Canberra in the 50s, 60s and 70s (some things change and some stay the same)

warmonga 26 July 2011 22

petrie plaza

Here’s a link to some pictures from Canberra in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

It’s interesting to see how Canberra has grown from a small country town, yet in many respects has hardly changed at all.


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22 Responses to Canberra in the 50s, 60s and 70s (some things change and some stay the same)
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Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 5:07 pm 03 Aug 11

marty62 said :

These images appear to have been taken from my Flickrstream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canberrahouse/

marty62 said :

These images appear to have been taken from my Flickrstream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canberrahouse/

That’s a fantastic collection marty62!

Agreed, thanks for sharing.

qedbynature qedbynature 11:49 am 29 Jul 11

Me no Fry@18 Yup it’s a Triumph TR4.

BicycleCanberra @13 I’m not convinced by that argument. I was in Toronto recently (pop 5.5 million) and Vancouver (2.5M) and both cities have largely retained vehicular access in the downtown areas. My impression is that while it seems potentially safer to keep the vehicles out, the experience is that people seem to adapt and develop habits around co-existence. Having viable alternatives to cars is obviously also a factor and density is another. I tend to agree with breda, the outcome of years of town planning for Civic has yet to deliver a thriving downtown environment, but it has given us the Canberra Centre…

cabbage cabbage 9:00 pm 27 Jul 11

Did you notice – not one fat person and some nice mini skirts.

marty62 marty62 7:36 pm 27 Jul 11

#15 warmonga: it’s ok, I’m not that fussed. The more people that see them the better. The photos on Flickr are mostly old postcards, family photos, photos I’ve bought or taken myself.

Me no fry Me no fry 2:22 pm 27 Jul 11

MsCheeky said :

At the bottom left of the last photo is a silver Datsun sports car. I suspect that it’s the very same car I became the proud owner of a few years later!

Pretty sure that’s not a Datsun. It’s a Triumph, or some sort of pommy sports car I think.

Interesting photos – wish it was possible to travel back in time.

Snarky Snarky 1:13 pm 27 Jul 11

marty62 said :

These images appear to have been taken from my Flickrstream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canberrahouse/

That’s a fantastic collection marty62!

arescarti42 arescarti42 12:51 pm 27 Jul 11

BicycleCanberra said :

More areas of Civic should be pedestrianized,whats wrong with a car free city centre? like Copenhagen and many other European cities which hasn’t seen a decline patronage.

The problem with pedestrianising more of Civic is that primary access to Civic is by car. I suspect the European cities you mention have public transport systems that allow convenient access to the car-free zones from other parts of the city.

warmonga warmonga 11:42 am 27 Jul 11

marty62 said :

These images appear to have been taken from my Flickrstream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canberrahouse/

Hi there, I received them in a forwarded email, so sorry if they were lifted from your account.

I would be happy to delete them from imgur, and ask RiotACT to forward people to your flicker account instead if that’s what you would prefer. Your Flickrstream has many many more great photos! Where did you get them all!

MsCheeky MsCheeky 10:56 am 27 Jul 11

At the bottom left of the last photo is a silver Datsun sports car. I suspect that it’s the very same car I became the proud owner of a few years later!

BicycleCanberra BicycleCanberra 10:06 am 27 Jul 11

breda said :

When I first lived here, from 1972 (as a student) Garema Place was alive and buzzing – one of the few places that was.

Thanks to the cringing conformity to planning fads that has characterised this town, and others, more and more roads were closed, parking was decreased, and we are left with empty, crime ridden, windswept plazas. The same thing happened in Parramatta, a place I know well. They closed off the roads and created a concrete desert where junkies and drunks hang out and no one else wants to be there. The only safe place to be is Westfield. Sound familiar?

Every year the ACT government unveils a new plan, often involving large sums of public money, to do something to the paving or street furniture that will ‘revitalise’ Civic. They haven’t got a clue. No amount of repeated failures deters them from their determination to believe that they just need to do more of the same.

