In 1873 an unnamed photographer made the perilous ascent to the top of the clock tower on Sydney Town Hall. The clock face was still to be put in place, and he and two others climbed up steps and a series of ladders until they were 190 feet above George Street. The objective was to take a photograph between each of the columns of the finial - ten in all.
In 2007, photographer Peter Murphy made the same climb, and duplicated the original ten images. In his studio, he digitally stitched together the original ten images to form a panorama. He did the same with his recent ten images. Then he lined them up to enable those interested to make a direction comparison of their city 134 years apart.
Each of these stitched images is on display in the renovated Lower Ground Floor of the Town Hall until next Monday.
Murphy has also animated the original set of images and they are displayed on the wall in an never-ending loop, as well as on a computer where the viewer can forward and backward 'til their heart's content.
I have seen the Panorama Mesdag in The Hague. Our panorama falls a bit short. Mesdag was set apart in its own room and was 360 degrees with sound effects. However, I still found this panorama engrossing as it is of a city that I know intimately.
I could only find nine of the ten originals on the City of Sydney data-base.
|Top Left - looking north down George St with the old markets in the foreground not the QVB|
Top Centre - looking across North Hyde Park to the spire of St James
Top Right - looking east along Park Street through the centre of Hyde Park
Middle Left - looking across South Hyde Park
Middle Centre - looking south down George St with St Andrews in the fore-ground
Middle Right - looking across St Andrews to Broadway and a very distant Sydney University
Bottom Left - looking to the head of Darling Harbour
Bottom Centre - looking across the centre of Darling Harbour with Pyrmont Bridge on the RHS
Bottom Right - looking across the beginning of the Parramatta River with Millers Point on the RHS