Where is she?
September 5, 2010 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify the where this old photo was taken.


I found this faded sepia photo, approximately 2" x 3", inside a copy of On Some of Life's Ideals by William James that appears to date from around the turn of the century. I bought the book at Half Price in Dallas. On the back of the photo are a machine-printed "209" and a handwritten "Guess who?". Thanks.
posted by erikgrande to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total)
It looks a LOT like the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Back in the day, there used to be a pond in front of it instead of streets and parking. There's no iconic dome on top, though, which suggests it's not the MSI, but it sure looks like it. Maybe it's from a less-known angle.
posted by phunniemee at 12:46 PM on September 5, 2010

Well son of a bitch, looks like there's still a pond there--it's just in the back! I've been there approximately ten billion times and had never noticed!
posted by phunniemee at 12:50 PM on September 5, 2010

Postcard museum has other shots of the Museum. It seems that the dome has always been there, since 1893.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:55 PM on September 5, 2010

Response by poster: phunniemee is right that the buildings look very much alike, but I don't know how to reconcile the lack of a dome with Ideefixe's images. I sent an email to the museum asking if there was any period when the dome wasn't there. Could it have been taken during the building's construction (1893)?
posted by erikgrande at 1:08 PM on September 5, 2010

The MSI also has columns across the entire building while the postcard does not, and the grassy area in front of the building looks much larger than what's there at the MSI.
posted by sanko at 1:10 PM on September 5, 2010

If it helps, the outfit dates c.1928-1930.
posted by antiquated at 1:13 PM on September 5, 2010

I suspect most every city has a building that could pass for that. My first thought was that it looked like the view of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo as seen from the other side of Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park.

If it helps any, I'd say this was probably taken in the very late-1920s judging by her hem length and hat. Probably taken with an early Kodak Brownie camera or something similar, since it has more of a snapshot quality than a staged photo.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:16 PM on September 5, 2010

In phuniemee's favor, I don't recall the back of the MSI having pillars all across the facade as in the front.

Assuming it was the MSI, the lady would be sitting on the SW side of the pond the dome could easily be hidden by the trees or just the horizon of the building itself.

But I think the shore is too far away for it to be the MSI.
posted by Max Power at 1:22 PM on September 5, 2010

Response by poster: I can't find quite the right shot of Albright Knox, but it appears to be a bit more column-y than the one in the photo: http://hclay.com/mediac/450_0/media/Albright.jpg. But it does seem to have the right amount of room between the building and the water. Thanks for all the help so far.
posted by erikgrande at 1:33 PM on September 5, 2010

It really looks to me like the back side of the Albright-Knox art gallery in Buffalo NY. This classical building also backs up on a man-made pond with a curving bank called Hoyt Lake, seen here. If you look closely at the right side of the building in your photo, it looks very much like the copy of the ancient Greek 'Porch of Maidens' that is found on the back of the AK. But, the columns that are found across the back of the AK are also not present in your photo, so this may not be the one.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:38 PM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sorry, didn't preview.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:39 PM on September 5, 2010

Best answer: Looks similar to the Cleveland Museum of Art. They both have the same columns and they both have a fountain in the front. The museum was built in 1918.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:39 PM on September 5, 2010

Here are more old pictures: 1 2
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:53 PM on September 5, 2010

Response by poster: That looks like a winner. Thanks, MaryDellamorte!
posted by erikgrande at 3:04 PM on September 5, 2010

Yep, she's sitting in front of the lagoon. Here's a picture from a similar angle before the lagoon was put in. You can see the style of the lagoon edging here. Here's the bench.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:05 PM on September 5, 2010

« Older Can I display my stuffed animals as a grown up?   |   mySql query assistance, please! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.