About Thomas Ryan Photography

This major photographic project documents the rapid growth and changes happening in Townsville. Join me, Thomas Ryan, on a photographic journey as I document Townsville's past, present and future through the camera lens.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please visit my website,Thomas Ryan Photography. You can also contact me via social media on facebook and g+ All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan. All rights reserved, unauthorised use is prohibited.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Townsville: City in Change Photography Project

As a photographer with an interest in architecture and local history, I find Townsville a very interesting place.  The city is experiencing a large population boom that has given rise to many new buildings and other changes happening in the city. I thought I'd start a blog do document Townsville life through the the visual medium of the photograph, something I enjoy.

Townsville: City in Change.  Taken from castle Hill at dusk.   
In 1991 Townsville's population was approximately 110,000 people. Just two decades later the population is nearly 200,000.  This population boom has meant many visual changes to Townsville, including large scale housing developments that push outwards into what was once just bush land or cattle farms. Large scale shopping malls have popped up in outlying suburbs to service the growing population, whilst local authorities grapple with issues surrounding public transport and bringing people back into what was once a vibrant CBD. These are the changes and challenges of Townsville city that I document through the visual medium.

My blog also examines the places and buildings of earlier times, because it's important to recognize how Townsville has evolved and changed through it's past.  Townsville has a rich collection of buildings that tell a story of it's evolution, particularly the post Second World War period witnessed major building projects in housing, commercial and civic buildings, all of which form part of Townsville's unique identity and story.

The changing skyline of Towsville. I took this photograph showing the Dalgety Tower apartment block, one of several buildings that have emerged in Townsville in the past decade, dramatically changing the skyline.
Some of the interesting landmarks from the 20th Century include the grand streamline (former) Art Deco Townsville Hospital, The (former) Townsville Railway Station, The 'Sugar Shaker' accommodation tower block; former Commonwealth Bank building; the Law Courts and Council building and the James Cook University Library building. Suburbs that fringe the the city are dotted with 1950s and 1960s homes, many visually different to their Southern counterparts, having been designed to handle life in the tropics.

Whilst Townsville has undergone dramatic changes in terms of development there remain many challenges relating to serving a fast growing city.  One such issue is addressing the loss of the once vibrant city center.  The central business district of Townsville has been dying a slow death.  New buildings rise from the dirt, whilst many buildings and shops remain empty and neglected. 
In recent times the face of Townsville has changed dramatically, with a major redevelopment and face-lift of the Townsville Strand, a $50m+ redevelopment of the Townsville Mall and several multi-story apartment blocks and homes vying for views overlooking the city, ocean and rivers.

So many themes and topics to explore, hope you enjoy dropping by.

Watch this space....large empty spaces and billboard advertising a new building project in Townsville.  The plans for this site are for a commercial tower office block, known as Verde Townsville. 

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