Then and now
August 23, 2007 4:12 PM   Subscribe

San Jose, CA - then & now - a decent collection of old photos, matched up with recent photos taken from the same vantage point. An interesting look at how things have changed around here. (Found in a reddit comment earlier today)
posted by drstein (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a fondness for then and now photos. Here's San Francisco Earthquake, then and now.
posted by vacapinta at 4:26 PM on August 23, 2007

Very cool, most of the pics are from my old neighborhood. The circle of palms is the former location of the state capitol.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:28 PM on August 23, 2007

I think that one of the most noticeable changes is the number of trees.

Aside from the obvious buildings, I guess.
posted by vernondalhart at 4:41 PM on August 23, 2007

I still remember passing through orchards to get to Marriott's Great America, way back in the day...
posted by shino-boy at 4:50 PM on August 23, 2007

This is about the only instance of this "then and now" phenomenon I've seen where in almost all the pictures, it actually appears better off today. The coolest buildings are still there, but there seems to have been a nice revitalization around them.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:41 PM on August 23, 2007

Cool stuff drstein. I like that they show the Caravan then and now, I think it started life as a dive bar and has stuck firmly to it's roots.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:44 PM on August 23, 2007

Similarly from taz.
posted by peacay at 5:49 PM on August 23, 2007

These have a good Back to the Future feel to them, moreso than the Toronto pictures from a few weeks ago.
posted by Sreiny at 7:21 PM on August 23, 2007

The DeAnza hotel is a gorgeous old building with some of the nicest rooms I've been in. I'd actually rather stay there than the Fairmont.

I think that one of the most noticeable changes is the number of trees.

Pretty awesome how there are so many more trees now. SJ has actually taken care of their downtown. And the new library is really nice.

This is where at least some of the dot-com money went.
posted by Potsy at 7:22 PM on August 23, 2007

Trees. You could be forgiven for mistaking it for Portland Oregon now.
posted by marvin at 7:24 PM on August 23, 2007

Thanks drstein. It's got me thinking...

I own a 1918 and a 1936 San Jose State Yearbook (I'm an alum). I think I should scan some of pages and post them here.

And I thought I was the only one that noticed the trees.
posted by MissNefertiti at 7:51 PM on August 23, 2007

The Nadir of San Jose downtown was probably in the 70s and 80s, and it's only really recovered in the last 8 years or so. So much of that construction was in that time period. I used to walk through downtown every work day for about 3 years, I would get solicited by drug dealers and prostitutes around 2001, but by 2004 I wouldn't see any of that.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:58 PM on August 23, 2007

Maybe someday Google's street view will include a "Time Machine" feature where you can see the view from any time as well.
posted by Poagao at 1:20 AM on August 24, 2007

I just spent a week in San Jose at a conference. I stayed at the Howard Johnson, which was not featured in any pictures, sadly. It wasn't exactly the most exciting conference location ever, but the trees were lovely and (as others have said) it has obviously had a wonderful past couple of decades for redevelopment. As a conference goer, it was cool to see the empty land that now contains the Convention Center.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:40 AM on August 24, 2007

I grew up in Cupertino and, from 1989-1992 I was a City Planner for San Josey. We could have done worse.

Thanx for the link. Bittersweet memories and appreciation all wrapped up in one MeFi post.

posted by humboldt32 at 8:32 AM on August 24, 2007

"Maybe someday Google's street view will include a "Time Machine" feature where you can see the view from any time as well."

I think that would actually be an amazing project. take photos every year and see how things change. Kind of like the California Coastline project.
posted by drstein at 10:05 AM on August 24, 2007

Downtown San Jose is a treasure trove of beautiful victorian homes. Some have been restored and the result is some very charming neighborhoods, Naglee park for instance. Others are still trapped in the nadir BrotherCaine mentioned. In particular, the area just south of 280 bordered by the freeway, coyote creek park, first street, and spartan stadium has some beautiful unrestored homes, but is hurt by some tragic mixed use zoning. There's a gorgeous house sitting right next to a autobody shop on 3rd, iirc. The other big thing holding back downtown's livability potential is the lack of shopping, particularly groceries. There are some small mercados, but since the Albertsons on Santa Clara closed, there isn't a whole lot nearby.

I see so much potential in downtown, and hopefully once there is a sanity check in growth at the outskirts of the bay area, focus will change back into the city centers.
posted by Andrew Brinton at 11:27 AM on August 24, 2007

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