If you are exploring modern Coronado, California, by bicycle you will probably find yourself cruising along the Glorietta Bay Promenade looking at yachts, pigeons, high rise condos, and the Hotel del Coronado.
But in the years between 1900 and 1939 you would have seen the Hotel del Coronado’s Tent City, a crowded promenade in itself of bathing tents, bathing beauties, sea, and sky.
Artist Todd Stands has recreated Tent City. In a way. For his 2009 outdoor sculpture, Imagine Tent City, he embedded photographic images in glazed tiles and arranged the tiles on a large structure in mosaic fashion forming a collage of images gathered from the photographic archives of the hotel and historical societies.
If you look south at the collage, you will see what was there when Tent City thrived. If you look north, you see the northern view of Tent City as it would have been in the early 20th Century. You do need to factor out the steel and glass high rises, the marina yachts, and the cement walkways, but that is easy to do as you search the photo tiles for a piece of history.
It is actually interesting to peek through a window in the tiles and see today’s palm trees in contrast to the old photographs.
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