Postcard Recreation Project Reboot

Several years ago Jen suggested that for a photo project, I “recreate” old postcards. I loved the idea and I did it for exactly one postcard. Then did absolutely nothing else. For years. While I was on my vacation, I decided to start that project up again. I think I underestimated how difficult it might actually be to do well. I’m not sure my first (okay second) attempt at is necessarily done well.

In fact, in retrospect, I learned that I need to do a little more research before actually leaving my house and going out there to take the picture, to deliver on what I’m trying to do. For example, one of the pictures that was meant for today’s reveal, I definitely have to do again. I was not far enough west on 8th Street.

My goal is to go about near where the original postcard was taken, approximate the focal length of the original postcard, and then in editing deliver on the spirit of the original style of the postcard. Obviously, none of these will be a perfect recreation. In particular, the exact focal length will definitely be off. However, I think as long as I’m in the ballpark, I will be satisfied.

Postcard No. 2

Story Street from Ninth South Original

Story Street from Ninth South Redux

This picture is looking south down Story Street, from the intersection with 9th Street. The original is more of an illustration than a photo, so I tried to make it look like an illustration in the editing. Making it bright and colorful. Like it probably was originally (I’m guessing) rather than how it has faded over the years.

Postcard No. 3

Story Street, North from Sixth Street

Entrance to McHose Park

This picture postcard is looking north up Story Street from near Sixth Street. I really struggled with this one because I’m guessing this picture is probably from the 1950s. I am surprised by how many of the buildings in the original picture are gone. On that corner of 6th and Story used to house Vogler-Nieman Chevy, Buick and Pontiac. Plus a Champlin Oil. There was also a small building that sold popcorn there was well.

Here is a look at a couple old photos from a Boone News Republican article by Ed Mondt of that intersection:



If a guy wasn’t going to open a donut shop in his spare time, he could do worse than bringing back the popcorn shack.

Postcard No. 4

Entrance to McHose Park

Entrance to McHose Park Redux

This postcard is a picture of the entrance to McHose Park. Not much has really changed much. There is a stop sign now. The road has been paved. There is a new McHose Park sign. The park was closed at the time I took the picture because of derecho damage. In the editing, I put a slight sepia tone to try to match the original.

I think I’m going to try to do these in sets of 3. The next set of 3 will probably involve the Boone Biblical College, Ledges State Park, and the location of Boone’s old post office.

3 thoughts on “Postcard Recreation Project Reboot”

  1. Love this project. Gives a sense of history for the town and progress/changes over the years. Plus the photography and effects you pick are interesting with your insights.

  2. This is wonderful, and you are doing such a great job of recreating the style.

    ISU would be fascinating.

  3. Joe,

    Thanks! Downtown Boone has changed more than I suspected over the years. Doing some research, there is an amazing amount of downtown businesses that have burned down over the years. A postcard coming up in the future looks east down 8th Street. It was harder for me to pick out the location than I thought because I thought there really should be the Holst Hotel in it. But doing some research, the postcard had to have been made in the year between when the hotel in that spot burned down and the Holst Hotel was built. Which would have been 1907. Of course, the Holst Hotel has been gone for nearly 40 years now. But I’ll get more in depth with that, when I “recreate” the Holst Hotel postcard.

    Another one I really struggled with was the Boone Biblical College. There isn’t nearly enough on the history of it out there, but it took me sometime to figure out the building in the postcard has been torn down a long time ago. But even more difficult, to figure out where it was and how it was oriented. I’m going to have a similar struggle with the Boone Hospital.

    Another thing, I have to wait for the horrible Trump mural to go down before I even consider photographing parts of downtown Boone.


    ISU would be fascinating. Probably easier to do as well as many of the buildings at Iowa State haven’t changed in 100 years, so it would be easier to establish existing landmarks in the pictures.

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