Sydney then and now: locations that show how the city has changed

For over 200 years, Sydney has grown from a tiny trading port into a vibrant metropolis with landmarks and dominant skyscrapers. Even with the dramatic changes Sydney has experienced, there are plenty of significant places around Sydney that kept the heritage and charm of the buildings today which were also present decades to more than a century ago.

A crowd sourced public Facebook group called ‘Sydney Then and Now’ with over 14,000 members have collected various old Sydney photos and painstakingly recreated the photos to show what the old photos would look like when taken from the same position in the present day.

With hundreds of photos featured, ‘Sydney Then and Now’ showcases an impressive collection of old and new Sydney photos which boasts a historic significance and remarkable impact on our curiosity about Sydney’s past, present and likely future.

1966 ~ 2019

Sun rising on the Opera House.

Images David Moore / K.Sundgren.

1966 ~ 2019 – Sun rising on the Opera House. (Images David Moore / K.Sundgren.)

c1865 ~ 2019

A fenced in Sydney University before becoming the sprawling campus that it is today

Images State Lib.of NSW / K.Sundgren.

c1865 ~ 2019 – A fenced in Sydney University before becoming the sprawling campus that it is today (Images State Lib.of NSW / K.Sundgren.)

1915 ~ 2019

The Gardener’s Lodge with the matching Messenger’s lodge in Victoria Park with Lake Northam in the foreground close to Sydney University. The Messenger’s Lodge is now demolished although the gates and Gardener’s Lodge remain.

Images University of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.

1915 ~ 2019 – The Gardener’s Lodge with the matching Messenger’s lodge in Victoria Park with Lake Northam in the foreground close to Sydney University. The Messenger’s Lodge is now demolished although the gates and Gardener’s Lodge remain. (Images University of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.)

Fairy Bower Manly looking towards Shelly Beach 1902 & 2019. 

The 1902 photo was taken by my Great Great Grandfather Garibaldi Tyler. He took it while visiting Sydney and was staying with his cousin Herbert Edward Pratten at Ashfield. The woman in the photo is Adelaide D Pinkerton, the Pratten family Nanny. 2019 photo taken by me. 

Source: Tyler family collection/Edward Lawn

Fairy Bower Manly looking towards Shelly Beach 1902 & 2019. The 1902 photo was taken by my Great Great Grandfather Garibaldi Tyler. He took it while visiting Sydney and was staying with his cousin Herbert Edward Pratten at Ashfield. The woman in the photo is Adelaide D Pinkerton, the Pratten family Nanny. 2019 photo taken by me. (Source: Tyler family collection/Edward Lawn)

c1865 ~ 2019

Cuthbert’s Ship Building Yard, Millers Point. Now part of the Barangaroo development.

Images Freeman Brothers c/- Australian Nat. Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.

c1865 ~ 2019 – Cuthbert’s Ship Building Yard, Millers Point. Now part of the Barangaroo development. (Images Freeman Brothers c/- Australian Nat. Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.)

1985 ~ 2019

Queen Victoria Building undergoes refurbishment and excavation works for underground car park. Work was completed by Ipoh Gardens Berhad for the iconic QVB we have today.

Images Ian Cugley c/- Commercial Real Estate / K.Sundgren.

1985 ~ 2019 – Queen Victoria Building undergoes refurbishment and excavation works for underground car park. Work was completed by Ipoh Gardens Berhad for the iconic QVB we have today. (Images Ian Cugley c/- Commercial Real Estate / K.Sundgren.)

c1880 ~ 2019

View of Sydney from Pyrmont.

Images C.Bayliss c/- Nat.Lib.of Australia / K.Sundgren.

c1880 ~ 2019 – View of Sydney from Pyrmont. (Images C.Bayliss c/- Nat.Lib.of Australia / K.Sundgren.)

1870 ~ 2019

Circular Quay, from the west side to the east. Govt. House is visible on the hill in the 1870’s photo.

Images Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.

1870 ~ 2019 – Circular Quay, from the west side to the east. Govt. House is visible on the hill in the 1870’s photo. (Images Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.)

Aerial view of Sydney in 1937 and the same view in 1999.

1937-State Library of NSW>1999-topsimages.com

Aerial view of Sydney in 1937 and the same view in 1999. (1937-State Library of NSW>1999-topsimages.com)

c1970’s ~ 2019

Doyles of Watsons Bay.

