A Maclaggan Street vista

It can be interesting to look at some of the changed vistas along our city streets. Here is a Gary Blackman image of Maclaggan Street taken in August 1963, and an approximate comparison from February 2017. The silhouette of the First Church spire is prominent in the earlier picture, but obscured by Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (formerly Cargill House) in the later one. Philip Laing House on the right, opened in 1973, is the other large addition. The magnificent AMP Building designed by Louis Boldini was demolished in 1969. All of the buildings visible on the left and right hand sides of Maclaggan Street have been pulled down, with the exception of the Crown Hotel on the Rattray Street corner. These included the western end of the old Broadway Arcade, taken down in 1970. Today the realigned Broadway is a busy traffic route, and Harvey Norman (left) and The Warehouse (right) take up much of the remaining real estate. Notable survivors on Princes Street (seen here from behind) include the former Excelsior Hotel and Everybody’s Theatre with their fascinating roofscapes. The Calder Mackay building, covered in scaffolding in August 1963, is still standing, as is Speight’s Shamrock Building to its left. The telegraph poles and their busy wirescape have been removed. Of course one photograph was taken in winter and the other in summer, but the trees that now bring greenness for much of the year are another addition.



5 thoughts on “A Maclaggan Street vista

  1. Robert Findlay

    Very interesting David,

    You could have mentioned Calder and Mackay building built by you know who, way back in…

    Keep up the good work.


    1. David Murray Post author

      Thanks Robert – yes, I have design and construction details for a lot of the buildings shown but they will have to wait for other posts!

  2. Paul Hellyer

    An ancestor of mine, a great-great-great Aunt, once lived in Maclaggan Street. In 1893, while living there, Lilian Maud signed the petition for Women’s suffrage. It is a small connection I know. Even the 1963 vista shown here, some 70 years later, would have been strange and unfamiliar to her. Yet, nevertheless, she would have walked down these very streets. Old ghosts from the past, no trace remains. Despite all the changes, the rise and fall of buildings, I still feel a connection to Maclaggan street, to my ancient aunt Lilian Maud who, once upon a time, stuck her neck out, and signed that petition, while living in Maclaggan street.


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