Alameda

in the San Francisco east bay

Alameda, just through the Webster tube from Oakland, is an old-fashioned town. It's 25 MPH everywhere. What really captures your eye is that there are a lot of old Victorian houses that have survived many years. I found a website that contained a lot of great old post cards of Alameda and on August 25, 2012, my friends Steve and Marlene drove me around town finding the locations of the old photos. We noticed right away that most of the photos from the old days were taken from the middle of the street. The method we adopted was for Steve to find the exact spot the photographer had stood in so many years before and hoist his camera while I held up a printed image of the old photo and attempted to keep cars from running him down. It was the least I could do.

WEBSTER STREET

WebsterSt
Webster now
In the 1950s if you drove down Webster St from the tube, you'd pass by Toddy's, a dry goods store, Longs, a 5-10-15 cent store (remember those?) and Kodies Cafe. It takes a while to find the exact location of the old time shot but by sizing up the tops of the old buildings, the following shot, just north of Haight and Webster appears. Bank of America is long gone fro mthe location as well

 
Webseter Webster Webster
     
This is further down Webster, at the corner of Santa Clara. In the 1940s there was a very regal looking American Trust Bank By the 1970s, American Trust had given way to Wells Fargo. The Victorians on the right had given way to a Sizzler restaurant and had been completely rezoned as commercial. Present day, the old bank is now Trans Pacific Bank.Sizzler has gone the way of the Victorians
 

CENTRAL AVE

 

Central
Central
The above postcard was taken at 1423 Central Avenue on the corner of Benton. Back in the day, when the unknown author was writing the card to Hortense, the buliding was dark and foreboding.
Due to the unfortunate position of the car, we were forced to take the photo from about five feet to the left of the original spot. Now the house is light and foreboding. The windows in the ujpper section are different now and the cool curve over the doorway is gone. Not much else has changed in 100 years!

 

Central Central
Not far down Central from the above shot, at the corner of Paru sat this incredible mansion of house. This postcard is from August 25, 1907. And, 105 years to the day later, as you can see, it hasn't changed a whole lot. The window in the upper section has been expanded and almost nothing else, visibly, is different from that old photo. Trees are the bane of Then and Now enthusiasts and sadly, these trees cover a lot of the old view. What a beautiful old house, and it looks good as new.

 

 

GRAND STREET

Mormon
Mormon now
This is the stoic looking Mormon Chapel on the corner of Grand and Encinal St, many years ago. Today, taken from within inches of the original spot, the building looks exactly the same as it did way back when. The telephone pole has changed and street lights have been installed....and, of course, the trees have grown. Did they not have trees in the old days?



Grand
Grand now
 Before heading over to Alameda, I tried to find most of the locations using Google street view. This one eluded me for quite a while until I finally realized I was on the wrong side of Grand Street. Hopping down to the next block, I was able to find the location.

Did I ever mention that trees are the ruination of many a Then and Now photo. My theory is that, in the old days, people liked to show off their houses while nowadays they would rather they were sort of hidden from view.

The two photos below show the same houses but from different angles so you can get an idea of what they look like.

Grand now
Grand now


 

 

 

 




Sanitarium at Clinton and Willow



Sanitarium
Sanitarium now
Sanitarium now


As soon as I read that there was an old Sanitarium in Alameda I was all in on finding it and reshooting it. The picture on the right (now a hospital)is from the same spot as the original. The one in the middle has been added to show the new wing that was added.


Webster Street
Central and Walnut
Santa Clara Ave
Park Street
The Rockery
Then and Now home




back to alstrand.com
email Dennis