2007 Library News

Oklahoma City "Then and Now" Photo Exhibit on Display at Downtown Library

Then and NowIn our centennial year, photos of old time Oklahoma City from the Metropolitan Library System’s Oklahoma Images collection have become more popular than ever—so popular, in fact, that local photographer Dennis Church has used some of them as the beginning point for a new exhibit of “then and now” photos that is on display through August in the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave., and will tour the library system in the months to come.

The “now” photographs are taken from the same spot and at the same angle as the “then” pictures, which were taken during Oklahoma City’s past.  They will give modern viewers the chance to see how, or if, the buildings that are such an important part of the city have changed over the decades.

“About a year or so ago,” Church said, “I came across a Web site where someone had taken old photos of New York City and retook them with a modern day version.  I thought that the comparisons were fascinating. I guess it just stuck in the back of my head, and I started thinking about a similar project locally. When I saw the historical photos on the Metropolitan Library’s web site, I knew I had found an excellent resource for the project.”

Church describes the exhibit as both a historical essay and a testament to the unique architectural character of Central Oklahoma.  It also showcases the growth – and loss – of the region’s urban tenor.

 “Much of our architecture was literally built overnight,” he said, “and sadly, not built to last so the buildings no longer exist. While I believe that growth and change is necessary, it seems that we did a disservice to our past by not preserving it.”

For more information about the “Now and Then” photo exhibit at the Downtown Library, call (405) 231- 8650. 

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.


About the Artist:

     Dennis Church, born to an Air Force family in Landstuhl, Germany, moved to Oklahoma in 1976.  He currently resides with his wife Rita in Eastern Oklahoma County.  He is a Regional Sales Manager for the leading manufacturer of motorsports licensed merchandise. An avid photographer for 30 years, Church has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world, capturing the uniqueness of rural and urban architecture.  He is currently working on a photo series of barns and landscapes