Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vintage Photos of Broad, Ashmun Streets & Ducor

Continuing with the Ducor Hotel theme this week, celebrating the announcement that the hotel's refurbishment will commence imminently, here are a few Monrovia photographs-postcards, which I'm guessing here taken around 1965 at the latest, with the Ducor looming over Broad and Ashmun Street. I love these photos; they really give a sense of how modern the whole city must have appeared in that golden era decades ago, and how ultramodern the sleek, luxurious Ducor appeared, hovering over the entire city.

One of the main differences between these photographs and a similar view today are the trees: those shading the median strip of Broad Street were uprooted and newly replanted around 2006, and are at present much smaller than the above, with much less canopy; whereas in contrast the summit of Snapper Hill is now forested with a large covering a foliage, which obstructs the view to and from all but the very top of the hotel.

Presumably, a lot of vegetation had to be cleared during construction of the hotel complex, and this took some time to grow back. Given that the hilltop appears freshly denuded in the middle photo, and the Ducor opened in 1962, and also judging by the automobiles, which probably weren't the latest models, I'm putting these photos safely in the Kennedy/Johnson era.

In the bottom photo, The large block at right currently houses the Bureau of Immigration. The top image is of Ashmun Street: at center left the building which is currently the General Accounting Service, part of the Executive Grounds complex, is clearly visible, but the later phases of the Open Door building boom, specifically the blue-tiled Chase Manhattan Plaza (today the Ecobank/Brussels Airlines complex, officially known as the Episcopal Church Plaza) had yet to rise at the corner of Ashmun and Randall Streets. Monrovia is both surprisingly the same as five decades ago, and completely different.


Emmanuel said...

Wow i love these photos, thanks for all you do to promote the country......i grew up on those very streets in the early 80s.

MM Jones said...

Thanks for commenting and reading, Emmanuel! Would love to see any family photos of Monrovia from the 1980s!

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