Monday, October 11, 2010

Anzac Square 2

This is a straight "then and now" comparison of photos. Here are Anzac Square, Central Station and Wickham Terrace, as captured by Australian photographer Capt Frank Hurley. The colour version is from a fold-out presentation pack of 10cm X 15cm photos that came into my possession recently. It was published by John Sands in Sydney, but I have no date. The black & white version is from the National Library of Australia's archive.
(Photo: Capt Frank Hurley)
(Photo: nla pic-an23478003-v)

Hurley was a prolific photographer, and he has left a large legacy of photographs, both black & white and colour, for posterity. Many of them are war-time photos, but there are also many scenic views of various parts of Australia too. There are 11,000 photographs at the National Library of Australia alone, with other significant collections elsewhere.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

My recent photograph of the same scene shows the dramatic change in the Brisbane skyline (click it to see a larger version). The government offices on either side of Anzac Square would have been present when Hurley took his colour photo, but he chose not to include them. But it's behind the Shrine of Remembrance that we can see all the development. The buildings on Wickham Terrace, including Trades Hall, the Baptist Tabernacle and the United Services Club, are now completely hidden, and Central Station is dwarfed by the Sofitel Hotel that looms over it. Well, Trades Hall has actually been "redeveloped" (meaning knocked down), so you actually wouldn't be able to see it anyway, but that's beside the point :-)

I prefer the earlier pictures. Anzac Square is more open and welcoming. The tall buildings have cut down on the light in the park, and even the growth in the trees has reduced the view of the memorial.

Time doesn't always do us a favour.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Seaside pavilion


  1. Time is sometimes a relentless destroyer of cityscapes *nod*.

    I am assuming the Shrine of Remembrance was the most important building when it was built, and it was to remain visible and central for all times. Yet I don't think we can even spot the Shrine in your most modern photo.

  2. That's right, the Shrine is an important (and beautiful) monument, and it is obscured by the growth of trees in the Square.


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