Images doyles.com.au / K.Sundgren.

c1970’s ~ 2019 – Doyles of Watsons Bay. (Images doyles.com.au / K.Sundgren.)

c1947 ~ 2019

Peek up Erskine Street from Pyrmont. AWA Tower appearing smaller today.

Images D.Moore / K.Sundgren.

c1947 ~ 2019 – Peek up Erskine Street from Pyrmont. AWA Tower appearing smaller today. (Images D.Moore / K.Sundgren.)

c1910 ~ 2019

South Head.

Images State Lib. NSW / K.Sundgren.

c1910 ~ 2019 – South Head. (Images State Lib. NSW / K.Sundgren.)

c1940’s ~ 2019

Manly.

Hotel Manly at the junction of The Esplanade, Belgrave St and The Corso. Now the Grand Esplanade apartments which also features a niche for the statue of Governor Phillip created by Raynor Hoff as did the former Hotel Manly.

Images Daily Telegraph / K.Sundgren.

c1940’s ~ 2019 – Manly. Hotel Manly at the junction of The Esplanade, Belgrave St and The Corso. Now the Grand Esplanade apartments which also features a niche for the statue of Governor Phillip created by Raynor Hoff as did the former Hotel Manly. (Images Daily Telegraph / K.Sundgren.)

1922 ~ 2019

Bondi Beach panorama.

Images: R.P. Moore (accessed from Waverley Council) / Ben Malone.

1922 ~ 2019 – Bondi Beach panorama. (Images: R.P. Moore (accessed from Waverley Council) / Ben Malone.)

Looking north along York Street, Sydney from Margaret Street in 1916 and in 2019.

1916-State Library of NSW>2019-Phil Harvey

Looking north along York Street, Sydney from Margaret Street in 1916 and in 2019. (1916-State Library of NSW>2019-Phil Harvey)

1920 ~ 2019

High Street, Millers Point sitting above The Hungry Mile where men would try to get work for a day on the docks often without success during the depression era.

Images NSW State Archives / K.Sundgren.

1920 ~ 2019 – High Street, Millers Point sitting above The Hungry Mile where men would try to get work for a day on the docks often without success during the depression era. (Images NSW State Archives / K.Sundgren.)

1956 ~ 2019

Bennelong Point and the rear of the former tramshed that stood there until replacement by your Sydney Opera House.

Images Sydney Opera House Trust / K.Sundgren.

1956 ~ 2019 – Bennelong Point and the rear of the former tramshed that stood there until replacement by your Sydney Opera House. (Images Sydney Opera House Trust / K.Sundgren.)

The Eddy Avenue entrance to Central Station in 1953 and in 2016.

1953 – State Library of NSW>2016 – Phil Harvey

The Eddy Avenue entrance to Central Station in 1953 and in 2016. (1953 – State Library of NSW>2016 – Phil Harvey)

1973 ~ 2019

Missing the ferry from Cremorne Point with views of the growing city skyline.

Images Max Dupain / K.Sundgren.

1973 ~ 2019 – Missing the ferry from Cremorne Point with views of the growing city skyline. (Images Max Dupain / K.Sundgren.)

The gates to Hyde Park Barracks off Queens Square in 1905 and in 2019.

1905-Sydney City Council>2019-Phil Harvey

The gates to Hyde Park Barracks off Queens Square in 1905 and in 2019. (1905-Sydney City Council>2019-Phil Harvey)

1859 ~ 2019

Campbell’s Cove as a busy shipping port and now a busy tourist wharf (usually).

Images Edwin Dalton c/- State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.

1859 ~ 2019 – Campbell’s Cove as a busy shipping port and now a busy tourist wharf (usually). (Images Edwin Dalton c/- State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.)

Circa 1891-97 ~ 2019

View over the Man O’ War Steps to Fort Denison and Sydney Harbour. Taken from the steps of the Opera House Gate of the Royal Botanic Garden. 

Images Powerhouse Museum / Ben Malone

Circa 1891-97 ~ 2019 – View over the Man O’ War Steps to Fort Denison and Sydney Harbour. Taken from the steps of the Opera House Gate of the Royal Botanic Garden. (Images Powerhouse Museum / Ben Malone)

Penrith Stadium from Ransley Street in circa 1980 and in 2019.

circa 1980-Penrith City Council>2019-Phil Harvey

Penrith Stadium from Ransley Street in circa 1980 and in 2019. (circa 1980-Penrith City Council>2019-Phil Harvey)

1-11 Oxford Street Paddington 1956 – 2019

1-11 Oxford Street Paddington 1956 – 2019

c1930 ~ 2019

Looking down Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills toward Central Station clock tower and Marcus Clark building clock. Griffith’s Tea Building can be seen on the left although obscured now.

