Molly Poremski (Digital Collections Librarian at UB) has now mapped over 100 of the city’s most notable houses and landmarks. What’s even more impressive is the user’s interactive ability* to visually scroll back and forth between a house as it appears today and as it stood a hundred years ago*. “When I could, I was able to place to image into Google Street View,” said Molly. “So the old picture is superimposed over the current streetscape. There’s a fader on top of the picture that lets you see before and after, as it were.”
Two things that I noted while testing the site out this morning were that some of Google’s present day images of the houses are obscured by trees, making it tough to see the changes over the years. Other instances show architecturally depressing disasters, such as the loss at 522 Delaware Avenue (see below), and at 1243 Delaware Avenue (lead image).
When the house in question is not obscured by trees, and is indeed still standing, then it’s interesting to note the architectural changes that have taken place over time. Unfortunately a lot of ornamental detail is missing from myriad houses.
Thankfully, Molly has also added basic genealogical history of each of the houses so that we can put some of the names to the places. Although a bit depressing at times, this Beautiful Buffalo Homes interactive ‘HistoryPin’ project is a real treasure trove of before and afters, which puts the viewer in the architectural driver’s seat.
Digital collection: Beautiful Buffalo Homes made by University at Buffalo Libraries
Digital collection of the 1915 book, “Beautiful Buffalo Homes” – see here.
Featuring homes from the City of Buffalo, with a few in East Aurora, Williamsville and Snyder
*The homes with the Google Street View function have the yellow Google maps person