Early 20th Century Photographs - Then and Now
On the left is the photo labeled "Brooklyn Post Office - 1906." The
real item of interest is the Alcazar Theater on the left in this photo. Apparently this
theater was called this for only two years, 1905 and 1906, and its former street
address can be found by doing a google search. It has since been torn
down, but with the street address, it's possible to find the same location and vantage
point today on Google Street View. This is on the right. The items
that match up in the two photos are circled in yellow below in the second row of
photos. The theater was mostly known as the Columbia Theater and was at the corner of Washington
and Tillary Streets in Brooklyn. It was razed in 1919 to make room for the expansion of the
main Brooklyn post office.
On the left is the photo labeled "Jacksonville Forsyth Street - 1910." The Shamrock Hotel in the left foreground is the key in placing this photo as what its exact address was can be
found with a google search. On the right is the same scene today, and, in the two photos below these, I've circled what might be similar landmarks in the two photos. The Shamrock Hotel
was on Forsyth Street between Laura and Main Streets in Jacksonville. The view is to the east.
On the left is the photo labeled "Memphis Main Street North of Gayoso Avenue - 1910." On the right is the same view in 2011. No landmarks to circle here as there doesn't appear to
be anything left from the 1910 photo although there are still streetcar tracks.
On the left is the photo labeled "Montgomery Alabama - Dexter Avenue at the Capitol - 1906," and on the right is a similar vantage point in 2013. The 1906 photo was from much higher angle,
so it is not possible to get the exact same look from google street view, but there's enough to identify the same landmarks as circled in the two photos below these. Note that even the
grillwork in the fencing around the fountain is the same in both photos. Also, the first building on the left in both photos appears to be of similar architectural style. Perhaps the new
building was meant to look like the one it replaced when it was built. The view is to the east.
On the left is the photo labeled "Broadway at the New York Times - 1915," and on the right is the same view in 2011. The photos below these show the Broadway Theater circled, and I presume
the Broadway Theater is still in the same location, but I'm not 100% sure. There are no other landmarks to match up.
On the left is the photo labeled "New York City - 5th Avenue at W 51st Street - 1913," and on the right is the same view in 2011. With the "W 51st St" street sign visible in the
1913 photo, and with the fact that the east-west streets in New York City change from east to west at 5th Avenue, we can determine exactly where this photo was taken and in what direction.
With West 51st to the left, the photo is to the north from this intersection. With no recognizable landmarks between the two photos, I have nothing circled.
On the left is the photo labeled "New York City - Jefferson Market Courthouse - 1905," and on the right is the same building in 2013. No need to circle anything here as this
building is very distinctive in appearance. It's now known as the Jefferson Market Library and is at 425 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue). The elevated train in the 1905 photo ran
along Sixth Avenue and is obviously no longer there. That's Christopher Street heading straight away, and the view is to the southwest.
On the left is the photo labeled "New York City - Public Library - 1915," and on the right is the same building from the same angle in 2011. The trees in front obscure the view
in the 2011 photo, but as can be seen in the two photos below these, the angled feature of the building on the right side of the photos and the two lions by the main entrance on the left
side of the photos match up nicely. That's West 42nd Street angling off to the right and 5th Avenue angling off to the left. The view is to the southwest.
On the left is the photo labeled "New York City - Wall Street - 1911," and on the right is the same view in 2011. I could see no landmarks to match up, and the only thing that suggests
that the 2011 view is the same as the 1911 view is the angling to the left of the street at it stretches into the distance. The view is from the corner of Wall and Water Streets and is looking
On the left is the photo labeled "Philadelphia - Broad Street north of Spruce Street - 1911," and on the right is approximately the same view in 2011. Given the
intersection in the name of the photo, it was easy to find the same view on google maps. However, it turned out that to get the size of the church in the background to be about the
same in both photos, I had to move several blocks up Broad Street from Spruce, so the 1911 photo might be more accurately titled "Philadelphia - Broad Street from several blocks north of Spruce Street."
On the left is the photo labeled "Cincinnati - Walnut Street - 1910," and on the right is the nearly the same view in 2011. The key in finding the exact location
of this photo is the small horizontal sign sticking out from the building on the right in the 1910 photo. I've circled it in red in the left photo below these two. If you zoom in on the photo
a bit, you can read the sign, and it says "Gibson." It turns out that this is the Gibson Hotel, a famous-but-now-gone hotel on Walnut Street between East 4th and East 5th Streets
in downtown Cincinnati. The hotel was on the west side of the street, so the view is to the south, and the cross street that you can just barely see in the 1910 photo is East 5th.
In the 2011 photo, it is very easy to see that the building on the left side of the intersection is the same
as in the 1910 photo. Note the architecture. I circled it in both photos, but there
almost no need to.
On the left is the photo labeled "Cincinnati - Size of Government - 1905." That's kind of an odd title for a photo and of no help in determining its location. However, there
are several landmark buildings in the photo that can be used. Just about in the center in the distance is a building with a sign that says "The Mabley and Carew..." and you can't
read the rest of it. But that's enough because it turns out that this is the
Mabley and Carew Department Store which was founded in Cincinnati in 1877 and was located at 66 5th Street
(now 66 West 5th Street) across from what is now Fountain Square. That's 5th Street in the foreground with the streetcars on it, and just this side of the Mabley and Carew building
and not really visible is the cross street, which is Vine Street. There are no recognizable landmarks in the 2013 photo except for the fact that 5th street widens out just the same in
both photos. I've circled the Mabley and Carew building in the 1905 photo, and, in the 2013 photo, I've circled the building which stands at that location now. Fittingly enough,
it's another department store--Macy's. The building stands on the
northwest corner of West 5th and Vine, and the view is to the northwest.
In the left foreground of the 1905 photo is sign that says "Peebles."
This was the location of the Joseph R. Peebles' Sons Co. grocery store, another
Cincinnati landmark now gone.