Project Madrid: Old and New

In the constructions of cities, in particular European cities, an interested observer can see the framework and shapes of history.  In the context of photography, objects and scenes – a patch of sidewalk or the façade of a restaurant, or a landscape – can hold a meaning often so complex that it is lost by most who walk past. The hardened faces of Madrileños in the early 1900´s, the tragic scenes of the Spanish Civil War, horses and carriages trotting past what is now a bustling metropolis. For me, a particular joy of Madrid is the ease with which one can see how things looked 50 or more years ago, often simply by looking up. Much of the preservation is intentional conservation, as Madrid has mastered the mix of modernity and antiquity and has wisely invested heavily in its historical heritage. Also, much owes its existence to the often excruciatingly slow pace of change and renewal. One should resist complaining about the reasons for cultural preservation, but one should not resist contemplating  them. Some of the Spain´s cultural history involves pain and suffering and would just as soon be forgotten by many, and other histories are held on with every fiber of a families´ effort and being. Sometimes the comparison of the site of an old photograph to the present day gloriously shows the progress of mankind and our ability to improve our quality of life, and other times scenes of the past reveal a simpler and more beautiful, possibly innocent, age of novelty. History is recorderd, sometimes covered up and rewritten, and culture and tradition morph and die, to the dismay of the old and to the ambivalence of the young.  But there is hope that we will always have our buildings and their stories.

Photos to be added…

casa mingo
Casa Mingo, 1935
photo (1)


la foto (3)
Puerta del Sol



In front of the restaurant Lhardy, Carrera de San Jerónimo. 1940
La Fuente del Neptuno, 1940´s
la foto 4 (1)
Plaza Mayor, Guerra Civil
la foto 1 (2)


la foto 5
Plaza Mayor, 1930´s
la foto 2 (2)
la foto (4)
Palacio del Congreso de los Diputados
la foto 3 (2)

2 thoughts on “Project Madrid: Old and New

  1. Very cool to see Casa Mingo & La Mallorquina as they once were. I always loved the Guerra Civil photo exhibit at the Reina Sofia, but what you’ve done here, juxtaposing them with current-day photos, really adds a nice context.

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