Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ryland Street in 1976

If you've got to say one thing for progress around here, it's pretty hard to find undeveloped dirt lots around San Jose these days. Case in point:
E. O. Gibson's 1976 photo of the Freedom Train in San Jose. It's billed as "sitting on display at the site of SP's former San Pedro St. [freight] station", though it might be better billed as "sitting on the site of several old packing houses on the north side of the old yard after they'd bulldozed everything interesting away." The street in the background is Ryland St., and Google Maps shows that the warehouses and little houses are still there. The dirt field is now condos, and Abinante and Nola's plant on Ryland St. was located about where that British bus is parked.

But those houses along the street have cleaned up nicely in the intervening years, at least as seen from Street View.

Just try finding that much undeveloped dirt around San Jose today. It's hard to believe that this pre-1930 photo would have been taken at the same location.

That 1976 photo, by the way, is from one of my favorite railroad sites, the Dome of Foam. Snarky humor, lots of San Jose content, and a serious dose of train order minutiae make it worth an afternoon of reading.

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