London is a rare city in that its architecture doesn’t actually change that much. Most buildings in London that stand now were in the city in 1924… so an artist decided to combine footage of the two in a video.
What Simon Smith did was fairly straightforward. He simply watched a series of shorts called Wonderful London, shot in 1924, and then shot matching footage in 2014, combining the two. The effect is jolting, to say the least:
How is this even possible in the first place? The short answer is that it’s incredibly hard to tear something down in London, and it’s only become harder over time. It helped historical preservation advocates that the Blitz blew quite a few historical structures all to hell, and that committed Londoners to keeping the history that they had left. For all the clips you see in this video, there are even more buildings that don’t exist anymore.
Still, it’s a fascinating look into the past and how some things endure despite the forces of history. Well, at least until the Germans get feisty again.