Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy


NAPOLI – Teatro S. Carlo
1900s
Publisher: Adinolfi Domenico, Naples

Google Street View.

Website.

The Real Teatro di San Carlo (Royal Theatre of Saint Charles), its original name under the Bourbon monarchy but known today as simply the Teatro di San Carlo, is an opera house in Naples, Italy It is located adjacent to the central Piazza del Plebiscito, and connected to the Royal Palace. The San Carlo Theater, formerly Real Theater of San Carlo, often referred to as the San Carlo Theater, is a lyric opera in Naples, as well as one of the most famous and prestigious in the world. Overlooking the street and side streets of Trieste and Trento, the theater, in line with the other great architectural works of the period, such as the great Bourbon Bourges, was the symbol of a Naples that remarked its status as a major European capital. It is the oldest opera house in Europe and the world still active, being founded in 1737, as well as one of the most extensive Italian theaters of the peninsula. It can accommodate 1386 spectators and has a large square (22 × 28 × 23 m), five rows of horses, plus a large royal stage, a log cabin and a stage (34 × 33 m). Given its size, structure and antiquity, it has been a model for subsequent European theaters.
HiSoUR

On 13 February 1816 a fire broke out during a dress-rehearsal for a ballet performance and quickly spread to destroy a part of building. On the orders of King Ferdinand IV, another Bourbon monarch and son of Charles III, who used the services of Antonio Niccolini, Barbaia was able to rebuild the opera house within ten months. It was rebuilt as a traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium with 1,444 seats, and a proscenium, 33.5m wide and 30m high. The stage was 34.5m deep. Niccolini embellished in the inner of the bas-relief depicting “Time and the Hour”.

On 12 January 1817, the rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Johann Simon Mayr’s Il sogno di Partenope. Stendhal attended the second night of the inauguration and wrote: “There is nothing in all Europe, I won’t say comparable to this theatre, but which gives the slightest idea of what it is like…, it dazzles the eyes, it enraptures the soul…”. In 1844 the opera house was re-decorated under Niccolini, his son Fausto, and Francesco Maria dei Giudice. The main result was the change in appearance of the interior to the now-traditional red and gold.
Wikipedia.

San Carlo Opera House is one of the most original, logical and powerful of all theatre fronts, and a monument of Neodassicism. Its massive rustication is relieved on the lower level by garlands and heads, on the upper by a series of reliefs alluding to music and poetry. Above the balcony, in complete contrast, a graceful Ionic colonnade shields the large windows of the salon. Largeness of scale is emphasized by such details as the six-foot-high bollards.
Theatre Architecture Database

Fire, Brussels International Exposition


Bruxelles-Exposition
L’Incendie des 14-15 Août 1910
L’Avenue des Nations

c.1910

The Brussels International Exposition of 1910 was a World’s fair held in Brussels, Belgium, from 23 April to 1 November 1910. This was just thirteen years after Brussels’ previous World’s fair. It received 13 million visitors, covered 88 hectares (220 acres) and lost 100,000 Belgian Francs. . . . There was a big fire on 14 and 15 August which gutted several pavilions in the Solbosch part of the exhibition. Part of the Belgian and French sections were destroyed, but the worst hit was the English section. After the fire, some destroyed parts were rebuilt at a rapid pace. This event attracted the attention of the public and the organisers were able to successfully use it for the promotion of the exhibition.
Wikipedia.

The results of the fire were horrifying in the rapidity with which they followed upon a trifling cause. A chance spark from a watchman’s pipe or the hot glow from a fused electric wire. Some such trifle as this originated the trouble. Then, at about a quarter to 9 on Sunday evening, an attendant saw a curtain smouldering in the Needle work hall. He called a gendarme to help him and tried to pull the burning curtain down. But, within a few seconds the roof was ablaze and, five minutes later the Exhibition was itself illuminated by the fiery glow.

The British Commissioner-General, who was in the midst of it all describes the scene thus:-
“Portions of the roof fell quickly, and flames ran along the facade with extraordinary rapidity, as they were sure to do in a building made of lath and plaster and stocked with light inflammable materials. Near the heart of the fire–if not in it–there were wax mannequins of Brussels dressmakers and these aided the furnace, but on breaking into the British section at the other end, where the offices are, it looked for the moment as if the flames were not coming our way, but might pass along the facade, and leave us time to save at least the more valuable contents. Beyond the great arch at the end of the section, however, there was an unbroken sheet of flame and in the absence of firemen a quarter of an hour decided the fate of everything.

