last week i traveled to topeka for a meeting. since i had been geeking out over the kansas sesquicentennial all week, i decided to google historic images of topeka to see if i could find anything of interest.
i came across an image of the city, taken by mark kauffman in october of 1946. seeing it was just a few blocks away from my meeting, i decided to head out 30 minutes early and see if i could re-create the shot. viewing the image on my phone i aligned myself and the camera as close to the original shot as i could.
at first glance, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of change the last 65 years, but upon closer inspection, there is. the building in the foreground in '46 is now a parking lot. cars are visible in both, bikes are not. trees have grown and signs have been taken down. the capitol dome is covered up, since it's going under renovation. lastly, you can't tell from the photo, but "the kansan" hotel, which once had an impressive entry way, is now boarded up with a single atm, off centered in the old space.
curious about the photo, i did a quick search on mark kauffman. as it turns out, he was an award winning photographer for life magazine. at 17 he was the youngest photographer to ever shoot a cover. researching a few of his photographs, it's apparent he led a very exciting and talented life. i didn't know him at all before this shot, and i have no idea what he was doing in topeka on that particular day, but i felt a little closer to him knowing i was in the same spot.
will anybody in the year 2076 find my photo, and attempt something similar? probably not, but if they do, lets all hope there's hover boards in the photo.