Images Royal Australian Historical Society / K.Sundgren.

c1930 ~ 2019 – Looking down Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills toward Central Station clock tower and Marcus Clark building clock. Griffith’s Tea Building can be seen on the left although obscured now. (Images Royal Australian Historical Society / K.Sundgren.)

The Richmond Line platforms of Blacktown Station in 1954 and in 2019.

1954-Carl Syme-c/- Riverstone Museum>2019-Phil Harvey

The Richmond Line platforms of Blacktown Station in 1954 and in 2019. (1954-Carl Syme-c/- Riverstone Museum>2019-Phil Harvey)

Cars parked in front of Parliament House, Sydney, ca. 1920s and 2018.

1920 Fairfax Archives State Library of NSW – 2018 Marwin Elkoj.

Cars parked in front of Parliament House, Sydney, ca. 1920s and 2018. (1920 Fairfax Archives State Library of NSW – 2018 Marwin Elkoj.)

1948 ~ 2019

Open and shut at the State Theatre on Market Street in the city.

Images State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.

1948 ~ 2019 – Open and shut at the State Theatre on Market Street in the city. (Images State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.)

Top: Rozelle Tram Depot pre 1961, Sydney Tramways Museum; Bottom: Now just “The Tramsheds”, where I acquire my local victuals. My picture taken in 2019.

Top: Rozelle Tram Depot pre 1961, Sydney Tramways Museum; Bottom: Now just “The Tramsheds”, where I acquire my local victuals. My picture taken in 2019.

1874 ~ 2019

A drawing showing when Circular Quay was circular and today. 

Images C.Winston c/- City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.

1874 ~ 2019 – A drawing showing when Circular Quay was circular and today. (Images C.Winston c/- City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.)

Looking west along Angel Place towards George Street, Sydney in circa 1950 and in 2019.

circa 1950-Frank Hurley/National Library of Australia>2019-Phil Harvey

Looking west along Angel Place towards George Street, Sydney in circa 1950 and in 2019. (circa 1950-Frank Hurley/National Library of Australia>2019-Phil Harvey)

Cauliflower Hotel, cnr. Botany Road and Wellington Street, Waterloo 1936 and 2019.

1936 Australian National University – 2019 Marwin Elkoj.

Cauliflower Hotel, cnr. Botany Road and Wellington Street, Waterloo 1936 and 2019. (1936 Australian National University – 2019 Marwin Elkoj.)

c1890 ~ 2019

Vessels berthed at Circular Quay. 

Images Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.

c1890 ~ 2019 – Vessels berthed at Circular Quay. (Images Maritime Museum / K.Sundgren.)

The Shakespeare Hotel Surry Hills 1959 and 2019.

1959 Australian National University – 2019 Marwin Elkoj.

The Shakespeare Hotel Surry Hills 1959 and 2019. (1959 Australian National University – 2019 Marwin Elkoj.)

c1900 ~ 2019

View down Hunt Street from the corner of Foster Street, Surry Hills before some resumptions and major road re constructions in the area. Hunt Street is now opened into Wentworth Ave.

Images City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.

c1900 ~ 2019 – View down Hunt Street from the corner of Foster Street, Surry Hills before some resumptions and major road re constructions in the area. Hunt Street is now opened into Wentworth Ave. (Images City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.)

1939 ~ 2019

Forsyth Street in Glebe with extensive views over Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont and the city to the Harbour Bridge to today when a lady stopped to say thank you for taking a photo of our ugly little street.

Images Nat.Lib. of Australia / K.Sundgren.

1939 ~ 2019 – Forsyth Street in Glebe with extensive views over Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont and the city to the Harbour Bridge to today when a lady stopped to say thank you for taking a photo of our ugly little street. (Images Nat.Lib. of Australia / K.Sundgren.)

The escalator down from Platform 1 at Circular Quay Railway Station on the station’s opening day, 21st January 1956 and the same view on the 62nd Anniversary, 21st January 2018.

