Phoenix Past and Present, a hardcover photography book taking readers on a pictorial journey through the city’s past and then back to the present. The book is a collaborative effort by Robert Melikian, Paul Scharbach and John Jacquemart. Phoenix Past and Present juxtaposes vintage photographs (in black and white) spanning the late 1880s to the early 1960s—many rare images never seen before—with their present-day counterparts (in color).
Open Phoenix Past & Present and you’ll find 84 pairs of side-by-side images. Each page documents a specific location and includes a brief narrative providing historical background and the location of every photograph. Extensive planning was done to identify the photographer’s vantage point in the historical image and to make the matching contemporary photograph from the same spot—whether that meant standing in the middle of a downtown intersection or climbing to the top of a nearby building.
While the book gives appropriate due to well-known Phoenix landmarks like the Orpheum Theatre, Rosson House, Hotel San Carlos, and Tovrea Castle, it also offers a wealth of hidden gems for readers to discover: Mystery Castle, the 1885 Fry Building (the oldest commercial structure in the city), the Phoenix skyline viewed from atop the Westward Ho, the original KPHO-TV building, Arizona Falls, Green Gables restaurant, the Knights of Pythias Building, and many more.