Sunday, June 17, 2012

Foshay Tower

For Postmark'dArt trade themed "Cityscape" I want to do something with the Foshay Tower, built in 1929 and back then was the tallest building in the Mid-west.
In the early 60's when my Mom moved "to the Cities" (as said by the people who live in Minnesota but don't live in the cities) she said it was still the tallest building, and it was until the IDS tower was built in 1972. Today it's crowded in by taller buildings.

I thought I could find a picture of a postcard of the Foshay from the 1930's and print it on the fabric and then an identical picture from now on a sheer and over lay it.  I've run into stumbling blocks every since that thought!
First I found all sorts of pictures online. Printed them out. Sorted them by copyrighted and no-identification copyright. I'm not too worried about the copyright of a 70 year old postcard but of the copyright of the person who put it on the web (if you ask they often give permission).
Most angles were from high up. And although I know I'm not too shy to go into buildings asking if I can obtain a shot, I knew an angle from the ground would be easiest for me to figure out. The 'ugliest' postcard picture of the lot was from the ground and from 1971. I found 2 buildings in it that are still existing. I bet that only about 10% of the buildings from the 30's still exist today. Mpls and St Paul are called the Twin Cities, but St Paul has retained her historic buildings and Mpls has torn hers down.

So a couple weeks ago, while still having the dream of obtaining my self-proclaimed May 31 deadline, I went downtown to at least obtain the 'ugly' postcard picture.  I brought the paper copy of the picture I had printed and went to see what I could do.
After seeing I was at the exact right spot but I wasn't going to get the same shot because of my camera lens (see how the building above is leaning?), I tore away the sky so I could hold the image up and see how off it was...I'm sure people thought I was nuts standing on the corner concentrating intensely on tearing a piece of paper.
So I was excited after this, not having a complete plan, but at least having some 'parts' to put together.
I bought the postcard image online.
I printed the postcard image on fabric and then fused that to the peltex. I drew all the lines of the buildings on and then stitched over the outlines of the buildings. Because I drew it on, each one is a little different.

In the original postcard there are several other things that are the same.  While standing there taking photos a bus drove by in the same place as the bus in the picture.  The dark brown lamp posts are the same even though the light fixtures changed.  At first I was disappointed that the one way sign was gone, because it still is a one way street.  But then I saw the sign sitting on the ground against the traffic signal lamp pole.  It is beat up but I don't think it's 40 years old.
It was a fun process and I want to do the same for some other structures in downtown Minneapolis, but on a larger scale.
Maybe some day!

From the observation deck in 2006:  Isaac

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