History Through Photographs of Capitol Hill

Chanslor Lyon Auto Building
‘Re-photograph’ of Intersection of 12th Ave. and Union Street, Seattle

For such a young city, Seattle revels in its history—neighborhoods celebrate their past, historical buildings are preserved in debate-filled public exchanges between developer and citizen, individuals trace their family and community history through genealogy and archival research. Everybody seems to have a strong sense of the past—their own, and the city’s.

Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s older neighborhoods, is especially rich in well-used historical buildings, and in community activists whose work reminds us of how important the past is in establishing our sense of how our lives can best be lived in the present. Capitol Hill Library is presenting a public program from one who exemplifies that historical sense brought into the present—Rob Ketcherside is a popular blogger and local historian whose articles on streets, intersections and local institutions skillfully combine the past and present of Capitol Hill. Through interpreted photographs he calls ‘re-photographs’, he builds mélanges of images from long ago, updated with superimposed people, traffic, activity from the present. These images are enhanced by his cleverly written ponderings about social change and economic growth and decline in our community. Whether his focus is the regrading of Capitol Hill streets, construction over 100 years ago of a still-extant building, and the establishments that have used it in the intervening years, or skyline changes as Capitol Hill has grown and changed, the older pictures enhanced with modern activity present a strange, vivid image that is compelling, almost frightening—where did those lives go? Rob suggests answers to some of those questions while raising still more.

Learn more at the Capitol Hill Branch: Thursday, October 25 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

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