That Time We Matched Fred Herzog’s Iconic Photo Locations to the Present Day…

Celebrated local photographer Fred Herzog passed away earlier this week at the age of 88. He is best known for capturing Vancouver street scenes in vibrant colour during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

For this edition of our #ThrowbackThursday series we go back to exactly five summers ago to a happy week spent with one of my sons (who is now a young man) as we tracked down the exact locations of some of Fred Herzog’s most famous photographs. Our goal was to try and stand where he stood and take the same photos for a Then vs Now series of our own.

From my notes in August, 2014:

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…

Here are some of the side-by-sides we put together with gratitude for Herzog’s talent…

The southeast corner of Hastings & Columbia
Save On Meats on Hastings Street
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 is the northwest corner of Hastings and Main, looking westwards down Hastings
On Granville just south of Robson, looking south
Corner of Robson and Granville, looking south.
Granville and Georgia, looking south.
Pender just east of Carrall in Chinatown, looking east.
1037 Robson Street (between Burrard & Thurlow). Wow!
369 Powell St. just off Oppenheimer Park.

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