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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kodiak Pan from 1949

Here is an interesting panoramic view of Kodiak from Near Island taken in 1949. I liked it enough to pay the 25 dollar 'non-profit online exhibition use fee'. I've never done that before! This is the same image that is framed and on the wall at the Baranov Museum. Alice Ryser, the Baranov archivist, helped me track it down. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas owns the image, and it appears they are pretty protective of it. If you are interested in your own copy call them at 512 471 3057 and ask for Debbie Smith. The image is from the Goldbeck collection and is the 'bird's eye view of Kodiak' (the particular image is 'Goldbeck 81419491').

Looking at the photo you realize how much the 1964 Earthquake and the subsequent urban 'renewal' changed Kodiak. I think it is unfortunate that the earthquake occurred in the 1960s just when America was in the process of destroying small towns and all the quaint neighborhoods in our big cities. I happen to believe the architecture of the late 1960s and 1970s is a low point. Since the late 1980s I think American city planners have gotten a lot better. We now try to restore waterfronts and neighborhoods. Think Camden Yards ballbark, the North End in Boston, the waterfront in Pittsburg etc. Patrick

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