Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The City Monrovia: West Point & Bushrod Island from Snapper Hill, c.1960

Another new accession to the Moved2Monrovia collection: a vintage postcard, taken from the crown of Snapper Hill, roughly the same vantage point as from the far side of the swimming pool of the Ducor Hotel, which may have not been built, or was newly completed.

The scene looks down to the mouth of the Mesurado River. Orderly yet bustling residential, commercial and increasingly industrial districts are built up on both banks. Beyond the foliage, the warehouses and merchant offices of Joenhansen and Waterside dominate the foreground underneath the hill, with a stately cotton tree towering over all the roofs. Behind the busy trading rows is Kru Town, looking noticeably less built up than the crowded community of West Point today, but still remarkably recognizable.

A handful of automobiles cross the Old Bridge to Bushrod Island, with Clara and Vai Towns looking quieter than today, and the Freeport area just becoming a commercial hub for the country. The white storage tankers of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company can clearly be made out at the distant left, dating the photo to at least 1950. Like many old images of Monrovia, it is startling how little has changed in the past few decades.

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