Friday, January 6, 2012

Castleberry Hill 1989 / 2012

This is an old factory building in the Castleberry Hill area of Atlanta as seen from the Peters St. bridge. Top photo was taken in January 1989 and the bottom one was taken January 2012. This former factory was built in 1914 and has been converted to lofts. Not a whole lot has changed between these two shots other than the size of the trees. Off in the distance on the right side, the old Omni Coliseum has been replaced by Philips Arena.



January 5, 2012: The kids had returned to school from Christmas break, my wife was at work and the weather was beautiful. Alone again. Just like the old days. I looked out the window and, for the first time in over 16 years, decided it would be fun to grab my camera, drive downtown and just wander around like I used to do when I was 20. I grabbed a few old photos and set out to retrace the steps of that long haired kid in the 1966 MG.

So I ended up here in Castleberry Hill, an old industrial neighborhood that looks much like it did when I was a train obsessed kid in the 1970s. We used to drive through here on the way to the skating rink at the Omni every weekend or on the way to one of mom's marathon shopping trips to the downtown Rich's department store that once stood a few blocks away. For the most part, this area of Atlanta still looks pretty cool, with the slightly unsettling vibe of an industrial wasteland even though most of the old buildings are now lofts or galleries.

I took the top photo from the Peters St. bridge in January 1989. As I stood in the exact same spot 23 years later, my digital shutter clicks were accompanied by the sounds of a homeless guy playing flute on the opposite side of the bridge. Surreal.

The next photo shows a different view of the same scene taken in 1935 from the Southern Railway building (which is also still standing). This came from the Southern Railway Historical Association.




This 1961 aerial photo of downtown Atlanta is from the Atlanta History Center. These buildings can be seen at far left.




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