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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 2:44 AM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
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Then & Now: Photographic Evidence of Urban Transformations

Post a historic photo (or painting) of an area of your city. Then add a google street view image from the same angle showing current conditions. Additionally, give a brief explanation of the context and factors affecting the visible changes to the urban form.

I am not sure if this has been done on SSP before, but after coming across a blog lamenting the loss of historic structures in my hometown, I figured many other areas have seen dramatic changes worth noting.

For Houston, this is the Lyons and Jensen intersection in 1956. The area is the 5th Ward, an area known for a thriving Black business community before desegregation, drugs and divestment.




The same intersection today:


The only similarities visible between the photos is the manhole cover in the street and the drainage grate in the foreground.

Factors that led to the changes include:

A. Construction of a massive freeway (US 59) in an area one block east of this intersection

B. Mandated desegregation which led the black owned businesses to fail once residents could patronize other areas.

C. (Closely related to B) The rise in crime rates after the Black middle class left the neighborhood.


Funny enough, this area seems poised to become another gentrification hotspot within a few years, so the intersection could experience another dramatic transformation very soon.

Last edited by Samwill89; Apr 9, 2012 at 3:01 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 2:50 AM
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You'd don't want to know.

There was a saying back in the day about St. Louis that it would make the Bronx cry.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 4:36 AM
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Pack Square, the heart of Asheville:

1860's



1887



1927



2010

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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:03 AM
BIMBAM BIMBAM is offline
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Oh, this one's a real jewel! A local museum has a whole set of photographs by two photographers, William Notman and Andrzej Manciejewski, taken from identical spots, but with Notman working from 1869-1895, and Manciejewski working in and around the year 2000. They're presented side by side in a slideshow with audio reflecting the sounds each would have heard standing in these locations, and how they would have changed over the centuries. The link is below and the city being photographed is Montreal, which was the economic and cultural heart of the Dominion, as Canada's largest city, up and until the political instability of the seventies.

http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/dq/index-e.html
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 1:27 PM
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There was a great thread about a year or so ago about before/after South Bronx (1970s & 1980s vs. present)
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 2:29 PM
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Grand River and Luthrop in Detroit.


http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/imag...-57779%5D57779


(clickable)

Even in the historical photo, you can see private use of cars easily trumped over the mass transit of the day. However, to alleviate the congestion, city planners built freeways that directly paralleled Grand River as well as other major thoroughfares. This indeed got rid of congestion on the surface streets, but as you can also see, less traffic also means less business.

Racial inequality as well as an ever shifting economy contributed to general city wide population loss that left many similar thoroughfares vacant or struggling to survive.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 3:14 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, one block from the site of the old Tiger Stadium:



Taken from: http://www.detroityes.com/mb/attachm...chmentid=12983

Same intersection today:



Source: Google Maps street view

^Doesn't look too bad until you change the perspective...



Source: Google Maps street view

The block of buildings on the left side of the street is the only continuous block of buildings that survived. All of the buildings on the right from the original photo were taken out to widen Michigan Avenue. This is all about a quarter mile from Detroit's most famous abandoned structure, the train station.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 3:36 PM
McBane McBane is offline
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Great thread! The Houston pics are unbelievable even if it were Detroit or elsewhere in the Rust Belt. That its in the Sun Belt is even more amazing.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 4:57 PM
TarHeelJ TarHeelJ is offline
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I guess this thread is for posting "bad" urban tranformations...so here is one of Atlanta showing the southeast side of downtown that is now known as the government district:

1943


2008


http://atlantatimemachine.com/downto...er_rooftop.htm

Last edited by TarHeelJ; Apr 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 5:45 PM
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Minato Ku Minato Ku is online now
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Paris

Rue Valette (5th arrondissement) Quartier Latin
1960

Picture by Charles W. Cushman



Gentrification is easy to guess.
The decading building on the corner was replaced.

Last edited by Minato Ku; Apr 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:02 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBane View Post
Great thread! The Houston pics are unbelievable even if it were Detroit or elsewhere in the Rust Belt. That its in the Sun Belt is even more amazing.
Sun Belt land development policies seem every bit as bad as the Rust Belt, if not worse. I'd be surprised if there aren't more images like that in the coming years as that region starts to mature.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:05 PM
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What a great thread!!
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:09 PM
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llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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That area off Jensen is really a wasteland. It's a couple blocks between a freeway and a rail line. Eventually an extension of the Hardy Toll Road will plow through there as well, not much to loose at this point so why not.

But I'd rather have desegregation and the assimilation of minorities in the suburbs even if some nostalgic old main streets that you can guarantee would have bit the dust anyway a few years later were lost

Last edited by llamaorama; Apr 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:33 PM
summersm343 summersm343 is offline
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Some good, more inspiring Urban Transformation

This is the South of South or Graduate Hospital neighborhood in South Philadelphia just south of Center City.

2004

http://nakedphilly.com/graduate-hosp...penter-street/

A shot from Googlemaps just a short time ago


Some development in the area

http://nakedphilly.com/wp-content/up...64-560x420.jpg


http://nakedphilly.com/wp-content/up...65-560x420.jpg


http://nakedphilly.com/wp-content/up...68-560x420.jpg

The change in this area is astounding... there is a lot of this type of change happening in others areas of the city as well such as Francisville, Callowhill, Spring Arts (West Poplar), Kensington and Northern Liberties in Lower North Philly

Here is another

21st and Pine in Center City

Date Unknown

http://philly.curbed.com/index.php?page=8

Today

Last edited by summersm343; Apr 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM.
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 7:06 PM
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/kinoram...7623412752062/



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Clorox is amazing stuff...
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 7:24 AM
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I really like the old DC street front on that one.
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 9:21 AM
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Someone mentioned Sunbelt cities?

Phoenix, Arizona 1950


http://archive.library.nau.edu/u?/cpa,17934

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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Love the Philly transformation shots. Better than cream cheese on a bagel.
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 1:15 PM
Insoluble Insoluble is offline
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You all may enjoy perusing the blogs of Brian Hsu. They have a trove of before and after comparisons just like these with historical descriptions underneath.

Brian Goes to Town is mostly images from Philadelphia with some other cities mixed in. He ended it a couple of years ago after moving out of town.

His new blog Urban Diachrony does the same thing for Los Angeles.

WARNING: This site is a good way to waste five or six hours without realizing it.

An example: market street west of 11th
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 1:36 PM
mr1138 mr1138 is offline
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Denver's Larimer Street circa 1960


"Larimer Square" Today


Both photos from http://www.denverhistorytours.blogspot.com
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