Old vs. New: Exploring the History of Philadelphia
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 2 MINUTES
Back in my days as an editorial intern at Campus Philly, I took part in a Center City food tour for an article I needed to write. After stops at DiBruno Bros. and Naked Chocolate Cafe, the tour guide stopped us in the middle of the sidewalk and told us to look up. Little did I know that some of the most interesting architecture in the city is right above our heads, in the places we choose not to even acknowledge as we rush to work or where ever we’re headed.
I’ve always been endlessly fascinated by historical photographs that show me exactly what once stood in a familiar place. Yesterday at work I came across a bookmarked link from last summer titled Old Scenes of Philadelphia (click to view), which led me to spend a few hours browsing the online photo archives of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
I’ve had this idea for a few years where I want to collect a bunch of iconic photos of politicians, head down to DC and recreate each shot but with me taking the place of the subject (wearing a blazer, of course). Sounds kind of pompous but whatever. I don’t know why, but I just think it’s so cool that I can stand in the same place where someone or something significant had once been, and it’s just passed over by thousands everyday due to ignorance.
Since I’m in Philadelphia pretty much everyday, I’ve decided to start my own photo mission to shoot current-day comparisons of what used to be. My first attempt is my own workplace at 1613 Spruce Street. The window above the door all the way to the right is the one I’m looking out from as I type this. Turns out there used to be an air conditioner here when the original photo was taken in 1969. Take a look below (boo your 500 pixel limit, Tumblr!) or click here to visit my Flickr account for a better view.
Check back for more of these — I have a feeling it’s going to be a very addicting project for me. And a big thank you to @EmilyBallas for her quick Photoshop work!