For many Steampunks out there, history plays a large role in our fascination with the subculture. The notion that life and its nuances was profoundly different on so many levels during the Victorian era brings an sense of respect for antiquated things.
I’m also something of an architecture buff, which goes hand in hand with history when visiting or living in cities that have a culture of preservation. I love buildings that feel like they have character, that they came from a time when even the edifices were handmade with care and the intent to create something beautiful.
But things happen to buildings. There’s fires, earthquakes, war, failure to live up to modern safety standards… buildings become obsolete or crumble and something modern gets put up in its place. Perhaps it gets remodeled and it doesn’t recall it’s former charm. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that the world’s buildings were not always built primarily from steel and glass.
Sepiatown is a website that recalls the architecture of yesteryear, plotting photos of the old buildings on Google Maps in its former location. Browsing Sepiatown is like taking a walk down past streets as they once were. It’s one of the closest experiences you’ll have to seeing buildings long destroyed by the march of time besides hoping in a time machine and seeing it all for yourself.