Friday, November 20, 2009

Jacob's Ladder

It is a fairly steep uphill walk from the CBD in Brisbane to Spring Hill. The steepest part is right at the end - the final part of the trek from Turbot Street to Wickham Terrace. Years ago, you used to be able to catch a tram to Spring Hill from the city. The trams originally travelled from Queen Street right through to Gregory Terrace, but in 1947, the final part closed and the trams then stopped at Wickham Terrace. Pedestrians could walk up to the Terrace through King Edward Park, along a path that became known as Jacob's Ladder. Here is a picture, from 1915 or thereabouts, taken looking down Jacob's Ladder towards town. A couple of women are on their way up - must have been difficult in those long dresses of the era (click the pic for a larger image). Notice that, although there are handrails, there are no steps! King Edward Park is on the right in this picture. Steps were built here in the 1920s and the City Council renewed them 1961.(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #187175)

When I first started work in the city in the sixties, Brisbane had a much smaller population, and the world had never heard of global warming. There was abundant street parking available in the streets of Spring Hill, and from memory, I think you could park your car in a Parkatarea parking meter and leave it there all day for twenty cents. After work, large groups of people would walk up Jacob's Ladder to their cars and then drive home. Over the years, King Edward Park and Jacob's Ladder stagnated, but recently the City Council has spent up big and given the area a much-needed facelift. One of the cool things is what they have done to Jacob's Ladder. When you look down the Ladder (like in the older photo above), you see a rainbow of colours because you can see the large landing areas only, not the steps in between (see my photo below). At night, images are projected onto these large, flat landings, making a sort of light show for any evening strollers.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

However, when you are at the bottom of Jacob's Ladder looking up (see below), you can see only the stairs, not the landings - and the stairs are bright red!
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

Click here to jump over to Brisbane Daily Photo, where Cara has a great photo of the stairs.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

Next: "We are all just prisoners here..."

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