Jun 25, 2017

Medicine Hat, Alberta Then & Now: Part 1

It's fascinating to look at the evolution of a community over the span of a century, especially when that community is your hometown of Medicine Hat, Alberta. I've explored comparison photography before through my ghosting series, however there's something far more direct about trying to match up exact shots for side by side "then & now" examination. 

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now ImagesWhat buildings have survived, how has the city grown, when was that built, and are there any hidden clues revealed by comparing? I love how looking at these images actually leads to more questions about the how, why, and when behind things changing. The history of this prairie city is still very young, and while it's easy to be nostalgic or sentimental about what's been lost, I also see these images as proof of the many ways this community has flourished. 

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1886 & 2017 - Downtown View

The archival image is of Medicine Hat in 1886, only 3 years after the railroad arrived and the settlement was officially founded. Notice the CPR Bridge is only single track in 1886, but was eventually upgraded to a double track as it looks today (however it's mostly obscured by trees from the same view in 2017). You can see a glimpse of Finlay Bridge in 2017 as well, but in 1886 it was still 22 years away from being built.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images

1906 & 2017 - Train Station

You can't really tell from this archival image, but the train station is actually half the size as it is in the modern image. It was doubled in size (by twinning the look of the station) in 1912.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1910s & 2017 - 2nd Street

On the left side of the archival image you'll notice Medicine Hat's old city hall and post office, which have since been replaced by BATUS Park and the Bank of Montreal. You can also see the Beveridge Block near the centre of both images. On the right, the Bank of Commerce was obscured by trees, but is still standing today.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1917 & 2017 - Corner of 1st Street and 6th Avenue.

This is the modern day location of Medicine Hat's City Hall, however a century ago it was where the Medicine Hat News and Empress Theatre stood.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1912 & 2017 - River View

The wider modern day shot showcases not only how much the city has grown over a century, but also how many trees were planted.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1920s & 2017 - Five Roses Flour Mill

The archival image shows the Five Roses Flour Mill after its largest expansion. The warehouse was downsized in the 1970s when the location was renovated into an inn and restaurant.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1912 & 2017 - Train Station

Separated by 105 years, the archival image shows the train station just after it was expanded that year. I like how even the trucks are in the same spot in this image.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images
1946 & 2017 - Intersection of 3rd Street and 6th Avenue.

The archival image is of the South Alberta Regiment returning from Europe after WWII. Despite a few changes, the intersection is still easily recognizable in both images.

Medicine Hat Alberta Then Now Images

1950 & 2017 - Assiniboia Inn

Prior to being renovated into the Assiniboia Hotel / Inn, the archival image shows what the Hooper-Huckvale Block looked like in 1950. Today, despite the hotel having been closed for years, the old neon sign and early 1950s exterior remain.

1 comment :

heywatchthis!! said...

Great pictures. Thanks for the memories. :)