted with a 1968 view. It's interesting to note that the offices for web-based real estate giant Redfin are in a crisp new high rise where Al & Leon once sold furniture across a rambling array of storefronts.
 
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Change From On High


Another experiment contrasting aerial views from different times. This time combining an 1891 bird’s eye view of Seattle with a semi-polygonal version from present-day Google Earth. The 1891 image was rendered by lithographer E.S. Glover for the A.L. Bancroft company in California who specialized in text books and large aerial views of cities up and down the West Coast. These lithographs were somewhat idealized, both for clarity and aesthetic reasons – The perspective is fudged a lot to include both a street grid and the distant scenery. This makes lining up the horizon and landmarks a bit tricky but there is enough overlap using the waterfront and a few landmarks to get reasonably close. It's also possible to appreciate how successive decades of regrades removed a number of the rolling hills that once dominated the landscape of downtown Seattle.
 
 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Camp Harmony

 
 
This is a follow-up to the previous image of Japanese Americans boarding trains on the Seattle waterfront in 1942. I thought it would be interesting to mash up two aerial images this time. The results aren't perfect, but it gives a good sense of scale. 7390 residents lived in these hastily constructed barracks at the Puyallup Fairgrounds called Camp Harmony from May to September of 1942. The sections of the camp had simple letter designations. Area A is the block in the upper left of the photo. Area B is to the upper right near the present-day freeway. Area C is in the lower left. Area D was the most surreal of all, being situated in the middle of the race track and surrounded by grandstands, attractions and the roller coaster track. Most residents of Camp Harmony were transferred to the more permanent Minidoka and Tule Lake internment camps.