HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > City Discussions


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:20 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 553
If you could travel back in time...

…which decade or era in your city’s history would you want to most experience? I started a thread in the Canada section about Canada’s Golden Age and it got me thinking that the” golden age” for each city and region across an enormous country like Canada is going to be different.

In my city of Winnipeg, I would be most interested in traveling back in time to the decade preceding the First World War, at that time we were one of the most economically aggressive, fastest growing cities in North America, growing from a population of 50,000 in 1902, 100,000 in 1906 to 250,000 by 1914. Politicians and business owners really believed we were “it” and looked to Chicago and even New York for inspiration to plan what was anticipated to be a prosperous future. Many of Canada’s first “skyscrapers”, some of the tallest in the British Empire back then, were built during this time and still stand today, being spared demolition a few decades later due to Winnipeg’s slow growth when many other North American cities were “modernizing” and demolishing heritage buildings.

In this same era many of my ancestors first settled in Winnipeg from across the Atlantic, and I imagine myself in their shoes as they stepped out of one of the city’s two grand railway stations for the first time. What did they see, hear, feel…
A young city with an overly optimistic, everything is possible attitude, yet also home to some of the most squalid living conditions in a North American city at that time, the “foreign quarter” north of the CPR railyards. A city so focused on growth and business that the quality of life for many of its citizens was sacrificed in the name of progress.

So back to my question, if you could travel back in time, which era in your city’s history would you most want to experience?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 6:03 PM
MonkeyRonin's Avatar
MonkeyRonin MonkeyRonin is offline
¥ ¥ ¥
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,048
Does it have to be our own city? I guess just for interests' sake I would go back to Toronto of the 1860s or 70s. It's not a particularly well-documented era photographically, and when the city really started booming in the 1880s it (along with the usual fires) wiped out most of the original Georgian city.

There still exist tens of thousands of buildings from the last couple decades of the 19th century but not much left from before, so it'd just be cool to see.



54525255_263636604576570_8035457896089124864_n
by James McGrath, on Flickr
__________________
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:24 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 553
^ It would be like going back in time to Chicago before the fire or Galveston before 1900, one wonders how the urban fabric of those cities might be different today (if much at all) without their disasters.

And no, doesn't have to be your own city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:44 PM
Jonboy1983's Avatar
Jonboy1983 Jonboy1983 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The absolute western-most point of the Philadelphia urbanized area. :)
Posts: 1,698
Pittsburgh in the 1920s or 1930s - to be able to get just about anywhere via street car - oh and to tell the idiot politicians NOT to misappropriate the funds in place for an adequate subway system!!!

I'd say the same thing regarding Philly as well. Imagine Chicago's El system but underground. That was a proposal for Philly I saw a few months back. Instead, we only have the BSL, MFL, and the PATCO line linking Lindenwold, NJ with Center City via the Ben Franklin Bridge.
__________________
Transportation planning, building better communities of tomorrow through superior connections between them today...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 2:25 PM
Steely Dan's Avatar
Steely Dan Steely Dan is offline
devout Pizzatarian
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Lincoln Square, Chicago
Posts: 21,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
^ It would be like going back in time to Chicago before the fire....... one wonders how the urban fabric of those cities might be different today (if much at all) without their disasters.
without the great fire of 1871, chicago would almost certainly be A LOT less "bricky" than it is today.

and yes, it would be fascinating to travel back to pre-fire chicago. it would have been a completely different city, probably unrecognizable to my eyes. my earliest chicago ancestors were german immigrants who arrived here back in the 1850s. their family home was destroyed in the great conflagration. oh to be able to go back in time and have a beer at some ramshackle 19th century saloon with my great-great-great-grandfather.
__________________
He has to go.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 3:22 PM
Darkoshvilli's Avatar
Darkoshvilli Darkoshvilli is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,243
Probably the 60s. Biggest city in Canada, expo 67, tallest building in the british empire built in 62, awarded the 76 olympics etc.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 3:36 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Houston/Galveston
Posts: 1,779
I'd love to just be a fly on the wall in 1960's Houston. Lots of synergy and memorable moments. As a minority, segregation would suck, so I chose fly on the wall.

As an aside, Manhattan in the late 90's would be awesome. It was cool in the Teens when I went 7 years ago but in the 90's would have been better.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 7:21 AM
CaliNative CaliNative is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,267
Chicago, mid to late 1920s:

Get in early on the Big Bull market, and go short stocks before the crash. Date sexy Flappers, dance the Charleston. Visit a night club or speakeasy where a hot jazz band was playing, hear Louis Armstrong play. Drive a Pierce Arrow. Talk to Al Capone, advise him to pay his income taxes and go legit. etc. Watch Babe Ruth hit a home run out of Cominsky when the Yankees visited the White Sox.

Los Angeles, mid to late 1960s:

Visit the Sunset Strip, listen to the Doors play at the Whisky a Go Go. Date hippie girls. Watch Koufax pitch a no hitter. Drive up to S.F. in 1967 for the "summer of love". In 1969, head east to watch Apollo 11 liftoff at the Cape and then up to New York for Woodstock. Watch the "Miracle Mets" win the '69 series.

Last edited by CaliNative; Oct 4, 2019 at 7:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 7:52 AM
d'angelo d'angelo is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 6
Nothing before the 1970s I'm not trying to get killed lmao.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 10:28 AM
muppet's Avatar
muppet muppet is offline
if I sang out of tune
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: London
Posts: 4,775
London at its height just before WWII, its population at 8.7 million and many of its old buildings still extant. All before the evacuation of millions, the destruction of 1/3 of the city
(and 1.3 million made homeless), before the decades of austerity, bulldozing, concrete and suburbanisation in the postwar period.


