Then and Now Photography Blog

Then & Now: La Crosse, Wisconsin - Pearl Street 1939 & 2015

Then & Now: La Crosse, Wisconsin - Pearl Street

Years: 1939 & 2015

Span: 76 Years

Then & Now: Chicago, IL - State Street View (Marshall Fields, Macy's, Chicago Theater)

Then & Now: Chicago, IL - State Street View (Marshall Fields, Macy's, Chicago Theater)

Years: 1930 & 2015

This is a Then & Now view of State Street in Chicago, Illinois.  This view is known around the world as one of the most iconic locations in Chicago.  

All images are copyright and trademark of Then & Now Art.  

Then & Now: Chicago, Illinois - Lake Shore Drive

Then & Now: Chicago, Illinois - Lake Shore Drive

Years: 1905 / 2014

In the early 1900s Lake Shore Drive was extremely close to the waters edge of Lake Michigan, as seen here in Lincoln Park, circa 1905. Chicago would end up extending itself eastward with landfill in a counterattack on Lake Michigan's persistent erosion of the shoreline.

"Both a boulevard and one of the nation's first superhighways, Lake Shore Drive arguably showcases Chicago like no other street does. The campaign for a waterfront boulevard occurred in 1899, when Potter Palmer asked for a street improvement in front of his mansion at 1350 N Lake Shore Drive. The Tribune reported, "Mr. Palmer said he would not object to putting a sea wall farther out into the lake and having a strip of land filled."

City fathers considered that newly created acreage ripe for development, but not Montgomery Ward, the merchandising genius who created the mail-order industry. A contemporary of Palmer's, he fought numerous lawsuits to keep the lakefront "forever open, clear and free."The result is a Lake Shore Drive flanked by beaches, parks and athletic fields, instead of the warehouses, piers and industries that line the waterfronts of other Great Lakes cities, such as Milwaukee and Cleveland." - Chicago Tribune

Hull Court Entrance - University of Chicago, Illinois

Years: Early 1900's & 2014

Original Photographer: Behm, Hans; 8x10 Glass Plate Negative

Walking onto the campus of The University of Chicago, Illinois - I certainly did not anticipate the scope, complexity, and amount of detail that the Chicago campus had to offer those that appreciate architecture.  Immediately upon walking up - I was fixated on the intricate carved motif's lining the archway of the entrance.  Such quality work, to stand up to well over 100 years of natural and unnatural elements!  I felt like I had just stepped into Hogwarts, and my head naturally turned to a swivel, as there were so many structures with similar style of architecture.  I knew that his would be a fun series (The University of Chicago, Illinois Series) - with all the intricate design, it would prove to be another challenge to blend.  

This first one is the entrance to this remarkable campus - the timing in which we timed the new people coming through the entrance - turned out to be a critical element in the final photograph.  The man on the far left is actually split between two men, one walking in the same exact spot that he was walking in back in the 1900's, as you can see the bottom half is fading into his blue jeans!

Then & Now: Las Vegas, NV - Fremont Street (1949 / 2014)

As you can see, the original photograph was taken at about 20 odd feet in the air - so that was the dilemma I ran into - how do i get up that high to reproduce this photograph?  Well it just so happens that the scaffolding that holds the light projectors (for the light show on Fremont's archway) was exactly in the perfect couldn't have worked out more perfectly!  However this scaffolding was blocked off by a number of barriers.  After some consideration, I decided to just go for it, and illegally scale this scaffolding without any security seeing me - and sure enough, I only needed a few minutes, and it worked out great!

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Milwaukee Public Library

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Milwaukee Public Library

Years: 1898 / 2013

A view across Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue) of the Milwaukee Public Library.  To the left, the base of the Midsummer Festival Monument can be seen, and the George Washington monument is visible on the far right.  

Original Photograph: Harry E. Dankoler

Then & Now: Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theater

Then & Now: Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theater

Years: 1906 / 2013

View from street of The Pabst Theater and main entrance on corner of Wells and Water Streets.

