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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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Looking Into Market Square


Yesterday, looking up Congress Street into Market Square, c.1858, as seen through the lens of Albert Gregory. The photograph was taken from the corner of Fleet and Congress Streets. For references see the 1877 Bird's Eye or the 1813 fire map. In this early photograph there are important features, besides the horseman, and the two buggies parked on Congress Street. They are namely, on the left hand side of the photo, the Sheafe Block (which is just barely visible) showing its original 4 stories instead of the 3 stories it has now. The Sheafe Block, on the corner of Market and Daniel Streets, was reconfigured around 1881. In the background, near the center of the photo, a cupola is visible; it sits on the Portsmouth High School building, corner of Daniel and Chapel Streets, and is No. 5 on the 1877 Bird's Eye map.


Today, looking up Congress Street into Market Square is very recognizable when comparing it to the 1858 photograph by Albert Gregory. The North Church on the right and the Pearce Block in the center background have hardly changed in the past 150 years. What has changed though is that some of the buildings on the right side of the photo have been taken down. The High School cupola is no longer visible due to the height the Federal Building which blocks the view. And, the street is paved with parked cars on the left instead of a man on his horse and a couple of buggies, being shown.

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