Saturday, July 24, 2010

Used To Be...

Today's post was inspired by Tony's and Alan's Sepia Saturday posts (no, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon; I really don't have a collection of old photos to show off). Tony's been scanning slides of old buildings no longer there in Halifax, and Alan found the park featured in an antique postcard and took his own pictures of the place, antiquing them to match the postcard. Since I don't have any pictures of places that don't exist any more, I decided to shoot some places that used to be something else way back when. Well, in one case the building is up for sale and soon will no longer be used for what it was built for (that is, if somebody buys it). And then I played with them in Photoshop to make them look somewhat aged.

The first place I thought of was the old Masonic Temple at School and Church Streets. It's now used as an apartment house and it really needs some serious working on; there are boarded up windows and it really needs painting. But some of the signs of being a Masonic temple are still there - the square central "tower", the round windows in the flanking gables, and the pillars at the front entrance. In colonial days and through the 19th Century there were a lot of Masons in Newport, but the movement isn't what it once was and interest is dying out; I'm sure there are other temples which have suffered the same fate.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist on Touro St. is up for sale; has been for over a year now. There's no longer a functioning Christian Science congregation here; no new blood and all the ancient members of the congregation have been dying without being replaced. I gather this is a world-wide phenomenon in this particular denomination. Anyhow, if you have $725,000 USD to spare, come to Newport!

I also got shots of a former synagogue now used as a school by one of the more virulent new religious right churches on Center St., and a former fire station converted to residences on Young St., but I couldn't get those shots to work. And there are a bunch of old churches , some fairly historic, now used as residences which I'll do a separate post about some day. But for today I'll leave you with this shot of this old trestle which is part of what used to be the old Walnut St. Bridge over the railroad tracks; Walnut St. no longer goes all the way through to Farewell St. because they built America's Cup Blvd. in the '70s and cut the street off so that now it ends at the trestle.

© 2010 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. Nice Photoshopping, Roy..they do look a bit aged! Some photoshop software is on my wishlist! :)

    I'm glad you included the pic of the trestle...I would have never guessed what that was. Very interesting...and now it's a dead end of sorts!

  2. Nope, sorry, can't spare $725,000! :)

    Nice trilogy here.

  3. Roy.These are some mighty buildings+structures.
    It's interesting how they evolve over time.
    I find it rather satisfying to hear about a Railway returning to Nature...............

  4. You've captured the feel, Roy. The next time you get up to Boston, take your camera to the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy. You'll be shooting all day.

  5. $750,000 doesn't sound that much for the Church frankly, could be converted into quite the 'stately' home by the right person.

  6. Good shots & good photoshopping--they have the look of old black & white postcards--I have a bunch from Vermont & New Hampshire & these definitely have that feel. The bridge photo is truly amazing.

  7. Wow! The church here looks akin to the Spencer MA. town hall ( but more steps there... )If'n I had the cash ( and then some ), I'd convert it to a veteran's home ;)