Thursday, June 12, 2014

From Erie Canal to Erie Boulevard


A serene view of the canal era in Schenectady. This drawing appeared in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in December 1873, as part of a piece on "The Waterways of New York." 

The area now occupied by Erie Boulevard in Schenectady is just one of the places in the city that, in looking back, the changes wrought by time are very apparent. We've selected a few trios of photographs that showcase the transformation of the Erie Canal from a nineteenth century waterway, to a drained canal under construction into a road, to the busy Erie Boulevard of the mid-20th century. Enjoy these images that show the changes to transportation, commerce, and community life in Schenectady. 

Erie Canal looking north from State Street toward the Liberty Street bridge, ca. 1900. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
In this photo, you can see the drained canal -- from State Street to the Liberty Street bridge -- partially filled in in preparation for the construction of Erie Boulevard. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
The bustling corner of Erie Boulevard and State Street, ca. 1950, looking north toward Liberty Street. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection.  






This image, ca. 1896, shows the Erie Canal looking south from State Street. The road that ran alongside the canal was referred to as Dock Street. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
The drained Erie Canal as it began to be filled in, looking south from State Street. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
Erie Boulevard in 1937, looking south from State Street. The General Electric plant is clearly visible in the distance, and the cars of shoppers are parked in front of local businesses. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 






This undated photograph shows the Erie Canal below State Street, looking north toward the State Street bridge.  Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
The drained Erie Canal, just south of the State Street bridge, as it was being filled in. Image from Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 
This 1950s image shows Erie Boulevard south of State Street, looking north toward State Street. Image from the Grems-Doolittle Library Photograph Collection. 


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