Civic is just Parramatta on a smaller scale. Utopian urban planners do their best to turn it into a social experiment, while the malls just gobble up the real estate. Seeing these old photos reminds me of how comprehensively and systematically Civic has been stuffed up.

There was a need to close off these roads to traffic as these roads were becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians and car congested. If you see the film Canberra: A city Album, even in the 80’s and 90’s this area were bustling with people. The expansion of the Canberra centre has killed off the city walk for now.
More areas of Civic should be pedestrianized,whats wrong with a car free city centre? like Copenhagen and many other European cities which hasn’t seen a decline patronage. It is poor planning decisions like building enclosed shopping malls close to these areas which was the problem in Parramatta and in Newcastle.
Who would want to sit in a cafe inside a shopping mall? why not be out in the fresh air

YetAnotherBlowIn YetAnotherBlowIn 8:30 am 27 Jul 11

I’ve been staring at the Hospital 1970s photo for a while because I thought it curious that there’s no letters on the roof of the Canberra Theatre Centre in bottom left of the photo, yet on the Civic Square 1970 photo directly below it there is…

Then I noticed the atrocious job they made of cutting in a blue sky behind the hospital. Pre-Photoshop Disaster.

breda breda 12:34 am 27 Jul 11

“Sadly, City Walk in the 1950s had about twice as much pedestrian traffic as it does nowadays.”

When I first lived here, from 1972 (as a student) Garema Place was alive and buzzing – one of the few places that was.

Thanks to the cringing conformity to planning fads that has characterised this town, and others, more and more roads were closed, parking was decreased, and we are left with empty, crime ridden, windswept plazas. The same thing happened in Parramatta, a place I know well. They closed off the roads and created a concrete desert where junkies and drunks hang out and no one else wants to be there. The only safe place to be is Westfield. Sound familiar?

Every year the ACT government unveils a new plan, often involving large sums of public money, to do something to the paving or street furniture that will ‘revitalise’ Civic. They haven’t got a clue. No amount of repeated failures deters them from their determination to believe that they just need to do more of the same.

Civic is just Parramatta on a smaller scale. Utopian urban planners do their best to turn it into a social experiment, while the malls just gobble up the real estate. Seeing these old photos reminds me of how comprehensively and systematically Civic has been stuffed up.

2604 2604 9:30 pm 26 Jul 11

Sadly, City Walk in the 1950s had about twice as much pedestrian traffic as it does nowadays.

(Guess everything changed once the Monaro Mall was purchased by QIC and became The Monster That Ate Canberra).

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:13 pm 26 Jul 11

I’m pretty sure these are NLA and Canberra Archive holdings.
I’m not yet in the mood to go hunting and prove it, though.

marty62 marty62 8:50 pm 26 Jul 11

These images appear to have been taken from my Flickrstream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canberrahouse/

gospeedygo gospeedygo 8:06 pm 26 Jul 11

I don’t think even vintage photography could make Canberra look that nice nowadays.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 3:50 pm 26 Jul 11

I came across the photo of Civic pool in the 1950s in a book of retro postcards from around the world while I was in borders once. I recognised it almost instantly and got a little excited.

Is that sad?

Bennop Bennop 3:37 pm 26 Jul 11

Paul0075 said :

I think Civic looks a lot cleaner than it does now. Also seems to be busy too, but I guess that’s all to do with timing of the photos.

I think Monaro Mall (aka Canberra Centre) is definitely in the category of once being a nice place to shop. Now it’s a maze and looks terrible. The Melbourne and Sydney Buildings also look more well maintained than they do now.

Of course it looks well cleaner and well maintained Einstein, it wasnt almost 100 years old!

Its a little spooky to think that civic pool is now at least 60 years old- I wonder how strong that concrete is on top tower?

Keijidosha Keijidosha 3:17 pm 26 Jul 11

Anyone notice the 4-way intersections without traffic lights? Imagine the confusion and carnage that would cause in Canberra today!

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:08 pm 26 Jul 11

They’re great. Thanks for the link.

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