Author(s): Richard Offen
Archival photographs of Perth have been carefully matched with specially commissioned colour photos to reveal the past and present of this fascinating city. Perth Then and Now accurately matches historic photographs of the city with specially commissioned contemporary views that show how each site looks today. With an Aboriginal history going back over 40,000 years, Perth ranks amongst the oldest places on earth with near continuous human habitation. The modern city came into being in 1829 with the formation of the Swan River Colony. For the first 60 years of its existence, Perth was no more than a small country town which lived on an economic knife-edge between riches and ruin. Then, in the 1890s, commercial quantities of gold were discovered in the North and East of Western Australia. This sparked the first of several mineral booms in the State and resulted in Perth being able to demonstrate its newfound wealth in the form grandiose buildings which transformed the modest town into a fine city. Since the late nineteenth century, a cycle of 'boom and bust' has added successive layers of development to the city's rich tapestry of building styles. As with many cities around the world, Perth witnessed the destruction of many older buildings during the last quarter of the 20th century, but has now learned to respect its heritage, resulting in some spectacular and imaginative adaptive reuses of older buildings. Past and present are laid side by side in this fascinating visual tour around the capital of Western Australia. Sites include: Crawley Baths, Narrows Bridge, King's Park, Cottesloe Beach, T&G Building, Government Gardens, Russell Square, City Beach, St Georges Terrace, Hay Street, HIs Majesty's Theatre, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Arcade, Hotel Metropole, Town Hall, St George's Hall, the WACA, GPO Building, Central Arcade, St Mary's Cathedral, Matilda Bay, Horseshoe Bridge, Swan Brewery.