With great thanks to reader G. for passing this along, I can report that the newly released Google Earth 5.0
(beta, of course) now includes an option to page back through older satellite photos. As you might imagine, I raced to see what they had for Near Southeast, and found a not-razor-sharp 1949 image, which you can see on my Near Southeast Satellite Photos page
if you don't have Google Earth.
You might enjoy the "Where's Waldo?" test of looking for buildings you recognize, such as the Southeastern Bus Garage
, the WASA
buildings, and even that big brick warehouse at South Capitol and O
that was demolished to make way for the ballpark. Things that *aren't* there: the Southeast Freeway (built in the 1960s), the second span of the 11th Street Bridges
, a completed Douglass Bridge
, and many of the Capper buildings that came in the 1950s. You'll also see how packed with buildings the Navy Yard
was, especially since this was still during the time that its boundaries stretched all the way to First Street (across what is now The Yards
). And look at how, north of Virginia Avenue, Garfield Park was bisected by Second Street.
The other image offerings from Near Southeast are mostly variants on the ones I already have on my satellite photos
page that came from non-Google sources over the years (1988, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007), though there are a few extras from the later years where the quality of the image isn't all that good.
UPDATE: Commenter MJM rightly reminds me of a fact that an American History major such as myself should have remembered: Sputnik was the first *satellite*, launched in 1957. So these overhead images from 1949 are not satellite images, but were taken from planes. Or they attached a camera to Superman and had him fly around the globe a few times.