The Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy


On back:
CAPRI – Grotta Azzurra
Publishers: Trampetti & Migliaccio, Naples; c.1910

During Roman times, the grotto was used as the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius as well as a marine temple. Tiberius moved from the Roman capital to the island of Capri in 27 AD. During Tiberius’ reign, the grotto was decorated with several statues as well as resting areas around the edge of the cave.

During the 18th century, the grotto was known to the locals as Gradola, after the nearby landing place of Gradola. It was avoided by sailors and islanders because it was said to be inhabited by witches and monsters. The grotto was then “rediscovered” by the public in 1826, with the visit of German writer August Kopisch and his friend Ernst Fries, who were taken to the grotto by local fisherman Angelo Ferraro.
Wikipedia

The Blue Grotto is 60 meters long by 25 meters wide. The clear blue waters below the boat are 150 meters deep. The unearthly blue light effect is caused by the refraction of daylight through the above water cave opening and a larger submerged opening. The acoustics inside the grotto are famously beautiful. At the back of the main cave, three connecting branches lead to the Sala dei Nomi, or “room of names”, named after the graffiti signatures left by visitors over the centuries. Two more passages lead deeper into the island, before it becomes inaccessible. For many years it was thought that the fissures at the back of the cave may have been ancient stairways leading up to the Emperor’s pleasure palaces, but it now seems that these are merely natural passages which narrow and then end, no palace in sight.

Three statues of the sea gods Neptune and Triton were recovered from the grotto floor in 1964 (now on display at a museum in Anacapri), and seven statue bases were found in 2009. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder described the statues in the grotto as “playing on a shell” – the position of the now missing arms of the Triton statue, usually depicted with a conch shell, indicate that these were the statues that he saw in the 1st century AD. Four more statues may yet be hidden in the sandy depths.
Atlas Obscura

Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore


The Chinese Theatre Hall, Singapore,
c.1910

The Chinese Theatre Hall at Eu Tong Sen Street was known as the Heng Wai Sun Theatre Hall. After 1922, it was known as Sing Phing Theatre Hall.
National Archives of Singapore

Some web site put the theatre Near or next to the old Thong Chai Medical Institution, which is located here (Google Maps). National Library Board of Singapore has a photo captioned “This is a photograph of shoppers walking past the square bounded by People’s Park Complex (right) and the 10-storey OG Building (left) in Chinatown. OG Building housed the OG Department Store and was built on the site of Heng Wai Sun Theatre (1930s),” which seems to be about here. While both locations are in the same general area of Eu Tong See Street, they’re about 400 metres apart. Maybe one day someone who actually knows will came by and fix it.

From Wikipedia:
Eu Tong Sen Street is named after the tycoon, Eu Tong Sen who was a miner, rubber estate and a property owner. He was one of the richest men in Malaya and Singapore, and was born in Penang, Malaya in 1877. He set up a bank known as Lee Wah Bank which catered to the Cantonese, but was merged with the United Overseas Bank due to financial issues. The road was formerly part of the expunged Wayang Street, and it received its present name in 1919 as he rebuilt the street and acquired two Chinese opera theatres, known as Heng Seng Peng and Heng Wai Sun.

If that’s the road construction shown on the postcard, then it might c.1920, but that seems a bit late.

Allentown Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA


4443 JUDGES STAND, ALLENTOWN, PA. FAIR.
COPYRIGHT 1905, SHAFERS BOOK STORE, ALLENTOWN, PA

Google Maps

The Lehigh County Agricultural Society held the first fair from October 6 to October 8, 1852, on Livingston’s Lawn, a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot located east of Fourth Street, between Walnut and Union Streets, in Allentown. The initial fair was so successful that in 1853 the Society undertook the purchase of a larger plot of land, north of Liberty Street and between Fifth and Sixth Streets, on which ticket offices and a two-story exhibition hall were built.

Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, the popularity of the Allentown Fair continued to grow. However, increased attendance led to dissatisfaction regarding the fairground’s size, facilities, short race track and small grandstand. In 1889, the Lehigh County Agricultural Society purchased a plot of land on Seventeenth Street, between Chew and Liberty Streets, to serve as the new fairgrounds.One of the primary features of the new location was a new half-mile race track, with grandstands capable of seating 2,500.

From its earliest days, horse racing was a popular event at the Allentown Fair. In 1902, the fair’s half-mile track was regarded as “one of the finest in the country.” In 1905, racehorse Dan Patch set a record of 2:01 on the half-mile track. In 1908, a new grandstand was built at the Allentown Fairgrounds that increased seating capacity from 2,500 to 10,000. As of 2009, this structure remains in use as the Fairgrounds’ grandstand.

Wikipedia

1900 Advertisement for fair, showing track

Official site

St Stephen’s Park, Dublin, Ireland


St Stephen’s Green Park. Dublin.

Published: Lawrence, Dublin
c.1910

Google Maps.

The name St Stephen’s Green originates from a church called St Stephen’s in that area in the thirteenth century. Attached to the church was a leper hospital. Around this time the area was a marshy piece of common ground, which extended as far as the River Dodder and was used by the citizens of the city for grazing livestock. In 1663 the City Assembly decided that the plot of ground could be used to generate income for the city and a central area of twenty-seven acres was marked out which would define the park boundary, with the remaining ground being let out into ninety building lots. Rent generated was to be used to build walls and paving around the Green. Each tenant also had to plant six sycamore trees near the wall, in order to establish some privacy within the park. In 1670 the first paid gardeners were employed to tend to the park.