"The Camera as a Window into The Past" by Claire Morgan

The Camera as a Window into The Past
Looking at a photo that blends a modern scene with a picture taken from exactly the same spot many decades ago is a strange experience. When we see these two scenes entangled with one another, we experience first hand two of the most powerful effects of photography: its ability to trigger our own memories and its capacity to record history. We feel as if we are looking back through a window into the past, but we are still tied to the modern world in such a way that history begins to feels alive and very personal. These images prove to us how much photography matters.
Why Taking Photographs Matters
The way in which we see the past and remember our own lives is shaped by photography. Photos matter because they allow us to see important historic moments for ourselves, in a manner that cannot be matched by any historical document or portrait, but they are also important because they provide a means to record and share our own memories. Many of us take our own photos on vacation, to mark special occasions, or simply to capture moments in our everyday lives, but we may not stop to think about why these photos matter so much or why it is so important to use and look after our photographic equipment and preserve our pictures for future generations. The photos we take now will shape the stories and memories we share in the future, as well as providing people in the distant future with the chance to look back through a photographic window into our times.
Photography and Memory
Although photographs are an important part of our understanding of history, their significance does not end with great events and famous figures. Photography can preserve our own family histories and memories, enabling us to recall and share the most important stories of our lives. The photographs we take in our own lives can shape the way we remember events. Many of the memories we have from childhood are influenced by the photographs we have kept, and the stories that people have told around those images. When we recall the past or ask our parents and grandparents about their lives, it is often over an album of photos. The effect can be so strong that it is even possible to make people believe in false memories by showing them faked photographs of a supposed childhood trip in a hot air balloon.
Photography and the Past
Photographs can also provide us with a window on worlds that we cannot experience for ourselves, including those that have disappeared into the past. Photos have become such an important part of the historic record that they make the time before cameras were invented feel far more distant and mysterious to us than the years that we can look back at in photographs. The difference is clear when we see some of the earliest photos of US Presidents and compare the experience to viewing the portraits that are the only surviving images of others. Seeing the real faces of our ancestors, or of important historic figures, can be far more powerful that any portrait or written description. We feel that we are stepping back into the shoes of the photographer who recorded the scene, and seeing the world through their eyes.
Photographs of Then and Now
Photographs have power over our memories and our perceptions of the past, but it is when these two aspects of photography collide that something truly special is created. The effect of images that combine pictures of the same scene then and now stems from the combination of the chance to look back into the past with the emotional resonance of modern photographs that can evoke our own personal memories. When we come across historical photographs in textbooks or museums, their power can be limited by the fact that we view them in a somewhat dry and distanced way. Combining these photographs with modern images taken in the exact same spot awakens the more personal and emotional part of our reaction to photography, by bringing these scenes of the past into direct contact with our modern lives. The effect is strongest when we know the location ourselves, since our own memories of the location will be awakened by the modern picture, heightening our reaction to the historic scene, but even in an unfamiliar place, the effect is striking. Seeing the old and new coexisting alongside one another brings the past alive and enables us to appreciate just how close we are to the black and white faces that we see in the photographs. To see them walking the streets alongside the familiar bustle of modern life is to see them as real people.

By: Claire Morgan

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Solomon Juneau Monument

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Solomon Juneau Monument 

Years: 1940 / 2013

Monument (erected 1887) dedicated to Solomon Juneau at Juneau Park. A an sits on the bench with Lake Michigan behind. 

Brief History:

Solomon Juneau...

Fur Trader. 

Land Speculator. 


"The Founder of Milwaukee"...   

His cousin - Joseph Juneau - also founded the city of Juneau, Alaska!

To read more about this fantastic man - check out this link or one many other articles you can find on google..

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Civil War Monument

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Civil War Monument 

Years: 1920's / 2013 
The Court of Honor, Wisconsin Avenue. The statue, "The Victorious Charge," is in the center, with new traffic on the right. On the left are more buildings going into the distance, with cars and park area. On the statue is inscribed "To Those Who Fought In The War For The Union 1861-1865. Erected 1898."

 Original Photograph by: Murdoch Photographers

Then & Now: Milwaukee - "Muddy Street"

 Then & Now: Milwaukee - "Muddy Street"
Years: 1901/2013

A man tips his hat to a passing woman as horse-drawn carts and pedestrians navigate through the dirt and mud of Milwaukee streets, thereby illustrating that the problem of impassable streets had not been solved, even in Wisconsin's largest city, at the turn of the 20th century.

SE corner of E. Wisconsin Ave. at N. Milwaukee St. facing west. The Wells Building is on the right, 1 block west at SW corner of Wisconsin Ave. and N. Broadway on the left is the Railway Exchange Buildingg, the Pabst Building (NE corner of N. Water St. and E. Wisconsin Ave.) is the tower in the distance on the right (no longer there). In the distant center of the photo is the former Gimbels Department Store block on the east side of the Milwaukee River. (Using post-1930 street names.)

