Time continues to pass with accelerated force, while history plants its seeds. Often, we don’t pay attention to the subtle changes making their way into our environment and tend to miss out on marvelous transformations.
With technological advances and world revolutions, many significant sights and cities have undergone drastic redesigns that have enabled them to develop in a modernized world. Discoveries following world wars and new machines have allowed for structures to be rebuilt in efficient ways that help progress societies.
Looking back at the changes can be quite shocking and can even provide you with a new perspective. From developing luxurious high-rises to cutting-edge renovations, the planet has seen vast improvements over time that can be remembered with pride and appreciation.
Below are 20 before and after photos of places that have changed significantly from the past.
1. The Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris, France during the 1950s and in 2018. This spot was where famous French artists, like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the man who made their famous posters, according to The Guardian, frequented before it was accidentally burnt down in 1915. It was later rebuilt and revived as a club for entertainers during the 1920s and on, and hosted icons like Mistinguett, Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour. Now it primarily serves as a tourist attraction, with extravagant shows filled with bright lights and costumes, that are open to the public.
2. The Tower Bridge in London, England, from 1894 to 2017. This viaduct adjacent to the Tower of London, a historic castle, took 8 years to build and has now become a staple attraction for visitors from around the world. In 2008, the bridge began to undergo what was a four-year-long major renovation project, which included LED lights and a new paint job, says The Telegraph.
3. Mulberry Street, in New York City, USA from 1900 to 2014. This road is located in the centre of Little Italy, in Manhattan and has been a setting to many prominent events through history, as well as Mafia crimes, explains Lonely Planet. The sidewalks are no longer covered with carts and merchants, but with busy patios of popular restaurants.
4. The Great Library in Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Canada from the 19th century to 2018. This space was an addition following renovations to Osgoode Hall in 1929, uniquely meant for the Law Society of Upper Canada, says Blog TO. It contains 120,000 legal volumes and is a private space paid for by lawyers who are members, that opens to the public during regular operating hours. Its layout and furniture style has changed, but it remains one of Toronto’s hidden treasures.
5. Los Angeles City Hall in California, from 1927 to 2018. This building is located in the Civic Center district of downtown Los Angeles and houses the mayor’s office, according to their personal Facebook page. Being located in a prime spot, it has had the chance to be included as the backdrop of many famous movies and shows, such as The Adventures of Superman, War of the Worlds and L.A. Confidential. You can now find it surrounded by palm trees and sports cars.
6. Museum of the City of Lodz, in Łódź, Poland from the 1920’s to 2017. The castle was previously owned by a Polish-Jewish businessman, Izrael Poznański, and served as a personal palace with numerous offices and dining spaces, explains Culture.pl, a Polish historical website. The space now works as a museum honoring architecture and national history.
7. Dubai, UAE from 2005 to 2012. This global city has quickly transformed from being a desert to becoming a business hub and one of the most visited places in the Middle East. Countless skyscrapers were built over the last decade, including the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa, confirms Guinness World Records. Oil revenue initially launched its development but now its funding relies primarily on tourism, real estate and aviation.
8. The Coney Island Cyclone at Luna Park in Coney Island, New York from 1961 to 2018. Originally created as a part of a long-time amusement park, Astroland, the ride has now become an iconic part of the island and its culture. Made of wood over 90 years ago, says Fortune, the roller coaster currently finds itself surrounded by many new, high-tech counterparts.
9. Front Street in Toronto, Canada, from 1950 to 2018. The main road, which is now home to the Fairmont Royal York hotel and Union Station, was excavated mid-twentieth century for the construction of the subway, according to Toronto.ca. The street was first laid out in 1796 and is still one of the most walked-on in the city.
10. Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City, from 1952 to 2018. At the time of its erection, this multi-purpose stadium was the largest in the country. Since that time it’s held the 1955 Pan American Games, the 1968 Summer Olympics, says Olympic.org, and a few 1986 FIFA World Cup games. As a constituent of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, it also works as a playing field on campus.
11. The Bode Museum on the Museum Island in Berlin, Germany, from 1909 to 2018. Originally, the building was called the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, after Emperor Frederick III, explains Visit Berlin, but was later renamed in 1956 to honour its first curator. Today, it sits near the Fernsehturm Tower, and holds works varying in eras, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
12. The Acropolis of Athens, in Greece, from the 1900’s to 2018. The Acropolis, meaning “highest point,” in Greek, says the English Oxford Dictionary, is an ancient fortress located above the capital city of Athens. It’s comprised of a number of ancient buildings, including the Parthenon. The archaic site remains a historical attraction that is recognized worldwide.
13. Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, from 1937 to 2018. The famous beach officially opened to the public in 1882, and since has been a popular retreat for locals and visitors, alike. Though it is historically famous for its strict laws against indecent swimwear, according to Australia’s Daily Telegraph, it has now converted to contemporary norms and allows bikinis and topless sunbathing.
14. Tokyo Station Building in Chiyoda, Tokyo from 1997 to 2018. The Marunouchi business district, neighboring the Imperial Palace, is where the original building still lies. An expansion, not far from the Ginza commercial district, was added more recently, with further renovations developing until 2013. Shockingly, two Japanese prime ministers were assassinated at the station, one in 1921 and the other in 1930, says CNN.
15. Pike Street in Seattle, Washington, from 1909 to 2018. Seattle’s Pike Street is most famous for being residence to Pike Place Market, the country’s oldest operated public farmers’ markets, dating back to 1907, according to Seattle.gov. The 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world sees more than 10 million people yearly and contains a variety of family-owned shops, restaurants and fresh seafood and produce.
16. The Chicago Skyline, in the State of Illinois, from 1970 to 2018. This beautiful metropolitan city inhabits over 2.7 million people and is the third-largest in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles. Being the birthplace of the first skyscraper in 1885, as reported by The Guardian, it now holds more than 100 high-rises, making its skyline one of the most noteworthy.
17. Jama Masjid in Delhi, India from 1976 to 2018. Built in 1644 following orders by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is one of the largest mosques ever built in India and can hold up to 25,000 guests. The building faced two attacks, one bombing in 2006, and a shooting in 2010, though none were fatal, says the Encyclopedia Britannica.
18. Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 1976 to 2018. The city of Chiang Mai is the largest in northern Thailand. Found above the Ping River, says Chiang Mai by Hotels.com, it holds some of the most beautiful Buddhist temples, dating back to the 13th century. The old city is where these intricate gems exist, a place often crowded with awestruck tourists.
19. Hampton Court Gardens in London, England, from the 1930’s to 2018. Home to a large trapezoid maze, commissioned in the 18th century, it covers 60 acres of land, says Historical Royal Palaces, and is known for being remarkably well-kept. It sits behind a palace originally belonging to King Henry the 8th during the 16th century and is now open for public tours.
20. Beacon Hill, Hong Kong, China in the 1970’s to 2018. Located in the northern region of the Kowloon peninsula, this high hill is over 400 metres tall and is a part of Lion Rock Country Park, says the AFCD of the government of Hong Kong. The hill was also used as a lookout spot for intruders during the reign of the Qing Dynasty and is now a site occupied by a police transmitter and radar station.