By the nineteenth century the condition of the park had deteriorated to such an extent that the perimeter wall was broken, and many trees were to be found in bad condition around the park. In 1814 commissioners representing the local householders were handed control of the park. They replaced the broken wall with ornate Victorian railings and set about planting more trees and shrubs in the park. New walks were also constructed to replace the formal paths previously found in the park. However with these improvements, the Green then became a private park accessible only to those who rented keys to the park from the Commission, despite the 1635 law which decreed that the park was available for use by all citizens. This move was widely resented by the public.

Sir Arthur Guinness, later known as Lord Ardilaun, grew up in Iveagh House located on St Stephen’s Green, and came from a family well noted for its generosity to the Dublin public. In 1877 Sir Arthur offered to buy the Green from the commission and return it to the public. He paid off the park’s debts and secured an Act which ensured that the park would be managed by the Commissioners of Public Works, now the OPW. Sir Arthur’s next objective was to landscape the park, and provide an oasis of peace and tranquility in the city. He took an active part in the design of the redeveloped park, and many of the features in the park are said to have been his suggestions. The main features of the redeveloped park included a three-acre lake with a waterfall, picturesquely-arranged Pulham rockwork, and a bridge, as well as formal flower beds, and fountains. The superintendent’s lodge was designed with Swiss shelters. It is estimated the redevelopment of the park cost £20,000.
St Stephen’s Park

Access to the Green was restricted to local residents, until 1877, when Parliament passed an Act to reopen St Stephen’s Green to the public, at the initiative of Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family who lived at St Anne’s Park, Raheny and at Ashford Castle. He later paid for the laying out of the Green in approximately its current form, which took place in 1880, and gave it to the Corporation, as representatives of the people. By way of thanks the city commissioned a statue of him, which faces the College of Surgeons. His brother Edward lived at Iveagh House, which his descendants gave in 1939 to the Department of External Affairs (now the Department of Foreign Affairs).

During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents made up mainly of members of the Irish Citizen Army, under the command of Commandant Michael Mallin, his second-in-command Kit Poole, and Constance Markievicz, established a position in St Stephen’s Green. They numbered between 200 and 250.[ They confiscated motor vehicles to establish road blocks on the streets that surround the park, and dug defensive positions in the park itself. This approach differed from that of taking up positions in buildings, adopted elsewhere in the city. It proved to have been unwise when elements of the British Army took up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, at the northeastern corner of St Stephen’s Green, overlooking the park, from which they could shoot down into the entrenchments. Finding themselves in a weak position, the Volunteers withdrew to the Royal College of Surgeons on the west side of the Green. During the Rising, fire was temporarily halted to allow the park’s groundsman to feed the local ducks.
Wikipedia

Zoo, Buenos Aires, Argentina


BUENOS AIRES, Jardin Zoológico

Street View

Although the historic Buenos Aires Zoo is in the process of being transformed into a modern eco-park, visitors can still appreciate its original Victorian-era architecture. The pavillions, which have been declared national historic monuments, reflect the traditional architecture of the countries that the different animals came from – with Moorish, Indian, Chinese and Greek/Roman-style buildings.
Buenos Aires Ciudad

President Domingo Sarmiento was responsible for the laying out of the Parque Tres de Febrero in land previously owned by Juan Manuel de Rosas. The project was begun in 1874; the park was opened on November 11, 1875, and included a small section dedicated for animals. This area was owned by the Federal Government until 1888 when it was transferred to the City of Buenos Aires. In that year, Mayor Antonio Crespo created the Buenos Aires Zoo, and separated it from the rest of the park.

Its first director Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg was appointed in 1888 and stayed in that position for 15 years. He was the major designer of the zoo. Holmberg completed the assignment of the different parks, lakes and avenues, and began the exhibition of the 650 animals that the zoo had at that time. In that period zoos around the world did not have the same function as they do today; their main goal was recreational, and they had less space for animals and a large recreational area for visitors.

Clemente Onelli was the director from 1904 to 1924 and promoted the Zoo Gardens. Onelli added pony, elephant and camel rides to the zoo and increased the number of visitors (from 1,500 to 15,000) during his first year of office. He is also responsible for most of the Romanesque buildings at the zoo.
Wikipedia

1890 map.

Regatta Palace, Sainte-Adresse


SAINTE-ADRESSE. — Le Palais des Régates. — LL
Published Levy & Sons, 1907-1919

Street View (overview)

The Palais des Régates at Sainte-Adresse belongs to the Société des Régates du Havre (Le Havre Regatta Society)
1906 The Palais des Régates built by Georges Dufayel, and opened 1907
1940-42 During WW II, the Palais was used as a hospital. It was hit by a bomb that destroyed the observatory and windows. In 1942, the building was destroyed by Gaermans as it blocked the fire of their coastal batteries and made them too easy to find.
1957 New Palais opened
From Palais des Regates via Way Back Machine

…the Société des Régates du Havre yacht club has known moments of great glory, including the election of the future President of the Republic, Felix Faure, as its commodore and, again, its participation in the organisation of the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympic Games; but has also known the effects of the ‘down’ side of history, with the destruction of the lavish Palais des Régates clubhouse in Sainte-Adresse in 1942, during the second world war.
Société des Régates: the history of the club