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Match me if you can… Lake Washington, WA

2012 June 11
Q-Bert, Seattle Aquarium's famous octopus

The Traveling Exhibit continues it’s tour of Seattle and Portland, Oregon wrapping up a great weekend with the critters at the Seattle Aquarium! Just when you think the sea and river otters are the best thing going, Q-Bert glides in with eightly wobbly arms to give them a run for their money…

Q-Bert, Seattle Aquarium's famous octopus

UPCOMING Exhibit Venues:

HAPPENING NOW!
Monday, June 11 – Wednesday, June 13: U.S. EPA Region 10 Seattle, WA
 Map and Directions

From June 14: Oregon Brownfields Conference, Portland, OR
Information and Directions

June 15 – June 21: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Portland, OR
911 Northeast 11th Avenue, Portland, OR
For questions and directions please feel free to call: 503.231.6702

Friday, June 22 – Friday, June 29: Discovery Park Learning Center, Seattle, WA
Map and Directions

EPA’s Region 10 office more locally serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and 271 Native Tribes. Throughout the exhibit’s stay in this region we will post Documerica challenges within this area of the United States.

DOCUMERICA Location Challenge: LAKE WASHINGTON

Friday, we featured Documerica photos from the Seattle area. Today’s Location Challenge is also nearby, at Lake Washington from forty years ago. Give it your best try to match one of these scenes as they exist today for State of the Environment on Flickr. Let us know which Documerica image you matched in your photo caption. Top entries will be displayed side by side at the 2013 U.S. National Archives Exhibit: Searching for the Seventies: EPA’s Documerica Project in Washington, DC.

DOCUMERICA: LAKE WASHINGTON WAS DYING OF POLLUTION CAUSED BY SEWAGE. UNDER THE METRO PROGRAM SEWAGE HAS BEEN DIVERTED TO A TREATMENT PLANT IN SEATTLE, WHICH DISCHARGES THE TREATED RESIDUE INTO PUGET SOUND. THE ELIMINATION OF ALL SEWAGE DUMPING INTO THE LAKE HAS GREATLY IMPROVED ITS WATER QUALITY, 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.

Original caption: DOCUMERICA: FEEDING THE DUCKS ON LAKE WASHINGTON. LAKE WASHINGTON WAS DYING OF POLLUTION CAUSED BY SEWAGE. UNDER THE METRO PROGRAM SEWAGE HAS BEEN DIVERTED TO A TREATMENT PLANT IN SEATTLE, WHICH DISCHARGES THE TREATED RESIDUE INTO PUGET SOUND. THE ELIMINATION OF ALL SEWAGE DUMPING INTO THE LAKE HAS GREATLY IMPROVED ITS WATER QUALITY, 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.

DOCUMERICA: FANCY DIVING FROM A LOG IN LAKE WASHINGTON. LAKE WASHINGTON WAS DYING OF POLLUTION CAUSED BY SEWAGE 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.

Original caption: DOCUMERICA: FANCY DIVING FROM A LOG IN LAKE WASHINGTON. LAKE WASHINGTON WAS DYING OF POLLUTION CAUSED BY SEWAGE. UNDER THE METRO PROGRAM SEWAGE HAS BEEN DIVERTED TO A TREATMENT PLANT IN SEATTLE, WHICH DISCHARGES THE TREATED RESIDUE INTO PUGET SOUND. THE ELIMINATION OF ALL SEWAGE DUMPING INTO THE LAKE HAS GREATLY IMPROVED ITS WATER QUALITY, 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.

DOCUMERICA: HOMES ON PORTAGE BAY, LAKE WASHINGTON. THE LAKE FORMS THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF SEATTLE, 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.

Original caption: DOCUMERICA: HOMES ON PORTAGE BAY, LAKE WASHINGTON. THE LAKE FORMS THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF SEATTLE, 06/1973 by Doug Wilson.em>

These images give a sense of the way of life and by that, a sense of the environment in the Seattle area in 1973. What does it look like now?

Telling the story of change is up to you. Share photos of the landscapes, the people and the way of life for State of the Environment. If you aren’t nearby to match one of these scenes, search the full Documerica collection to locate and match images closest to you. All ‘then and now’ entries will be considered for the larger Washington D.C. exhibit.

When you follow that link above, you’ll come to a search page like this. Simply type in your town or state to see images of the past. Enjoy, have fun, and we can’t wait to see your contributions to this historic project!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

2 Responses
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 12, 2012

    I love the idea of Documerica but the quality of these photos is just so bad. Were the prints stored in someone’s hot, stuffy attic all this time?

  2. jfalvey permalink*
    June 12, 2012

    Great question! This has been a concern voiced by many, particularly by the original photographers who worked hard to take such good quality images. Where you see that tint of magenta or orange, that is from a scan of the “duplicate set” that was not stored in a climate controlled room. The National Archives does have an original set that was stored much more carefully, which we were all relieved to hear. So yes, better versions do exist in their original quality! There are thousands to go through and that is part of the fun right now, it is an ongoing effort and you are each seeing as much as we (EPA and NARA) know as we go through them again for the first time in four decades. It really feels like buried treasure. Roger Archibald wrote a great article about this and has been closely following the question of how the slides were stored: http://www.sej.org/publications/sejournal/documerica-lost-and-found.
    I hope that helps and thanks again for the question! ~Jeanethe Falvey, EPA project lead

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