See Washington’s past and present simultaneously

Yahoo!

A fascinating photo project called "Looking Into the Past" is taking place over on Flickr. Jason Powell, who calls himself a cameraist rather than a photographer, takes pictures of present day scenes while holding up a photo of that exact spot from a moment in the location’s history.

One of Powell’s favorites, this image of Thomas Circle show how "just about everything except for the statue and the church spire has changed."

It takes your eyes a few seconds to process the two different scenes taking place. Most of the photos come from the Library of Congress, and the ones chosen for the project tend to highlight buildings around the D.C. area (with some reaches into Virginia and Maryland). The biggest difference is how few cars are in the foreground of the black-and-white pictures.

The composite above shows the old Leader Theater on Ninth Street in Washington. "It makes me very sad," Powell writes. "I want to step into this photograph and go join those folks in line. I want to eat at the Acropolis Cafe. I want to visit the Gayety. And yet, the only thing left from this scene is the red brick building on the left."

Above, two images of Pennsylvania Avenue. "Other than the Willard (the imposing structure on the left – one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington), everything here is gone," Powell writes. "The building that is on the far right in the original photo is the original Washington Post building."

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