Old Album, Number Four

This is the fourth album of my little collection of photos, arranged in more or less chronological order. A selection, that appears to be mostly from 1966, shows me wandering all over the place.

First up, a forgotten brick building beside Cogswell Street at the base of Citadel Hill. It was part of a nineteenth-century British military compound that sprawled down to Brunswick Street. When the photo was taken the building was lifeless, but even a barbed wire-topped fence could not contain the surrounding wildness.

This shot of the same building is from a later moment when the site was being leveled, probably for the Centennial Pool.

A view down Carmichael Street shows gaps that had opened up in this part of town, as buildings were demolished with no plans for the future. On the left is where the Metro Centre would be built about 15 years later. To the right is a remnant of a monumental Italianate Style fire station. By this time it was associated with the motor trade.

I was fascinated with the idea of living in this tiny brick building at the top of Prince Street. Imagine what it could be inside, with exposed brick and some sections of floor removed to open up the space: a dreamy urban loft with giant floor pillows and long pine dining table. Never mind that it sat in a wasteland of billboards and parking lots.

Times change. This is what that site looks like today. I don’t know what to tell you.

There were many industrial buildings, that I don’t remember well, on the Metro Centre site. This was one.

Back in the day, I thought that parking meter was the subject. Future me would have leaned over the fence to get a good photo of that brick building, present day location of the Stubborn Goat Gastropub. In the foreground is a long-forgotten gas station on Grafton Street.

Here I’ve climbed up several levels in the Tex-Park multi story carpark (now a long vacant lot), to take a photo of Hollis Street. Another downtown view that had not changed since the 1930s, but it soon would.

Many of my early photos were composed with fences and trees and parking meters in the foreground because I thought that made a better photo. I was wrong. Here is an example shot through the brace of an old flagpole support (perhaps) in Point Pleasant Park. The vessel is Cristoforo Colombo, a liner that regularly brought passengers from Europe to enter Canada at Pier 21.

The other side.

And venturing to the other side of the peninsula, here is Saint Agnes church at the corner of Mumford and Chebucto. It was only about a year old in 1966 and looked particularly crisp in the sunlight. I’ve always liked the clock tower. Even after 55 years, it is not too late to add some delightful landscape design.

Further down Mumford I found an old tree-lined path pointing at Eaton’s, in the Halifax Shopping Centre across the road. This allée was associated with an institutional building that had been on the site.

And very close to home, a couple of shots from my bedroom window of backyards on Chestnut Street. This was a time before expansive decks and outdoor living. Lots of good fences though.

Bridgetown

We had a family cottage right in the centre of Bridgetown, near the western end of the Annapolis Valley. The community was served by two rail lines. The Southwestern crossed from Bridgewater to Middleton, and terminated in Bridgetown.  As children we were sent off along its rails to pick blueberries in an old pasture.

A precise brick house with a stable, and old apple tree in bloom. The header of this post is a detail of this image.

My father and I would regularly go over the North Mountain for walks on the Fundy Shore. A favourite ramble was beside a waterfalled stream down to hidden Saint Croix Cove. Before falling asleep at night I’d imagine a dream house, a glass pavilion perched about this cove.

Postscript

  • In the summer of 1966, after taking most of these pictures, I had a job excavating on Signal Hill in St. John’s NFLD. There is an old blog post about those adventures. Here I am on the left waiting for a ride in a Mountie plane to take pictures of our archaeological site. 
  • Remember the picture of Cristoforo Colombo sailing into port? After passengers were dropped off at Pier 21 the vessel sailed on to New York. For $35.00, Haligonians could get a cabin for the last two nights of the journey. In April 1968 I took that trip, and here I am lounging on a damp deck.

Old Album, Number One
Old Album, Number Two
Old Album, Number Three
Old Album, Number Five
Old Album, Number Six
Old Album, Number Seven

About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.

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