History photo of the week: Utopians in Jerusalem

JPost special feature: A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

history gallery (photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo-Dept)
history gallery
(photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo-Dept)
The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the building of Tel Aviv.

Reviewing the historic photos of Jerusalem in the George Eastman House Museum, we came across this wonderful 110 year old picture taken by a French photographer, Charles Chusseau-Flaviens. From their dress, we presume it is a Sabbath or Jewish holiday, and some of the shops are shuttered in mid-day. Their walking in the middle of the street suggests that they're in a Jewish neighborhood and are not worried about carriages or horses. And they're walking down an incline.The challenge: Can anyone locate these buildings in Jerusalem today? Over the course of 100 years buildings have been torn down, second stories added, and streets widened.Thanks to Google's Street View program, we offer the possibility that the building is this shop with the distinctive rounded window and the two story building behind it with the unusual stonework on the edge of the walls.More photos can be viewed at www.israeldailypicture.com