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Railway Square (formerly Central Square), circa 1908

It's a wet day and passengers are waiting for trams at one of Sydney's busiest tram terminals. In 1908, fashionable Central Square, next to Central Station, was the retail heart of the city, but when the underground rail loop came into operation between 1926 and 1932, all that changed. Retailing shifted north and Railway Square drifted relentlessly towards the seedy squalor that has characterised it ever since. A few years ago there were high hopes that the remodelling of the square would be the start of a renaissance for the area. Unfortunately the new bus interchange and lighting towers designed by NSW government architect Chris Johnson seem to have doomed the precinct to a kind of fairground kitch.

Compare this shot with others taken in 1913 and 1922.