Project Blog

What you’ll find here is simply a long page of project updates from my personal ventures around the city to try and photograph postcards. Additionally, from time to time I’ll share my own research into why some of these sites have changed–using newspaper clippings, city plans and Sanborn maps.


I set out this morning to try and correct my mistakes yesterday at the Compton Heights water tower. I think I managed to get it right this time–you be the judge.

The key on the top image is getting the shot to include the fork in the path as well as the hill on the right *I know, I’m being inane*. The second image is more important to get right, because the postcard (below) also features the fountain. I kept finding my picture cut off right before the fountain–finally after a couple minutes I was able to include the curvature of the path and the fountain.

It’s not perfect but I’m satisfied.

I also walked over to Tower Grove Park and took a few photos including the Lindell ruins, Humboldt Statue. I’m not sure why I didn’t take a picture of the Columbus statue, but maybe you folks can.

There’s a few things that stick out here. First, in the postcard it appears there are three different fountains in the basin, whereas today there’s only one. Moreover the fountain that is there today doesn’t appear to have the height as depicted in the postcard above–it could be the artist’s fault though. Yeah, it’s probably his fault.


The next one is a different view of the ruins, and I tried my best to get the shot–unfortunately, as I remarked on twitter, to get it perfect I think I’d have to wade into the basin. It was 84 degrees, maybe if it was a little warmer.




So I took a shot at doing this myself today and I came up a little short–which is a good lesson for folks looking to participate. Make sure to have the postcards you are trying to photograph handy (save them to your phone or print them out).

I visited Compton Heights Reservoir and came up mere feet short on two beautiful postcards, check it out below:

As you’ll see below, I came about 10-15 feet too close to¬†duplicating this postcard perfectly, I should have photographed at the fork in the path (the one behind me, not in front of me) Also, you’ll note how sparse the landscaping is around the water tower today compared to the postcard! I noticed a couple vandalized items in the park and a couple spots where it was apparent landscaping once sat–these are the things you’ll start to pick up on once you look more closely at these old postcards.

Also maybe don’t let the dog get in your shot.

*Update* Upon study of an old park photograph, it appears the pathway that I should have stood at has been altered over time. I was still wrong, but even so, it’ll be much trickier to get the right shot.

Here again, you’ll notice I goofed up. It’s basically the correct shot, except I took the photograph looking Northwest, the postcard is facing Northeast. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal–except, it is. A good reminder that you should have your postcard handy so that you don’t make a special trip and goof up!