I first fell for the Now and Then photography concept when I was on an European adventure. In Rome, I picked up a neat little book which depicted many of the eternal city's ancient crumbly ruins. With a flick of a page, the ruin was overlayed with a recreation as it was in its heyday some 2000 years ago. I bought similar books around Europe and it was a great way to help me interpret the history of a site.
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I had my interest reignited recently when I saw a photo of the old Devonshire Street Cemetery. It was a stark reminder of how cities evolve as Sydney's Central Railway station now occupies the same space.
Devonshire Street cemetery headstones circa 1901 (source: RAHS)
The cemetery was bounded by Eddy Avenue, Elizabeth Street, between Chalmers and Devonshire Streets. It was in use from 1820 until it was closed for burials in 1867. In 1901, all the bodies in the cemetery were exhumed and unless claimed by relatives, were relocated to Bunnerong Cemetery, later part of Botany Cemetery. This paved the way for the construction of the new Central Station which replaced the former Sydney rail terminus, now Redfern station. The new 15 platform station was opened on 4 August 1906 with the impressive clock tower added in 1921.
For more fascinating Now and Then photos of Sydney, check out the City of Sydney history pages.
Devonshire Street cemetery circa 1901 (Source: State Records Office)