“A dozen members the staff either attracted by the fierce light or already in the grounds the grounds worked hard and without confusion to save the moneys and all valuable papers particularly the plans of the Turin Exhibition. Mr Balaam, the treasurer, Mr Harries, representing the Board of Agriculture, who were exhibítors and other members of the staff lent willing hands and nothing of value was left behind. But the work was hardly done when men were crying ‘Sauve qui peut’. Entering the hall one saw a great body of flame leap along above the Bradford and Huddersfield tableaux and the priceless loan collection of furniture, flash through the light velarium, and scattering brands upon the show-cases. A great gust of wind came through the falling roof, and all was over. One had to leave the masterpieces of Bernard Moore and Howson Taylor exposed to a greater fire than that of the potter’s furnace.”

The fire was not sated. Like a torrent it rushed on, catching the velarium, and making the roof appear like “one tongue of fire”. An  onlooker states:- “The flames now reached the bridge which spans the Avenue Solbosch, between the French and British sections. With the sound of broken glass, tho roaring of the flames, the fall of girders, the bridge broke own into the avenue, and for a time it seemed as if the French section might be saved. There was, indeed, a kind of lull. Hero it may be said that the seeming incompetence of the Belgian firemen, the absence of any official with adequate common-sense, the multiplying of little jacks-in-office to bar the way were almost entirely to blame for the subsequent loss of the French Alimentation section, the Ville do Paris, and six houses on the Avenue Solbosch. Mr. Hotchkiss, the representative of the Underfeed Stoker Company, actually offered to lead a gang of men with axes and sledge-hammers to cut down the bridge three-quarters of an hour before the flames became too strong. To his offer the following reply was made: ‘We have no axes, no men, and no hammers.’ It was then proposed to blow up the bridge. ‘Dus aliter visum.’

“The bridge fell at about 10, but the French section had already caught. The fire ran along the Restaurant Duval incredibly fast. The French wines, the French chocolates, and other stalls for edible or potable wares disappeared like magic. The roof fell in, the walls collapsed, and the heat was so great that those who were on guard in the gardens below with articles rescued from the flames were forced to hide their faces behind the rose and apple trees. Taking, as it were, a second wind, the fire seemed to cross over and seize upon the brick houses of the Avenue Solbosch, and six were speedily tending heavenwards columns of smoke. In the French Industrial Hall, too, the flames began to make their way. The cases of jewellery were smashed and the valuable jewels conveyed across to a restaurant on the other side of the gardens. In the hurry and bustle amidst the red glow of the fires, the showers of sparks, and the clouds of smoke there was one found who endeavoured to steal from a showcase His fate was pitiable. Running at full speed, he was bought up by a cowboy with ‘punch’ on the jaw, and was seized by his infuriated pursuers. The police saved him with difficulty.”

Some of the most terrible scenes were witnessed in “Old Brussels,” where Bostock’s well-known wild-beast show was an attraction. The poor beasts were maddened with fear as the flames invaded the section. Someone fearing that they might escape and cause a panic in the now frightened crowd suggested shooting the creatures. Eight gendarmes were hurriedly sent for, and took their places with loaded rifles. Then it was remembered that the bullets would go beyond the open cages. A colony of monkeys were giv6n their liberty, but the rest were left to their fate. The charred remains of lions, bears, panthers, crocodiles, and the rest were found among the ruins next day.

“Old Brussels” itself was one of the most picturesque corners m the Exhibition. There were the narrow streets
twisting and turning with their courtyards and wooden bridges, which one instinctively associates with, old Flanders. The old wooden houses, with painted shutters, carved doorpost, and overhanging gables were fine fare for the fire fiends. Over the doorways of some were little niches with painted statue of the Virgin. These perished too. Within the leaded mullions and green panes one could see the benches set with tankards of Flemish beer. It was a picture such as the Brothers Grimm have made familiar to us all from childhood but all so substantial. When the flames came, they reduced everything to white cinders and black debris within a few minutes. The most dangerous moment from the human standpoint was when the fire reached Old Brussels and the crowds in the narrow streets were panic-stricken. Fortunately, beyond some serious cases of crushing all escaped.
The Mercury, 29 September 1910

Beach & Bathing Station, Aberdeen


The Beach, Aberdeen
Postmarked 1914
Publisher: Catto & Watt, Aberdeen

Google Street View (as close as it can get).

The Sea Beach at Aberdeen Bay

The beach itself is famous for its golden sand and its long curved length between the harbour and the River Don’s mouth. The beach suffers from significant erosion of the sand so there are distinctive groyne or walls, to help keep the sand in place. The beach is popular with walkers, surfers and windsurfers.
Wikipedia.

The Bathing Station was designed by City Architect John Rust and was opened on the 13th July 1898. Above ground a distinctive red brick chimney dominated the beach skyline. The Bathing Station was an extremely popular venue all year round. The doors of the swimming baths were finally closed to the public on 11th July 1972, the pool itself being finally filled in and demolished.
Lost Aberdeen on Facebook

Baths, Clifton Gardens, Sydney


Amphitheatre Baths, Clifton Gardens
Postmark & letter on back dated 1911

Google Maps.

