Meet Me in São Luís is an ongoing series, the purpose of which is to educate the world at large about the beautiful, enchanting, little-known city of São Luís, Maranhão.
Recently, in looking for some pictures of my adopted city, I came across this Flickr set of São Luís of yesteryear. I thought it would be a great way to kick off this series, aimed at showing you the beauty and old-world majesty of the city we love. The owner of the Flickr page, Manoel Pereira, has graciously given me permission to post these here. Be sure to check out the rest of this photo series, as well as other pictures he has posted of São Luís.
Now, on to the pictures:
This is a vintage shot of the military police barracks. Still intact, it is less than three kilometers from our house. The neighborhood is called João Paulo, and we do most of our day-to-day business there.
This building is now called the “Commerce Palace”, and it is in the “old downtown” of São Luís. The comment on the picture says that it used to be the Hotel Central.
The city courthouse. It is still there, and still serves the same function.
The Igreja da Sé.
The Praça João Lisboa. This looks a lot different now.
This church still exists, but it is much worse for the wear. Still, its spires are the first signs of the “old city” that I see as I drive from my home to the downtown area.
Another view of the Praça João Lisboa, ca 1910.
A road called Rua da Estrela, from around 1905. The neat thing about São Luís is that, apart from the ox carts, there are still many roads you can walk down which look much like this.
The caption on this photo says that it is the Praça Deodoro. If that is true, it is now one of the busiest, most crowded sections of downtown São Luís.
An aerial shot of what is now called Reviver–the original downtown area of São Luís. This is where I go to work on the Missionary Max series. When I need inspiration I simply wander these streets and imagine that I am in downtown Santo Expedito.
This area is still much as the picture shows, with a few notable exceptions. There is now a four-lane highway between the buildings and the ocean. Also, the triangle of land jutting into the photo on the right is full of high-rise apartment and commercial buildings. It represents the “new downtown” of São Luís.