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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

King George Square...

Last Saturday I wrote a post that mentioned King George Square which is a feature of the central business district of Brisbane. I took some photos of the square as it is now, after refurbishment a few years ago. On Sunday I went looking through the Brisbane City Council Image collection  online and found a number of photos that show the Square as I remember it as a child, then more images as it went through another metamorphosis when I was a young adult. All the photos are from the Brisbane City Council's eLib catalogue. This square has been part of my life; whether as a young child being brought into the city to see the huge Christmas tree, or going to concerts at the nearby hall, meeting friends as an adult or being part of protest meetings as a student. Sadly I very rarely go to the city much these days. Medical and dental services are catered for in the suburbs these days as are entertainment and shopping. here is a little bit of the square's history...

BCC Brisbane Images: The square in 1930
BCC Brisbane Images: the square in 1940

The photo below is taken at about the time my father came to live and work in Brisbane. He would go to Symphony Concerts in City Hall. Dad also told me stories of how the city hall's site was on an area of swampy ground which included a number of waterholes.
BCC Brisbane Images: Looking in the other direction from the previous photo, 1948
BCC Brisbane Images: Opposite city hall, Albert Street was bordered by a number of buildings. The most famous was the Tivoli Movie theatre that was actually 2 cinemas. One was the famous  Roof Garden Theatre which actually was open air. This photo taken in 1953. In the lower righthand corner is a policeman directing traffic; no traffic lights here in those days.


BCC Brisbane Images: Facing in the opposite direction from the previous photo. Looking down Albert St which continues down to the Botanical Gardens. Where the red hoardings are, is the site of the new Commonwealth Bank Building on Adelaide St. 
BCC Brisbane Images: the square in 1958

BCC Brisbane images: 1963 Note the sign showing the tram stop where you could wait in a zone on the street



BCC Brisbane Images; The square in 1966. Albert St still on the other side of the square. When we went to functions in the hall, at intermission we would go to a milkbar across the square to Albert St



BCC Brisbane Images: 1968 The square is being dug up to make an underground parking station  and the new square will then be built on top. The part of Albert St that was adjacent to the square is now part of King George Sq, the closure of that part of the street allows the square to be increased in size


BCC Brisbane Images; 1971. The 'new' enlarged square was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth the previous year







It's 1974 in the above photo (BCC Brisbane Images) and the trees have grown and provide shade to the hundreds who use the square


The above photo ( BCC Brisbane Images) was taken in 1979. The fountains are a delightful part of the square. During the drought of the early 2000s BCC decided to no longer run the fountains :-( In the new, new square there are no fountains.
Finally, another one of my photos from Saturday...This is looking towards Ann St...

3 comments:

Maa said...
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Maa said...

Maria, I was there in 1974 till 1978. One day I was having lunch at The Crest. Bob Dylan was staying there and I went outside to have a cigarette and a chat with him. I also met the team of basketballers known as The Harlem Globtrotters when I was there for dinner one night. My youngest son, John was only a couple of weeks old and every one of them had a nurse and passed him around. I didn't have a camera then and I so regret it. Imagine the pictures of these beautiful tall, dark handsome guys, with a tiny little porcelin baby boy. It was magical.
Thank you for bringing up the memories. Sue

Sue Grier said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I remember celebrating New Year in there in 1980 and everyone including myself were dancing in the fountains. It was such a beautiful place for families with the grass and trees. Not so family friendly now. I go there once a month now to be part of the BrisStyle Twilight Markets on a Friday Night. Us girls certainly make it twinkle.