1956-Fairfax Archives>2018-Phil Harvey

The escalator down from Platform 1 at Circular Quay Railway Station on the station’s opening day, 21st January 1956 and the same view on the 62nd Anniversary, 21st January 2018. (1956-Fairfax Archives>2018-Phil Harvey)

Left: Streeton’s Blue Pacific (Coogee Bay) 1890; Right, my iPhone photo. Perhaps had to squat down a little but that fence.

Left: Streeton’s Blue Pacific (Coogee Bay) 1890; Right, my iPhone photo. Perhaps had to squat down a little but that fence.

The Macquarie Centre Ice Rink in 1983 and in 2019.

1983-Fairfax/Adrian Greer – 2019 Phil Harvey

The Macquarie Centre Ice Rink in 1983 and in 2019. (1983-Fairfax/Adrian Greer – 2019 Phil Harvey)

c1900 ~ 2019

Woolloomooloo Bay.

From wide open expanse, now cut in half with a finger wharf and many decks and expensive pleasure craft cover the waters.

Images J.H.Harvey c/- State Lib. of Victoria / K.Sundgren.

c1900 ~ 2019 – Woolloomooloo Bay. From wide open expanse, now cut in half with a finger wharf and many decks and expensive pleasure craft cover the waters. (Images J.H.Harvey c/- State Lib. of Victoria / K.Sundgren.)

1947 ~ 2019

Looking down on Circular Quay going up.

Images State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.

1947 ~ 2019 – Looking down on Circular Quay going up. (Images State Lib. of NSW / K.Sundgren.)

1968 ~ 2019

The corner of George & King Streets,now with the GPO clock just visible on the right.

Images Pinterest(unattributed) / K.Sundgren.

1968 ~ 2019 – The corner of George & King Streets,now with the GPO clock just visible on the right. (Images Pinterest(unattributed) / K.Sundgren.)

1975 ~ 2019

Selling papers on the cnr of Elizabeth & Hunter Streets in the city. Now, not.

Images National Archives of Australia / K.Sundgren.

1975 ~ 2019 – Selling papers on the cnr of Elizabeth & Hunter Streets in the city. Now, not. (Images National Archives of Australia / K.Sundgren.)

George and King St intersection looking south, 1962 and January 2019. Formerly better known as Darrell Lea corner.

Then: Tom Lambert / Now: Chris Ho

George and King St intersection looking south, 1962 and January 2019. Formerly better known as Darrell Lea corner. (Then: Tom Lambert / Now: Chris Ho)

1889 ~ 2019

Looking down York Street toward the Town Hall with the former City Markets on the left side of the street, the cross road is Market Street.The changes over time have been somewhat significant. Even the bloke in the now image is scratching his head 

Images City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.

1889 ~ 2019 – Looking down York Street toward the Town Hall with the former City Markets on the left side of the street, the cross road is Market Street.The changes over time have been somewhat significant. Even the bloke in the now image is scratching his head (Images City of Sydney archives / K.Sundgren.)

Looking North from the intersection of George , Druitt and Park Streets , ca 1970s and 2018 .

1970s ~ City of Sydney Archives > 2018 ~ Allan Hawley

Looking North from the intersection of George , Druitt and Park Streets , ca 1970s and 2018. (1970s ~ City of Sydney Archives > 2018 ~ Allan Hawley)

East Circular Quay 1982 and December 2018

Top: Alex K. Moses / Bottom: Chris Ho

East Circular Quay 1982 and December 2018 (Top: Alex K. Moses / Bottom: Chris Ho)

1967 ~ 2018

Sydney skyline at dusk from Kirribilli, going up.

Images Ausgrid photos / K.Sundgren.

1967 ~ 2018 – Sydney skyline at dusk from Kirribilli, going up. (Images Ausgrid photos / K.Sundgren.)

c1964 ~ 2018

View from Broughton St Lookout in Kirribilli over Milsons Point toward Dawes Point. Also featuring the latest in QANTAS uniforms. Note: photo taken from the only gap in the hedge.

Images ABC.net / K.Sundgren.

c1964 ~ 2018 – View from Broughton St Lookout in Kirribilli over Milsons Point toward Dawes Point. Also featuring the latest in QANTAS uniforms. note,photo taken from the only gap in the hedge. (Images ABC.net / K.Sundgren.)

Source: ‘Sydney Then and Now’ Facebook Group, May 6, 2019.

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Sydney then and now: locations that show how the city has changed