Photo exhibit compares OKC buildings 'Then and Now'

A new exhibit at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library puts Oklahoma City architecture in a nostalgic and sometimes somberly realistic "before and after" spotlight.

The "Then and Now" exhibit displays 50 photographs, comparing historical downtown landmarks and buildings from the Metropolitan Library System's archives with new photos taken at the same angle.

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of August in the atrium of the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.

Local photographer Dennis Church spent six months researching the project, sometimes taking multiple trips to get the mimicked photos just right.

"About a year or so ago, I came across a Web site where someone had taken old photos of New York City and retook them with a modern-day version," Church said in a press release. "I thought that the comparisons were fascinating. I started thinking about a similar project locally."

The exhibit also serves as a historical essay, illustrating the architectural growth and loss in Central Oklahoma. Church said more often than not, the buildings he searched for no longer exist.

"I often remind people that Oklahoma is only about 100 years old," he said. "Much of our architecture was literally built overnight and sadly, not built to last. While I believe that growth and change is necessary, it seems that we did a disservice to our past by not preserving it."

For more information, call 231-8650.

"?Lauren Hopkins

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