Original Photograph by: Robert J Taylor

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Michigan Street Bridge

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Michigan Street Bridge

Seen in the foreground you can see several men at work, constructing the Michigan Street Bridge that crosses the Milwaukee River from the east bank to the west bank.  In the background you can see a number of bypass walkways and bridges that have since been constructed.  

Years: 1905 / 2013

Original Photographer: Robert J. Taylor 

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Wisconsin Avenue Bridge

Then & Now: Milwaukee - Wisconsin Avenue Bridge
Years: 1928/2013
An open drawbridge with a boat crossing below. The First National Bank is in the background.  

Original Photograph by: Murdoch Photographers

Then & Now: Downtown Milwaukee

Downtown Milwaukee - Then & Now

Years: 1915/2013
Looking south on the Milwaukee River from Wells Street. 
Landmarks left to right: Manufacturers Home Building, First National Bank, and the Pabst Building. Caption on glass plate reads, "View S. from Oneida St. Bridge".

Original Photograph by: Joseph Brown

Then & Now: City Hall Building in Downtown Milwaukee, WI

Then & Now of Downtown Milwaukee, WI; featuring the City Hall.  

Years: 1936 / 2013

View from bridge of City Hall at North Water, North Market, and East Wells Streets, and East Kilbourn Avenue.

Original Photograph by: Harold N Hone

Then & Now: Wausau East High School in Wausau, Wisconsin

Are you a graduate of Wausau East High School?  Maybe you live in the new apartments.  Anyway you look, if you're connected to Wausau, chances are you are familiar with Wausau East.  This is a Then & Now of Wausau East from 1955 and 2013.

Downtown Wausau: Day to Night; Summer 2013

Downtown Wausau: Day to Night; Summer 2013
This is a project commissioned by Compass Properties to capture the life and essence of Downtown Wausau's typical Summer Day.  
As you can see, the right side is from the morning - and fades slowly into night to the left side of the frame.  

Lincoln Monument from Bascom Hall Portico Arch

Original Photographer: Melvin E. Diemer

Years: 1911/2013

Lincoln Monument on Bascom Hill from Arch of Bascom Hall (formerly Main Hall) on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.  The city of Madison is in the distance.  At this time the Wisconsin State Capitol dome was under construction, which is just above the left tree line.  Someone can be seen below, mowing the lawn - along side a horse.    

be sure to check out or main website at !!

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Red Gym/Armory


Years: 1899/2013

Original Photograph: by Annie Sievers Schildhauer: Domestic Life Photographs; 1893-1899


Around the time of the construction of the building, anti-capitalist civil insurrections had occurred in a number of cities in the United States; Leaders in many cities saw the need for local armories to be prepared for worker strikes and uprisings. Thus, when funding the building, the Wisconsin legislature clearly saw its use by local militia.  The architects, Conover and Porter, designed it with a dual purpose in mind: armory and gymnasium. Modifications were made to the plans when a new university president, Charles Adams, insisted that the second floor be capable of accommodating large assemblies.  Construction began in fall, 1892 and was completed in September, 1894.

Then & Now Art Gallery is NOW OPEN!

Come check out our Then & Now Art Gallery.  Take a few minutes to gaze, and let the artwork take you on a journey through time....

Washington Square
300 3rd Street Suite 107
Wausau, WI

Painting Recreation as Photograph

Photographic Recreation of the 19th century painting:

"Take the Fair Face of Woman" by Sophie Anderson.

Attention Then & Now Art Fans!

COMING SOON - [Then & Now Art Gallery] - COMING SOON

We have some very exciting news!  Coming this JULY we are opening an official Then & Now Art Gallery in historic downtown Wausau's Washing Square Mall! :)

Our Gallery is a warm and inviting atmosphere for people of all ages!  Take time to view historic artwork in our relaxing gallery - and come away with an appreciation of our Wisconsin history!

Wall art prints, puzzles, mugs and a variety of other merchandise will be available of your favorite Then & Now artwork!

715.514.9052 / 715.514.7866

Twenty Sixth: Rib Mountain Ski Chalet - Years: 1939/2012

New Then & Now ... Rib Mountain Ski Chalet!! 

(now known as Granite Peak) 

Rib Mountain was first open to skiers in 1937...however the chalet as we all know it - was built in 1939. 

This is a Then & Now view of what it once had and now does look like. 

Years: 1939 / 2012

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Custom Digital Work

Recent custom commissioned digital project I just finished for a client.  Removed pinwheel and re-built hand and shirt cuff.

Website Launched!

Check out our complete website at: !!
Then and Now Photography