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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: San Pedro's Changing Face, Then And Now

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When photographer Tim Maxeiner first moved to San Pedro, he found a treasure trove of vintage snapshots from the city's past.

"I basically started walking around and stumbled upon the San Pedro Bay Historical Society," he tells LAist. "I was taken by that archive right away. You can actually go into this archive and take out all the photos and lay out all the prints on the table in front of you."

The 27-year-old photographer, who hails from Southern Germany, sifted through 10,000 archived photos. At the same time he was taking some snapshots of his own in the city. Through what he called a "long process," he started making connections and combinations of the past and present.

In his "Second Thoughts on San Pedro" photography and video exhibit, he explores the city by juxtaposing his own photos with archived photos he discovered at the San Pedro Bay Historical Society.

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The second time he went to explore the archives, he found a photo taken in the 1960s of a fallen tree on 6th St. in downtown San Pedro. Apparently, a drunk man had kicked over all of the small trees in the area. He had randomly taken a similar photo of a fallen tree on Pacific Ave. in 2013 and thought it was a strange connection. "Maybe I could make these photo combinations that aren't your typical now-and-then photography," he says he thought at the time. Maxeiner started seeing San Pedro in a different light.

One of the things that fascinates Maxweiner the most about San Pedro is the industrial landscape and the ocean, and he feels a clash between the two. He's also noticed a difference between old San Pedro and the way it is today.

"If you look at the pictures of Pacific Ave. and downtown San Pedro, there used to be foot traffic," he says. "There used to be all these small independent shops. Sadly, it went away, but it might come back."

Here's Maxeiner's video of people hanging out at Angel's Gate Lighthouse in San Pedro around 1915, using archived photos:

And a video of the San Pedro car scene today, seen through Maxeiner's lens:

Tim Maxeiner's "Second Thoughts on San Pedro" exhibit will run every Saturday through March 1 (or by appointment) at Cornelius Projects at 1417 S. Pacific Ave. in San Pedro.