- by Maggie Clark
- Online sales
This 16x20 print is not part of the original limited edition. I painted it in 1998 and published 100 signed and numbered prints.
The Jefferson Pilot building is very popular these days! I think I ignited a flame of nostalgia when I posted this on Facebook’s “Remember Greensboro” group. One of the comments was from a man whose grandfather had owned a painting business back in the ‘60s, and he and his helper were up on top of that Jefferson Pilot building painting those flag poles that you see in the picture when a gust of wind came along and the helper almost fell off! His grandfather grabbed him by the belt!
Do you see the photographer in the foreground? He wasn’t in the photograph I was using. I placed him there as if he were photographing the scene you are seeing. It’s a view of Greensboro from Washington and Elm streets in 1960.
Since the photo I was working from was pretty old and grainy, I couldn’t see all the details on the signage, so I compared old city directories to nail down which year the stores in the photograph would have all been on that block at the same time, and also to figure out the names on some of the signs that were not legible in the grainy photographs. Can you find Walgreen’s? Robinson’s? the Kress store? Mangel’s? (It’s between Kress and Walgreens.) Troutman’s Beauty School? Oh yes! And I definitely remember Jo Belle’s hats. My mom loved that one! Those were the days when the ladies wore their hats to go shopping.
The photo was black and white. But what color were the cars? I asked some classic car lovers for advice. They would say things like, “I know they didn’t make that color Pontiac before 1960.” Gradually, I narrowed it down – and I hope I got it pretty close to right! You have to be careful! Some eagle-eyed Greensboro natives will surely yell “Gotcha” if you get it wrong! They do love their city and their memories.
I published several other prints in the 1990s showing typical downtown Greensboro scenes in 1910, 1918, 1949, and 1960. In painting them, I worked from photographs loaned by the Greensboro Historical Museum, the Greensboro Merchants Association, and by Jack Moebes, a former photographer for the Greensboro News and Record.
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