Colour brings new life to old Adelaide photos

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By Lana Guineay

Time travel may not be possible (yet), but this exhibition may be the next best thing.

Historic black and white photos of Adelaide, including century-old pictures of landmark buildings and daily life, have been digitally colourised for a special exhibition celebrating the city’s heritage.

The stunning scenes are the work of artist Marina Amaral, who was commissioned by Adelaide City Council to digitally colourise the archival photos to offer a new, vibrant glimpse into the past.

‘Bringing Adelaide’s History to Colour’ is on display in Rundle Mall until April 8, and celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Council’s Heritage Incentives Scheme, which has provided more than $20 million in grants to help property owners repair and restore Adelaide’s heritage buildings.

There are 2,497 heritage-listed buildings in Adelaide and North Adelaide, making up around 27% of the total listings in the state.

From Beehive Corner to Elder Hall, construction workers to dance-goers, the exhibition gives a fascinating glimpse into how Adelaide streetscapes have changed – and what has stayed the same. Check out a few highlights below:

Beehive Corner, c. 1909

Original photo source: State Library of South Australia, B3532, c.1909

Food carts, Rundle Street c.1900-1910

Original photo source: City Archives, HP1793, c.1900-1910

 Hamburg Hotel, corner Rundle Street and Gawler Place c. 1909

Original photo source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 631/2/1288, c.1909

The York Theatre, corner Rundle St and Gawler Place, c.1936

Original photo source: State Library of South Australia, B64013, c.1936

Palais de Danse’s opening in April 1920

Original photo source: State Library of South Australia, PRG 280/1/28/382, c.1920

Check out more at Adelaide City Council, and visit Rundle Mall to see the exhibition until April 8.

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