Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Then & Now - Broadway

Looking east along Broadway toward Railway Square, January 2010
Some of the modern range of billboards have humour but little wit. The yellow and red billboard on the right screams "Read me aloud".

Looking east along Broadway in 1910. Note the horse and cart and the sulky.
The main street of Sydney, George Street, was formerly known as High Street but renamed by Governor Macquarie in 1810. It is 3.5 kms in length, snaking from The Rocks way up to Central Station where it executes a 90 degree turn before heading west.

At Railway Square, the dramatic west turn, a turnpike was installed in 1811 (see extracting tolls for travelling isn't just the quirk of modern NSW politicians!) that levied travellers to raise funds to maintain the hazardous road to Parramatta.

Left: The marker authorised by Governor Bourke to indicate the western extremity of the city in 1837 which now stands on the corner of Glebe Point Road
Right: the marker commemorating the widening of Parramatta Road in 1911 which stands beside the Footbridge to Sydney University

In 1815, after further major overhauls, the road was widened with the turnpike eventually moved to Grose Farm in 1836 (the site for the location of Sydney University in 1850). The western boundary of the city was declared at the corner of Glebe Point Road and Parramatta Road during the governorship of Richard Bourke (1831 – 1837).

A zoom down Broadway as it is today
Sometime between 1906 (when Central Railway station was built in its current form) and 1911 (after the 1908-09 Royal Commission on the Improvement of Sydney) many streets in Sydney were widened and entire strips of houses flattened in the process.

The short strip of roadway between Railway Square and City Road was flattened and widened being renamed “The Broadway” in 1911 and thereafter referred to as Broadway. It is 1km in length. At the same time, Parramatta Road was yet again widened. All turnpikes in this part of the city were long gone.

I am sampling the joys of Melbourne - including a day at the tennis. I will be back at my desk on Thursday 28th January.


Olivier said...

je préfère avant, avec cette vue et cette grande publicité ;)

James said...

I agree with Olivier. I like looking at then and now pictures but I almost always prefer then to now. Very nice post.

Lois said...

I like then and now pictures too. Lux soap must have been very popular 100 years ago since they have 2 giant billboards in that old picture. Quite a contrast to what they seem to be advertising now!

Lily Hydrangea said...

it's kind of sad how "anything" goes these days. The "old" days seem to have more class.
I really like your shots too.

Sean said...

I love the "then and now" shots you do... really nice and informative.... one of the few blogs that I actually read!!!

Pat and Bruce Caspersonn said...

I too, prefer the old B&W photos. That one with the worst tram ever built is a ripper! The "toast rack" tram was shocking. It was cramped and when it took off the floor started and the roof followed later.
In those days my favorite Aunty worked at Grace Bros. there.
A great post.

Ann said...

I think we've lost a lot with the redevelopment of Broadway. There were loads of interesting little shops up there, even if it was a bit run down.

Marka said...

They don't make 'em like they used to, eh?

Sishir said...

Loved the then & now shot.Things change leaving behind beautiful memories!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Very interesting comparitive shots. When did we make the change from homely old Lux flakes to screaming Make Love Longer?

Julie said...

Lux flakes were one of a kind. Can you remember them? White and blossom like. I used to run my fingers through the flakes, letting them drift down from the top of the box. They smelt the very essence of clean.

diane said...

There is certainly a contrast in adds in the before and after shots.
There seems to be more trees and greenery than when I trod the footpath of Broadway.Interesting info.

Susan said...

Great comment - "some humour, but little wit" and I couldn't agree more..humour in advertising is one of the best tools in the promo box, but best left to experts, of which there are few.