Struggling Against the Snow

Victoria Square, Montreal, February 1970. Photos courtesy Le présent du passé.

Posted in: Canada, History by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Struggling Against the Snow , , , , , ,

La rue Charlotte, à l’ombre de la Main

Rongeurs attendant la fin: rue Charlotte, Montréal Alors que j’arpente les rues étroites et organiques de la cité coloniale, au sud du quartier latin, je me surprend à escalader lentement la douce pente de la basse-ville jusqu’au tragique Boulevard René-Lévesque – horrible et bruyant – que je trouve en pleine transformation. Tout près, des dizaines […]

Notre-Dame and Griffintown: 1930-2010

Notre Dame St West, circa 1930-2010 What happened here ? This used to be the north end of Griffintown, right next to the business center of Montreal. À Montréal, au cours des années 1950 et 1960, notamment suite au rapport Dozois, on identifie des dizaines de quartiers qualifiés d’insalubres, vus comme irrécupérables, et où les […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, History by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Notre-Dame and Griffintown: 1930-2010 , , , ,

Portraits of a Changing Paris

Boulevard Exelmans at Rue Chanez, XVIe Arrondisement, 1905-2008 Contemporary photos by Laurent David Ruamps Chat up a critic of historic preservation and the conversation may turn, sooner or later, toward Paris. What the French capital’s historic center has retained in fin-de-siècle flourish, s/he might claim, it lacks in the dynamism that fuels the growth of […]

Posted in: Architecture, Europe, History by Christopher Szabla 2 Comments , , ,

Modernism Debauched

Villa Besnus in 1922 and 2010. Photo compilation by Laurent David Ruamps In 1922, Le Corbusier was hired by a man named George Besnus to build a new house in the Paris suburb of Vaucresson. It was the architect’s first chance to put the Purist ideals he had been toying with to practice: an architecture […]

Ghosts of Occupied Amsterdam

Amsterdam civilians were machine-gunned by soon-to-be-retreating German soldiers when they formed a large crowd to await the city’s liberation in 1945. Here the dead and injured haunt modern Dam Square. Amsterdam’s Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse lives history. The company for which she works as a historical consultant, Historisch Adviesbureau 30-45, specializes in digging up archival material […]

Time Travel With Nick DeWolf

Penn Station, New York, 1958 Three years ago, people were still complaining that photo-sharing websites like Flickr were home mostly to “thousands of pieces of shit” — few good photos, endless amounts of clichéd snapshots that nobody really wants to see. Since then, of course, Flickr has proven its worth by attracting plenty of good, […]

Life Under the Landing Gear

The approach to Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak Airport was notorious: planes that swooped down toward its runways passed so close to the rooftops of Kowloon City that they practically risked tangling their landing gear in laundry lines. Nearly thirty years ago, life on Neptune Road, hard by Logan Airport in East Boston, wasn’t quite […]

Grace and Gracelessness

I often groan while looking at then-and-now photos, since the “now” is usually so bland and graceless compared to the “then.” This new compilation by Guillaume St-Jean, which depicts the corner of Sherbrooke Street and St-Laurent in Montreal, leaves me rather more dumbfounded. How on earth did that end up looking like this?

Hong Kong’s Disappearing Shophouses

Johnston Road, Wan Chai. Photo compilation by Lee Chi-man When Philip Kenny wanders around Hong Kong, taking photos for his blog on local heritage, one type of building always catches his interest: Chinese shophouses. “They are a reminder of what Hong Kong used to be like — a bit old and rickety, perhaps, but vastly […]

Backstreets of Ginza

In Ginza, it seems almost as if Japan tucks its true self out of view. Sure, the row of colorful, vertical signs advertising the largely upscale shops and services along the district’s main drags echo similar scenes all over the country, but the façades (and often stores) they’re attached to are too cold and modern […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, History by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Backstreets of Ginza , , , ,

Rush Hour in London, 1970 and Today

[youtube][/youtube] Bulbous black taxis and double-decker buses might supply London’s most recognizable transport iconography, but Britain, where the railroad was born, has long been a nation defined by trains. A look at two videos of London’s rail station at rush hour confirms the country’s undying regard for rail. The crowds pulsating through Waterloo Station in […]

When the Streets Were Swept by Hand

In most cities of the developed world, mechanical street sweepers are a fact of life. Even New York’s carless commuters are fluent in strategies to use on “alternate-side parking days,” when the scheduled passing of a street sweeper forces all of a block’s parked cars to one side of the street. It’s easy to forget […]

Gentrification: Y2K to Today

2000 2009 Change is a constant in most cities, and it’s no surprise that a decade can yield dramatic alterations to a specific street or even storefront. Take this slice of San Francisco’s Mission Street, photographed by Eric Fischer, creator of the locals v. tourists photography maps, which he captured in 2000 and again just […]

Posted in: Heritage and Preservation, History, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Gentrification: Y2K to Today , , , , ,