Back when it was near the density of Paris but over 80% larger an area. For example, all this below -the result of centuries of plundering trade and empire- was flattened in the Blitz:

The Roaring 30s:


Last edited by muppet; Oct 7, 2019 at 7:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 12:46 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
The City
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago region
Posts: 17,635
If I could turn back time, if I could find a way I'd take back those words that hurt you and you'd stay.

Does that answer the OP’s question?
__________________
Eat less
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 1:37 PM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Paidge Beaulieu's Ex-BF
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vieux Canada
Posts: 41,776
Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
If I could turn back time, if I could find a way I'd take back those words that hurt you and you'd stay.
That *was* a memorable music video.
__________________
Got you thinking
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 2:34 PM
LouisianaRush's Avatar
LouisianaRush LouisianaRush is offline
Baltimore
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2,823
Berlin in the 1920's or Buenos Aires in the 1940's
__________________
Geaux Tigers
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 3:47 PM
Centropolis's Avatar
Centropolis Centropolis is offline
crisis actor
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: under the coin of caesar
Posts: 9,834
1950s-1980s california.
__________________
t h e r e is no C h a o s.... . . . only g r e a t E n e r g y
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 10:45 PM
M II A II R II K's Avatar
M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 47,484
Prevent travesties like these:





__________________
ASDFGHJK
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 1:33 AM
SignalHillHiker's Avatar
SignalHillHiker SignalHillHiker is online now
I ♣ Baby Seals
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: See post below...
Posts: 28,255
For St. John's, I would've loved to live in the early 1900s. We were one of the largest cities on the east coast of North America at the time, the core was almost the size that it is today (and that's the only part of the city I've any affection for), our Prime Minister was great, there was an openly gay eccentric the whole city was in love with, we still had trams and trains.

We had zero suburbia. The edge of the city was rowhousing:


Memorial Archives

And a couple of the core from the era from our archives (these views, btw, are 99.9% the same today, just on the horizon there are modern midrises):









Just a QUICK example of similar views today:





Memorial Day by R C, on Flickr



A couple of caveats, though... I'd want to be Catholic, professional class. I've no patience for the Anglican upper class of the time, and definitely don't want to be a Catholic servant or, even worse, a fisherman or sealer. I'd like to be an accountant's kid or something - just high enough to avoid 99.9% of the shit, but not upper class.

Failing that, fuck it, 1930s.

An exciting time - our country collapsed in 1932 and by 1933 we were being ruled directly by London again. One of the only countries in the history of humanity to have legislated itself out of existence. Constant protests, riots, the works. And I would've been one more vote against joining Canada in 1949 - and it was close enough for a few votes to make the difference.

Quote:
In politics, winter and spring are the only seasons we have in Newfoundland and Labrador, too. Summer has never come and we've never hit the beautiful decadence you need for autumn.

Sometimes, though, people get fed up. Like on April 5, 1932, when a downtown parade erupted into a riot that trashed the legislature and nearly killed prime minister Richard Squires.

...

As you can appreciate, 1932 was not a good year for the Dominion of Newfoundland (yes, rest of Canada, Newfoundland didn't actually join this country until 1949). Having barely survived a decade of political chaos and failed get-industrialized-quick schemes fueled by foreign debts in the 1920s, the island now found itself in the doldrums of the Great Depression. Most of the country was tied up in resource exports—fish, forestry, and mining—and as those industries collapsed, the ranks of the unemployed swelled dramatically. The government, buckling under nearly $100 million in debt (roughly $1.7 billion today), was all but powerless to handle the roughly one-third of the country on a six-cents-a-day dole.

The situation wasn't helped by the fact that the Squires government was hilariously corrupt. At the same time as it was trying to retain creditor confidence by slashing as much public spending as possible without actively killing the poor, Squires was pocketing the War Reparations the island was getting from Germany. Another one of his ministers was being paid a salary as 'Immigration Officer' despite the fact that Newfoundland literally had no immigration at the time. This, while growing numbers of unemployed and destitute people were beginning to march in the streets.
(Bolded part is basically where we are again today - we could very soon be the first Canadian province, and probably modern, western jurisdiction, to default on debts and go bankrupt).

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/4...prime-minister
__________________
Note to self: "The plural of anecdote is not evidence."

Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Oct 5, 2019 at 2:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 1:46 AM
Shawn Shawn is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 5,181
For me, 1890s Boston. Childe Hassam’s “At Dusk” Boston:



https://collections.mfa.org/objects/32415
__________________
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
Harlan Ellison
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 2:12 AM
dc_denizen's Avatar
dc_denizen dc_denizen is offline
Selfie-stick vendor
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New York Suburbs
Posts: 6,654
^ good choice
__________________
Joined the bus on the 33rd seat
By the doo-doo room with the reek replete
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 11:27 PM
Centropolis's Avatar
Centropolis Centropolis is offline
crisis actor
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: under the coin of caesar
Posts: 9,834
fine 1970s san francisco

__________________
t h e r e is no C h a o s.... . . . only g r e a t E n e r g y
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 11:28 PM
Centropolis's Avatar
Centropolis Centropolis is offline
crisis actor
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: under the coin of caesar
Posts: 9,834
are you fuckin’ assholes happy? (random onlookers confused)
__________________
t h e r e is no C h a o s.... . . . only g r e a t E n e r g y
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > City Discussions
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:35 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.