Matching Fred Herzog’s Iconic Photographs To The Present

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by Andrew Morrison | As a summer project, my eldest son James and I have been walking around the city with a copy of Fred Herzog Photographs (Douglas & McIntyre, 2011) and trying to shoot the exact locations where the master framed up his most iconic shots. It’s a book that we both love because a lot of the pictures were taken really close to our house in Strathcona and all around the Downtown Eastside. Because of our familiarity with the territory, most of the locations have been easy to pick out. Others are proving far more difficult because much of what was once there is no more. Truly, working on this has really brought home how dramatic the changes to this city have been over the last 50-60 years. And yet, in some places, it’s uncanny how it has remained largely the same. There’s plenty of summer left and a lot more Herzog haunts to explore, so expect the gallery below – complete with higher resolution side-by-sides and descriptive captions – to expand.

  • The southeast corner of Hastings & Columbia
    The southeast corner of Hastings & Columbia
  • Save On Meats on Hastings Street
    Save On Meats on Hastings Street
  • Main & Alexander (long before the arrival of the building that now houses Deacon's Corner)
    Main & Alexander (long before the arrival of the building that now houses Deacon's Corner)
  • This shot at Main & Union clearly depicts the 1947 Murrin Substation, so it was pretty easy to frame up.
    This shot at Main & Union clearly depicts the 1947 Murrin Substation, so it was pretty easy to frame up.
  • This is the northwest corner of Hastings and Main, looking westwards down Hastings
    This is the northwest corner of Hastings and Main, looking westwards down Hastings
  • On Granville just south of Robson, looking south
    On Granville just south of Robson, looking south
  • Corner of Robson and Granville, looking south
    Corner of Robson and Granville, looking south
  • Granville and Georgia
    Granville and Georgia
  • Pender just east of Carrall in Chinatown, looking east
    Pender just east of Carrall in Chinatown, looking east
  • 1037 Robson Street. Wow!
    1037 Robson Street. Wow!
  • 369 Powell St. just off Oppenheimer Park
    369 Powell St. just off Oppenheimer Park

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

There are 13 comments

  1. great job so far Andrew…
    there is no doubt you have a good eye for detail.
    a few of the locations require a suspension of disbelief.
    looking forward to more.

  2. The Hastings and Columbia picture is telling. Transformed from an accessible neighbourhood to a food desert. Speaks to a lot that’s lacking about contemporary conveniences.

  3. Love this, especially the Robson St. photo with contrasting family shots. The neon colours certainly pop.

  4. Your Lux and White Lunch photo is not paired correctly. The modern day photo is of the vacant lot on the south side of Hastings between Carroll and Abbott (across from Save-On-Meats) where the San Francisco Trading Post used to be. The Lux Theatre was actually located just west of Columbia on the north side of Hastings (between Columbia and Carroll) and is now home to an SRO called The Lux.

  5. The Dodson is actually still there, just a couple buildings west of the new Lux. If you want to check you’ll see that you incorrectly paired your Lux image.

  6. Maybe just me but a lot of these don’t seem to share the same aspect as Herzog’s. Obviously had his book on hand to compare…it might have made the new photos more recognizable had they held the exact same heading and aspect.
    Nice work all the same.

  7. Pictures 6 & 7 – this is the corner of Granville and Smithe looking south on Granville. In #6’s before pic, the person took the photo several stores north of the corner on the northeast side looking south. In #6’s after photo, the person took the shot standing in front of the Starbucks on the southeast corner right at the intersection. Hope that helps. Cheers!

  8. Awesome idea! I love Herzog’s photos especially the one of Foot of Main St and your photos are brilliant too.

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