Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday's Faces from the Past: Alamo Cenotaph and Woolworth Building, San Antonio, Texas, ABT 1944 and 2014

When I found the picture just below among many belonging to my mother, I immediately knew where it was taken, and I wanted to try to create a "Dear Photograph"-style image, where you (as their website says) “Take a picture of a picture from the past, in the present.”

I knew I'd be going to San Antonio for a convention this month, and I knew that convention would not be far from the site of the original photograph, taken about 1944, according to another photo taken at the nearby Alamo, where my mother and aunt are wearing the same clothing and Mom's age is written on the back.

Gerrie, Jo Ann, and Charles Guokas III in front of the Alamo Cenotaph, San Antonio, Texas, ABT 1944
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the original photograph with me on my trip.  Nevertheless, I walked over to the Alamo one evening after my convention ended, and took a number of photographs like the one below:

Alamo Cenotaph and old Woolworth Building in the background, San Antonio, Texas, April 9, 2014
I then found the image I could most closely match to the 1944 picture, and with the magic of Microsoft Paint, I created the image you see at the beginning of this post.

The Alamo Cenotaph was rather new in the 1944 photo - it had been completed in 1939 and was funded in 1936 by the Texas Centennial Commission to honor those who died at the Battle of the Alamo.  Apparently its other name is The Spirit of Sacrifice, but I have never heard it called that. That second link has some interesting information about the sculpting of the monument by Pompeo Coppini, who has a number of other well-known works in Texas.  You'll notice that in 2014, the Cenotaph looks pretty much the same as it did in 1944.  The plantings and grass around its base in the 1944 photo have been removed and stone put in instead, probably for easier maintenance and water conservation.

The building in the background is the F. W. Woolworth Co. building which, except for the signs with its name, and different tenants, looks pretty much the same in 2014 as it did in 1944 and in 1921, when it opened at this location.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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