Recaptured City is about the way memory is unvanished and the way it continues to effect how we see and change our built environment. In thinking about the present and planning for the future of our urban surroundings, the way we consult the past is often overlooked. The first question we should ask ourselves about changing the city should be "What do we keep" and yet often important decisions about the physical place we live in leap into being without reflection or the wisdom that comes with memory.
In blending images of the city past with carefully recomposed photographs of the city present, the intention of Recaptured City is to create a visual and written narrative of how and why the City of Tacoma arrived at its current appearance, form and design. This is an experiment in culture building and applied storytelling, its about retaking not just photographs but the heart and mind of the city.
Recaptured City exists because of the collection and restoration of historic images. We appreciate the important work of public historic image collections and the work they do to preserve our view of the past. Of extraordinary importance to this project are the Tacoma Public Library, Northwest Room, Washington State Historical Society and the University of Washington Digital Collection.