Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Then & Now - York Street


Last Friday afternoon, about 3 o'clock, I walked up Observatory Hill from The Writers' Festival down at Walsh Bay, on my way to a 4 o'clock session with Keating & Wessel at the City Recital Centre in Angel Place. Negotiating the pedestrian underpass at Kent Street, I sidled along the 1856 rebuild of Saint Phillips' and nipped across York Street to Church Hill.

I knew the view I wanted to replicate, and clung to a marooned traffic light as vehicles of all shapes and sizes whizzed off the bridge around my very ears! We are looking due south down the gunnels of the city to the Town Hall. The top photograph was taken in 1967. The TH is a spot in the distance, midway on the right is the AWA Tower, nowadays dwarfed. On the left is the Presbyterian Church of St Stephens, now mostly converted into very swish apartments.


Follow the yellow Hillsbus, as it wends its way down York Street.

The biggest difference, other than the sheer busyness of the modern scene? Yep, the greening of the city.

Pretty cool, huh?

16 comments:

CafebyJW said...

I love the last photo, look like an ant view when we need to look up so high like this :)

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Andrew said...

Can you work out a rough time, say early morning, that the original photo was taken? Greening the city is good, but it does not always make it easy to take photos. And how good are modern cameras!

Peter said...

a great idea - well executed

Bill said...

Amazing what a difference 43 years make. Great post, Julie.

markwilliamjackson.com said...

These are great, I love then & now comparative shots. And hanging from a traffic light to take the shots? That is dedication!

J Bar said...

Great comparison shots. Even though I usually detest blatant advertising, I do like the style of the old signs on the top of buildings in the old shot. Much better than plain billboards we see these days.
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Julie said...

Yes, I like those signs too, Jim. But I guess an earlier generation would find them fairly offensive too.

Ann said...

Is it taken from the same spot, looks a lot closer (or is that the lens). Shame its in shadow. Unusual to see so many more trees, usually it goes the other way.

So far not at all impressed with the arch over Macquarie Street. Hope it does something spectacular when its lit up because at the moment its a big grey eyesore blocking direct pedestrian access to the gate and to the crossing, you need to walk round the thing. Singularly uninspiring. There's also a very plastic looking lighthouse stuck on the corner. Still, see what happens come Thursday. Unfortunately, don't think I'll see them lit on Thursday (class starts at 6.30) so will watch your blog with interest.

Julie said...

I think it is taken from THE same spot, just used the 250mm instead of the WA. I have some that are lighter, but the TH is washed out. Using the WA would have solved all that. I have another comparison on George Stree that I might run with next week.

I have not seen the preparations as yet. But shall experience with interest on Thursday night.

Trees ... no. From what I am discovering, the city has LOADS more greenery now than any old photograph I am able to discover - and I have hundreds!!

cara said...

Is that brown (church-style?) building in the original on the left still there today? It's great. Especially with those shadows. Very Hammer Horror.

brattcat said...

Cool indeed and wise to allow the city to go greener rather than the opposite.

Vicki said...

Oh, wow, it's changed so much. The greening has softened all the hard lines.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I think this is very interesting. I lived in Kent Street for a few months a year or so ago and got to know that part of the city quite well ... noticing things like the AWA tower which I had not "registered" before then.

lewi14 said...

It's always interesting to see the THEN and the NOW.

Mary Ann said...

Perhaps you've gone into detail about it elsewhere, but was there a conscious campaign to bring more trees into the urban spaces? When did it happen and how did it come about?

Clytie said...

I have always loved then & now photo comparisons. Some can be quite interesting - like this. So much change over the years - it's amazing.