The Calexico Business Improvement District voted to fund $1,800 for the “Pictures of the Past” project proposed by CD Advertising owner Daniel Chairez on Wednesday morning.
The photos show “certain memorable key points that Calexico downtown was once known for. Many of these businesses and locations are no longer with us but attract viewers of many ages from memories and curiosity of our downtown,” he wrote in his proposal.
The photos will be mounted in clear acrylic displays and placed on pillars along downtown business.
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The photos depict black-and-white downtown scenes from the 1920s and 1930s such as the Hotel De Anza, the international boundary line and views of Second Street businesses of the time.
Calexico City Councilman John Moreno told Chairez about the photos and helped inspire the project.
“People need to see and be aware of the historical significance of Calexico and the Imperial Valley for that matter,” Moreno said. “It’s to appreciate where we’ve come from and those people that built up the community. Downtown was the heart and soul of the community.”
At $150 for each photo, the funding provides for photo printing, mounting and copyright use, Chairez said. The interchangeable photos will be on display around the clock.
A lot of people who still shop downtown from both Calexico and Mexicali still have fond memories of a historically booming downtown, Chairez said.
“The idea is to promote downtown as it used to be,” he explained. “Why not give them a chance to remember that?”
BID members also discussed the idea of possibly printing the images on postcards and posters to be sold in downtown stores.
“It’s nice. I like the idea of showing people the past of Calexico,” BID chairman Morris Reisin said.
The BID will decide on a slogan to be printed on the displays, and Chairez will provide a timeline, business license, proposed site locations, authorization from the city and building owners as well as samples for review before printing.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com