Austin, Texas 1973-2006

33 years ago my parents came to Austin for three months because my dad needed to take an english course before going to the University of Michigan to obtain his Masters. Back then photography was one of his hobbies and I remember growing up watching several times the slides of the pictures he took in those two years they spent in the United States.

Back in 2001 when I knew I was going to move to Austin, I remember looking back at the pictures from Austin, but since I’ve never been here before, the pictures were not that interesting.

A few months ago, while having a conversation with my friend Justin who also loves photography, I mentioned the pictures my dad took in Austin 33 years ago and Justin told me that he would like to see the pictures. So a few weeks later when my mom asked me if I wanted someting special for my birthday I told her that if she could scan and send me the pictures that would be a great present.

She then scanned the slides and sent me around 100 pictures from Austin. I was a bit dissapointed because most of the pictures were from the important buildings in Austin like the State Capitol, the University of Texas campus, the Saint Edwards campus, and those buildings haven’t changed much in 33 years. But I did found find 3 pictures that showed parts of the city that I recognized and that have changed a lot.

One saturday I uploaded the three pictures to my camera and headed downtown where the pictures were taken. My goal was to find the same spots where my dad took those pictures 33 years ago and take the same pictures.

The first location was Congress Avenue and 10th St. facing south. It wasn’t very difficult to find the exact location, but I was having trouble to take the picture from the same spot. It seemed that my dad took the picture standing in the middle of Congress Ave. so I had to wait for the pedestrian light to be green to take it. I took several pictures to then choose the best one.

The second location seemed to be Guadalupe St. and MLK (18th St.) but I couldn’t find the same buildings and I gave up on that one.

The third picture was also from Guadalupe and 24th St. facing north. It seemed that my dad had better zooming in his camera because the pictures I took look more distant. I also had to use the pedestrian green light to take the pictures from the middle of Guadalupe.

Enough talking: here are the results of my little experiment.

Photograph: Congress Ave. and 10th St.

Video: Congress Ave. and 10th St.

Photograph: Guadalupe St. and 24th St.

Please leave your comments about the pictures. Do you think they would make a cool poster?

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4 responses to “Austin, Texas 1973-2006”

  1. “…But I did found…”

    But I did find
    But I did find
    But I did find
    But I did find

    The angles are a little off, but this looks fantastic. Are there more?

  2. Mi amor, me encanta la comparacion. Aunque algunos edificios aun existen y pudiste identificarlos claramente hay bastante cambio con las nuevas construcciones. Ademas, recuerdo la fuerte impresion que me hizo en aquella epoca la contaminacion visual especialmente en la calle Guadalupe. Habia una saturacion tremenda de avisos lo cual no veo en tu foto actual. Que buen trabajo hiciste con las fotos. Lastima que no hay mas. Pienso que de pronto en la Universidad si hay muchas construcciones nuevas y se deben ver los cambios.

  3. Me parece muy bacana la comparación entre las dos épocas. En realidad yo seleccioné las fotos pero luego mi papá seleccionó más a partir de mi selección para que yo no tuviera que escaniar tantas (si, YO las escanié todas, como le quitan a uno el crédito de fácil carajo!) así­ que puedo mirar si descartamos alguna otra que esté interesante.