Monday, January 21, 2013

Flint Postcards: Flint from the Air

Here's a not-so-fun game, can you identify the buildings that are no longer with us?

23 comments:

  1. I see the Sill Building, R.I.P.

    ReplyDelete
  2. IMA Auditorium. Bryant Hotel at 3rd and Saginaw. Elks Building at 2nd and Beach. Michigan Bell Tele Building at Beach and 1st.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Huh. I thought I was most recently on Beach Street last summer. The latter two (Cedar Exchange Building and Elks Club) were there then, I think. Did I lose a year somehow? They definitely were still present as of 2011...that's the date of the current aerial Google Earth image for that area, and it shows them.

      Delete
    2. You're right, JW. I haven't been downtown for years but somehow I had it in my head that both were gone. My bad. I can't plead senility just yet but I'm getting closer ;-)

      Delete
    3. Elks Club is still there. I took a leak on it after stumbling out of The Torch just last weekend.

      Delete
  3. The old jail and Probate Court bottom center of the photo. They have been replaced by the new addition to the Courthouse.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Willie's Hack Shack. R.I.P.


    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a verdant hamlet. Is that Lake Huron on the northern horizon?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Probably not, since Lake Huron is about 70 miles to the east.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you know, things change. Earth used to be Gondwanaland. Maybe Lake Huron was 30 miles north back in the olden days. Maybe it is Mott Lake or Buell Lake, did you ever think of that?

      Delete
  7. Well, somebody that went to school with JWilly gave me a little formula for computing the distance to the visible horizon. It is SQRT(3XHEIGHT/2)= DISTANCE TO VISIBLE HORIZON. The height is in feet, and the distance is in miles. So if the airplane is at 1000 feet, the distance would be just short of 39 miles. If it was at 2000 feet it would be a about 55 miles and into Saginaw Bay. The picture looks close to straight north toward Saginaw Bay. The most authoritative local expert, who could give you a direct answer, would be Dr. Dave Strahle. If he reads this blog, maybe he could tell you if it is Lake Huron or just the sky.

    ReplyDelete
  8. OTOH, Saginaw Bay is a mere fifty or so miles due north.

    But the photo's neat and orderly horizon remains "artistic license". From the depicted altitude, the horizon couldn't be more than maybe 25 or 30 miles away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Further analysis would suggest that the orientation of the airplane would be about 345 degrees true, putting the line of sight at above about 1500 feet well into Saginaw Bay. As you get further and further from the plane, the radial and tangential distances become increasingly squished, and the detail of the Saginaw Bay shoreline would appear relatively straight. If it was the sky, it would either be an unusually clear blue sky, or the blue has been artificially and mechanically "photoshopped". The lake would have the blue color naturally and fairly evenly. But where then in the picture is the actual horizon? And where is the western edge of the bay?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Further analyzing this situation, the elevation of this part of Flint is probably at least 150 higher than Lake Huron. That would tack on an additional 15 miles to the line of sight. The FAA specifies a minimum safe altitude of no lower than 500 feet AGL anywhere, but this would be considered a congested area. At the time, the Mott Foundation Building would be tallest obstruction, at 226 feet AGL, making the minimum safe altitude 1226 feet AGL. This would make the computation 37 miles for the 500 foot elevation, and 58 miles for the congested minimum safe altitude with obstructions taken into account. So depending on the altitude, we are either just short of or well into Saginaw Bay, which is 42 miles straight north. But the old school form of photoshopping is probably why the postcard appears surreally tinted and truncated by an artificial shoreline or horizon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, it isn't a building, but I don't think the Flint River is now or ever has been such a lovely shade of azure. Maybe Buick just dumped a few thousand gallons of excess skylark blue down the drain.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The picture was taken with a blue filter or an appropriate filter (yellowish orange I believe) was used when developing the picture. Remember developing pictures and darkrooms? This makes the blues bluer and the greens look darker green. But the lake or horizon is "photoshopped" in the technology of that day by splicing that blue strip at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The old lumber yards on Grand Traverse and the north bank of the river. I seem to remember 2 fires there in the mid-late 80s.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Leta, the old lumberyard was Flint Lumber Co. Good memory, not many people remember that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. They used to grind up pop bottles at Burroughs Building Center to demonstrate how tough the garbage disposals were. What you didn't see was how often they had to replace the disposals, after one or two demonstrations.

    Where was that? It was on Grand Traverse as I recall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Burroughs was on the south side of West Second Street, just east of Hall Street.

      The buildings are still there, minus some of the bulk-materials silos that were built into the hillside. They're Dover & Company now.

      Delete
  16. I remember watching the Flint Lumber Co burn down from across the river. It was the first time I saw glass windows explode from the heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such fond childhood memories, Grumkin. Never let those go.

      Delete
  17. tucked in behind the Masonic temple and slightly right is the Brownson Bldg. ( former Paterson factorys 9,5, and 3) 3stories to the south 5 story paving brick along 3rd St. Now gone

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com