What: Growth and decline, in equal measures.
The growth isn't hard to see - look at this photo taken by Fred Evans in 1959, shortly before he sailed home:
The three big bank buildings tower above everything else in Central. But just six years later, the 1965 photo shows them dwarfed by new, taller buildings including the Mandarin, the new Prince's Building, and the Hilton Hotel.
And there is plenty more building to come, with reclamation underway at several sites. Across the harbour, reclamation for Tsim Sha Tsui East is nearly complete. Back on the island, zoom in to the coastline at the left of the photo to see reclamation underway. It's where the General Post Office stands today. Then swing over to the right edge of the photo and a tongue of new land extends into the harbour off Wanchai. It's the start of the reclamation that will push the shoreline out from Gloucester Road out to today's Convention Avenue.
So where's the decline?
For that, take another look at last week's photo, taken around 1907. It also shows major reclamation and construction projects underway. In the foreground the British Military Hospital was just about finished. All the land from there to the sea belonged to the Army and Navy, with a large new Naval Dockyard under construction on freshly reclaimed land. Britain's Empire was reaching its peak.
Then look at Fred's 1959 photo. At first glance there seems to be little changed. But zoom in closely and you'll see that the dry-dock, centre-piece of the dockyard, is already half filled-in with earth and rubble.
Between the end of the second world and 1959, several British colonies had already gained independence. The Empire was shrinking, so the Royal Navy and its facilities were scaled back accordingly.
By 1965, the majority of the dockyard land had been sold back to the Hong Kong government, with only the Tidal basin kept for the Navy's use. Britain's Empire days were over.
Where: The photographer would have stood up at the Peak, probably along Lugard Road.
I'll post up some more detailed sections of this photo over the next few days, to give a closer look at a couple of areas.
When: I'm guessing early 1965 as the date. Prince's Building was completed in 1965, and here we can see it is just about finished. Then over in TST there's only a cleared patch of land where Star House will stand, but by the time this photo was taken in 1966, construction was already several storeys high: