Before and After, Hollywood, Photos, Vintage

Photos: Then & Now

Well, I hope everyone’s new year is off to a bang! I’m currently in the process of doing some heavy lifting design-wise in the category of vintage and retro WordPress theme. I have no idea what I’ll do with them, I may auction them off or have a giveaway — more on that story as it develops!

I meant to post this before Christmas but the holidays got away from me, and now that Yule is over and I have a few minutes, I thought I’d get my butt in gear and show off something pretty neat. I know most of us in the vintage and retro biz have seen this great photo of Mary Pickford giving Hollywood Boulevard a Christmas makeover…

Hollywood megastar Mary Pickford symbolically changes Hollywood Blvd's sign to Santa Claus Lane -- And looks fabulous while doing it!
Hollywood megastar Mary Pickford symbolically changes Hollywood Blvd’s sign to Santa Claus Lane — And looks fabulous while doing it!

But I thought I’d take it a step further and see if I could find that exact spot on Google Maps since I thought, for sure, that I recognized at least some of that building in the background. Of course, it took me a good twenty minutes to realize that the Orange Drive sign was in the shot! Here’s what I came up with: 1706 N Orange Drive where it intersects Hollywood.

Is that black street sign on the corner the very same Mary is fixing up? It looks like it, to me, but please correct me if I’m wrong about this – does anyone know for sure? Although, all the image above does is make me wish that Hollywood looked the way it did in it’s gilded era. Oh well, we still have the pictures!

Well, Hollywood’s all fine and good, but what about the town I live in today? As luck would have it my friend Logan sent me this great postcard scan he found (according to him, it’s from 1912 — My house was already a couple of years old!) just off Polk street in the town square looking North towards the water tower which was still under construction. That water tower was only torn down in the last decade or so (it was still standing for most of my life here in Albany) and replaced with a new one:

Polke Street in 1912

And, as luck would have it, I just so happen to live in Albany and took a snapshot of the same spot as best as I could find the location:

Polk Street 2013
Almost 100 years exactly after the postcard was sent, Albany looks about as charming as a hairball.

I have a mighty need to track down more old photographs of Albany and take photos of what it looks like now. There are a few places in Albany that are still lovely, but very few — all of which are spots forgotten by time. It’s about time I go on a hunt — Wish me monsters!

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