Virginia photographer restores postcards to preserve history | Virginia News
By KRISTI K. HIGGINS, The Progression Index
PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) – Steven.G, multidisciplinary professional photographer and graphic designer, marked his hometown with a special project. “Postcards from Petersburg” combines his passion for photography and history.
Since postcards provide a unique lens through which individuals can view the past, Steven.G sought out nostalgic correspondence for his unique idea. He has digitally restored some of his newly acquired collection to produce full color metal signs.
Oversized postcards that feature Petersburg landmarks, businesses, and historical places can be spotted all over Old Town.
Steven.G found Petersburg to be a popular subject for postcards. Due to its rich history, it had hundreds to choose from which spanned over a century.
The aim of “Postcards from Petersburg” is to draw the attention of the community, tourists and buyers to the rich and fascinating history of Petersburg.
“Petersburg is unique in many ways, its origins predating the War of Independence. A lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same,” said Steven.G. “The postcards show us how and hopefully rekindle interest in this amazing story that connects us all.”
The project was approved by the Petersburg Architectural Review Board as well as land and business owners. Last December, the St. Petersburg City Council approved the postcard panels as historical markers and for installation on city property.
A QR code appears on each postcard which takes viewers to a dedicated website and webpage with additional information about the postcard and the history surrounding that particular location. A map that shows each city location that has a corresponding postcard can also be found on the website.
“Ultimately, locals and visitors will be able to treasure hunt 14 historical markers,” said Steven.G. “Five signs have been installed, and nine others are in production.”
The first “Postcards from Petersburg” sign was installed in February. It features the Appomattox Iron Works and is featured on the building itself, a registered Virginia Historic Landmark.
Steven.G’s historical markers installed during this era feature the iconic octagonal Farmers’ Market building, Union Station, City Hall when it was a U.S. Post Office, and a Sycamore Street scene .
Scavengers can also challenge themselves by tracking down two prototypes. One includes the Jefferson Hotel and another of historical significance is near a mural along Sycamore Street.
Main Street Petersburg board member Richard Cuthbert is a fan of Steven.G.’s “Postcards of Petersburg” concept. He encouraged him to seek a grant to fund it.
“I submitted the project to CultureWorks and got a grant that allowed me to produce a website and four panels,” said Steven.G. “Main Street Petersburg has offered to cover the final costs of the facilities.”
Main Street Petersburg is made up of residents, merchants, artists and historians who strive to revitalize Old Town Petersburg.
CultureWorks values diversity and inclusiveness and believes that everyone should have access to arts and culture as well as the opportunity to express their culture through the arts.
“Everyone I’ve interacted with, regardless of background, loves seeing the postcards and especially compared to today,” said Steven.G. “I had some nice spontaneous conversations and met a lot of members of the local community.”
Visit stevengstudios.com for more information and to see additional panels. Follow StevenG on Twitter @steven_g and Instagram @steven0g. His studio, Steven.G Studios, is located at 22 W. Old Street in the historic Appomattox Ironworks building.
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