The swimming enclosure pictured [on the website] was very different to the one which remains at Clifton Gardens today. Although both were ‘ocean baths’ which permitted safe swimming in the harbour (though the shark proof net is apparently not particularly shark proof today), the original was unique in its design. Sometimes referred to as the ‘amphitheatre bath’, the huge circular swimming enclosure could apparently accommodate up to 3000 spectators on the decks! The enclosure was circular, surrounded by a two storey walkway which connected at either end with the dressing sheds (also apparently two storey). The baths were used for mixed bathing, both during the day and at night.
The Past Present

Sydney. fortunate much beyond all other cities of the Commonwealth in the matter of swimming baths, is now in possession of another bathing en closure of larger dimensions than any previously existing. The Clifton Garden Baths, erected by the Sydney Ferries Co., Ltd., is now available to the public. Altogether the space covered by the structure is 30,000 square feet, and when it is fully completed there will be comfortable accommodation for 5000 people. Two platforms, each 12ft. wide, run round the swimming space, which is circular in shape. Dressing room has been provided for 2000 people. -A special section outside the deeper portion is being set apart for ladies, while another is to be for the use of nonswimmers.
Sunday Times, 9 December 1906

Bronx Park, New York


Entrance to Bronx Park, New York City
On the back:
Bronx Park lies on both sides of the Bronx River between Williamsbridge and West Farms. It comprises a total area of 662 acres, 250 of which have been given to a botanical garden and 261 to a zoological park. Both institutions are corporations managed by trustees and occupying their sites by arrangements with the city.
c. 1920
Publisher: The American Art Publishing Co, New York City, (1918-1925)

This might be the entrance to the zoo rather than the park.

Google Street View (approximate location).

Wikipedia.

Inspiration for Bronx Park came during a widespread movement to create public parks throughout the city in the 1880s. In 1881, John Mullaly (1835-1915), a former newspaper reporter and editor, and a group of citizens concerned with widespread urban growth, formed the New York Park Association. The group’s lobbying efforts helped the passage of the New Parks Act in 1884, which funded the acquisition of several major undeveloped lands for the purpose of creating parks and parkways. By 1890, the city had acquired properties in the Bronx that would eventually become known as Van Cortlandt, Pelham Bay, Bronx, Crotona, and Claremont Park, as well as four parkways. John Mullaly Park, an 18-acre parkland in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, was dedicated to the park activist in 1932.

In 1891, 250 acres of this site were allotted to the New York Botanical Society. The New York Botanical Garden was modeled after the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, England, and has become one of the most distinguished gardens in the world. The garden houses living collections of temperate and tropical plants from all over the world as well as a huge collection of preserved plant specimens. It is also home to a 40-acre “virgin” forest, one of the last such preserves in the city.

The City of New York allotted another 250 acres to the New York Zoological Society in 1898 to build a park to preserve native animals and promote zoology. The Bronx Zoo opened in 1899 and is the largest urban zoo in the United States housing over 8,000 animals representing more than 800 species. In 1906, the city acquired another 66 acres on the southeastern end of this property. This area currently houses Ranaqua, NYC Parks’ Bronx headquarters.
NYC Parks

Rockefeller Fountain

Colosseum & Meta Sudans, Rome


ROMA – Anfiteatro Flavio e Colosseo con la meta sudante
Flavian Amphitheater and Colosseum with the Meta Sudans
Publisher: F. Fichter, Rome

Google Street View.

The Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum, stands in the archaeological heart of Rome and welcomes large numbers of visitors daily, attracted by the fascination of its history and its complex architecture. The building became known as the Colosseum because of a colossal statue that stood nearby. It was built in the 1st century CE at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Until the end of the ancient period, it was used to present spectacles of great popular appeal, such as animal hunts and gladiatorial games. The building was, and still remains today, a spectacle in itself. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world, capable of presenting surprisingly complex stage machinery, as well as services for spectators.
Parco archeologico del Colosseo

Parco archeologico del Colosseo online resources

The Meta Sudans was a large monumental conical fountain in ancient Rome. The Meta Sudans was built some time between 89 and 96 under the Flavian emperors, a few years after the completion of the nearby Colosseum. It was built between the Colosseum and the Temple of Venus and Roma, close to the later Arch of Constantine, at the juncture of four regions of ancient Rome: regions I, III, IV, X (and perhaps II). A meta was a tall conical object in a Roman circus that stood at either end of the central spina, around which racing chariots would turn. The Meta Sudans had the same shape, and also functioned as a similar kind of turning point, in that it marked the spot where a Roman triumphal procession would turn left from the via Triumphalis along the east side of the Palatine onto the via Sacra and into the Forum Romanum itself.

