These depict the Bernal Cut — a major infrastructure project completed back in the days when we still attempted major infrastructure projects. The Bernal Cut lowered the grade of the southwest corner of Bernal Hill to make way for the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad — effectively opening up the Peninsula to routine transit. The cut was first carved out in the 1860s, but in 1929 it was widened to make room for an automotive roadbed — and today’s San Jose
The 1929 project is what Craig shows us here, via his spooky time portal that combines then-and-now photos in a single view. In an email to me, Craig explained how he does it:
Creating the montages requires finding the exact spot the original photo was taken, observing how tiny details line up in the scene, and ideally getting the camera within a few feet of where the old camera was situated. Then it’s photoshop layers and masking. The biggest thing I’ve noticed in taking these shots is how many more trees there are today. Several photos I wanted to recreate were impossible because the current view is just a lot of branches and leaves.