11 March 2009

Old Canberran’s Old Photos - Part 8 - Civic of long ago

| johnboy
Join the conversation

[First filed: March 10, 2009 @ 08:58]

This is the eighth part of a series of photographs taken by RiotACT reader Old Canberran on his Kodak Box Brownie in 1948.

This one came in with the following note:

    The interesting thing about the attached pic is that you can see the War Memorial. There were also lovely pine trees in the median strip between the 2 buildings. They are no longer.

Here’s a more contemporary view from Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

It sucks that they got rid of the balconies – that’s so three-ducks-flying-across-the-lounge-room-wall!

GardeningGirl8:27 pm 10 Mar 09

Thanks for that second link Old Canberran. I could sort of make out the Memorial clicking on the pic at the top to enlarge it but the other one is much better. Fascinating about the cellars too.
Why oh why have they allowed the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings to turn into such a mess? There are rules about extensions to homes in heritage areas, and front fences, and chopping down trees, and who knows what else . . . but those poor old buildings with so much character and potential have been allowed to be turned into some sort of 70’s cheapo reno, with closed in balconies and umpteen shades of white/off-white/cream paintwork. It’s embarrassing to think that tourists driving in along Northbourne Avenue are met with that as their introduction to the CBD of the nation’s capital. Dinner’s ready, I’m going to stew over what I would do with that area if I ruled the world and come back to this thread . . .

I wonder how Fletcher Jones survives considering nobody seems to buy clothes there. My mum used to love Fletcher Jones. One of my worst moments as a tween though, was when she bought me Fletcher Jones jeans. I think they may even have had an elasticated waist. And they gave me quite painful wedgies.

Is that a flagpole sticking out from the balcony above?

And the mileage signs give the distances for Sydney, Goulburn, Melbourne and Yass, in that order – with the state capitals in bigger fonts!

It is still Fletcher Jones’ Civic store!

old canberran5:37 pm 10 Mar 09

I guess you could say it was an upper middle of the road clothes shop for men and women. They sold good quality stuff and it was a fairly large shop which took up about 4 archways in both directions. Terry and George, the 2 sons went to the same school as I did but I’mm a bit older than them. The boys made their money from developments around the place but I think the Snows were a fairly wealthy family to begin with.
Fletcher Jones took over the shop at one stage when the Snows retired but I don’t know what’s there now.
In the rescanned photo you can see a set of upright scales in the doorway.

So what was Snow’s like, Old Canberran?

old canberran5:18 pm 10 Mar 09

Jivrashia said :

old canberran said :

you should be able to make out the dome of the AWM. If not, I’ll rescan it but it’s definitely there.

Yes please.

Try this size…..click here

You left the ?feat=embedwebsite on your a href = url, Jb.

Proper navigable address is http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bdYVggmNJeVa49gynzVhaA

It’s as big as our format permits, just click on the image for a larger version.

I can see it clearly on the linked larger version, but not at all on the small embedded pic.

old canberran said :

you should be able to make out the dome of the AWM. If not, I’ll rescan it but it’s definitely there.

Yes please.

I assume that is that the same (Terry) Snow family, who owns the airport now ? An empire built from the clothing shop ?

old canberran2:44 pm 10 Mar 09

Avy said :

There’s no way that’s the War Memorial. Is there?

Click on the photo above to get a larger version and you should be able to make out the dome of the AWM. If not, I’ll rescan it but it’s definitely there.

Wow, just checking Google maps, I never noticed that relationship before! That’s town planning for you.

The shape looks like it is the War Memorial.

Holden Caulfield2:11 pm 10 Mar 09

I worked in the Sydney Building a couple of times. One of the jobs was near the TAB when it was still there and there were often quite a collection of “colourful sorts” out the front in the mornings. Was very convenient for my annual Melbourne Cup betting, though.

Come to think of it, the other job I had there, a part-time job while studying, also introduced me to some pretty colourful chaps at 6 on weekend mornings, haha.

The angle is right – that part of London Cct lines up perfectly with the AWM.

There’s no way that’s the War Memorial. Is there?

OMG! There’s a telegraph pole in the picture, a TELEGRAPH POLE!!

I haven’t seeen one of those in years… (does that say something about my age?)

And whoever say they can see the War Memorial in the picture… you’ve go better eyes than me (I can’t see it – unless its the ghostly white dome against the bushes).

Interesting. The dunnies (in the Melbourne building) would have mostly been added quite recently. We had most of the western side (facing the Canberra Arcade), and used the toilets upstairs, which looked out over the central laneway. Although the Career Reference Centre (now Mezzelira) had its own toilet in the back of the tenancy.

It’s sad to think of the basement as being ruined, as it was fascinating down there, nothing had been done to it since the 60s. Or earlier.

I’ve heard tales (from plumbers) that it’s full of sewage from the cafes.

Maybe one day the basement will be tenanted as shops, like the basement shops opposite Flinders St Station in Melbourne.

Holden Caulfield12:08 pm 10 Mar 09

Keep ’em coming OC, thank you!

I worked in the Melbourne Building for years (yes I know the pic is of the Sydney Building) and ran several offices there. For some years, my office (now Mezzelira) didn’t have air con or heating… the design and construction of the building made it quite pleasant in summer, you could open the top windows with a string arrangement. Winter was a bit chilly though and eventually we got heating.

There is a whole network of basement cellars underneath. Some got walled up and are like a time capsule from when the building was first tenanted. My office was a bank, and still has the massive vault in the main bit, and also downstairs.

They are nice buildings.

I’m not a fan of pine trees tho.

I think if we cut down most of the pines in Haig park and put in some play equipment and bbqs, people might actually use Haig Park.

I seem to recall Mooseheads having balcony areas pre Gods Wrath fire.

Interesting how those buildings used to have balconies.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.