Photos from the end of the 19th century show a conical structure of solid bricks next to the Arch of Constantine, surrounded by its own original, reflecting stone pool. The ruins of Meta Sudans survived until the 20th century. In 1936 Benito Mussolini had its remains wantonly demolished and paved over to make room for the new traffic circle around the Colosseum.

Wikipedia.

Venetian Bridge, Clacton-on-Sea, England


The Bridge, Clacton-on-Sea
c.1930

Google Street View.

Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town in the Tendring peninsula and district in Essex, eastern England, and was founded as an urban district in 1871. . . . In 1871 the Essex railway engineer and land developer Peter Bruff, the steamboat owner William Jackson, and a group of businessmen built a pier and the Royal Hotel (now converted to flats) on a stretch of farmland adjoining low gravelly cliffs and a firm sand-and-shingle beach near the villages of Great and Little Clacton. The town of Clacton-on-Sea was officially incorporated in 1872 and laid out rather haphazardly over the next few years: though it has a central ‘grand’ avenue (originally Electric Parade, now Pier Avenue) the street plan incorporates many previously rural lanes and tracks, such as Wash Lane. Plots and streets were sold off piecemeal to developers and speculators. In 1882 the Great Eastern Railway already serving the well-established resort of Walton-on-the-Naze along the coast, built a spur to Clacton-on-Sea with a junction at Thorpe-le-Soken. Clacton grew into the largest seaside resort between Southend-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth, with some 10,000 residents by 1914 and approx. 20,000 by 1939.
Wikipedia.20

The bridge crosses Pier Gap that leads down to the pier from the town. It was built in 1914 to provide pedestrian access from the seaside attractions on the cliff on one side of the gap to the other.
Geograph

Tennis, Deauville, France


DEAUVILLE – PLAGE FLEURIE – Les Tennis vus vers les Jetées
(Tennis looking towards the piers)
c.1940 but from an earlier photo
Publisher: Compagnie Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques Strasbourg

Google Maps.

Deauville was conceived with tourists in mind. It emerged from the sand dunes in the 1860s, thanks to the vision of one Dr Joseph Olliffe and his close friend, Emperor Napoleon III’s half-brother, the Duke de Morny. At the end of the 1850s, only marshes lay between the sea and small hillside village here. Dr Olliffe convinced wealthy backers to invest in a major scheme to drain the marshes and create a seaside resort from nothing. The resort was designed by architect Desle-François Breney, inspired by Baron Haussmann’s redevelopment of Paris. Aided by an all-important, brand-new railway line, the resort came into full bloom within just four years. Grand hotels built in the Anglo-Norman timber-frame style, smart bathing facilities and a stylish racecourse catered to elegant Parisians.
Normandie Tourism

Open Air Baths, Port Erin, Isle of Man


Port Erin, The Baths
1910s (from postmark, earlier image)
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Strew View

The former Traie Meanagh open air swimming baths in Port Erin opened in June 1899 and hosted swimmers for more than 80 years, closing as baths in 1981. It was then turned into a fish farm which ceased to operate in 1990.
Manx Scenes (present day photos)

Port Erin Baths were a very popular destination from the early 1900’s to mid 1970’s. The mixed pool has been used for many Edwardian postcards over the years. People from all over the island to travel to visit the open air pool, swimming galas were held weekly to keep users entertained.
Manx Nostalgia (historical photos)

Tea House, Valley Gardens, Harrogate, England


The Tea House, Valley Gardens Harrogate.
Postmarked 1910
Publisher: Woolstone Brothers, London (1902-1933)

Google Street View.

Valley Gardens was developed as an attractive walk for visitors to the Spa town, part of their health regime between taking the waters, and as a means of access to the mineral springs of Bogs Field. The waterside walk with flowers and trees became a place for promenading, socialising and taking exercise. Photographs of the gardens in the early 20th century testify to their enormous popularity with crowds around the tea room, boating lake and bandstand. The Sun Pavilion and Colonnades were built as an added attraction and facility for the spa, intended as the first phase of a covered way linking the Pump Room and Royal Bath Hospital. Visitors to the mineral springs declined but the horticultural reputation of the Gardens grew with the staging of the Northern Horticultural Society’s Spring Flower Show in the Gardens and the addition of special garden areas. . . . A rustic thatched teahouse with veranda was erected on the slopes of the former Collins Field overlooking a bandstand sited near the new Magnesia Well pump room. . . . Plans were drawn up to redevelop the Pump Room at the entrance to Valley Gardens, create a covered colonnade following the north boundary beside Cornwall Road to a Sun Pavilion and develop a further link to the Royal Bath Hospital. The proposals involved the acquisition of the remaining privately owned properties at the entrance to the gardens and the replacement of the teahouse with the Sun Pavilion. The work was to be carried out in three phases, the first phase being the construction of the Sun Pavilion, colonnades and two sun parlours. Despite considerable opposition, notably by Duchy residents, the first phase was opened in June 1933.
Friends of Valley Gardens