Space: the photographic frontier

Cambridge photographer Lucy Rowden is searching for Cambridge’s secret spaces.

Cambridge photographer Lucy Rowden is searching for Cambridge’s secret spaces.

She is working with Cambridge Museum to uncover spaces which were once seen by the community regularly – but not anymore.

The Cambridge News uncovered one recently when horologist Jordan Rivers examined the turret of the Cambridge Clock Tower’s original home, now the Alpino Restaurant.

Lucy Rowden said that was precisely the sort of thing she was looking for – to get present and historic pictures.

She says her project will give inquisitive residents a peek inside some of Cambridge’s special places.

The Secret Spaces of Cambridge project is based on exploring buildings that can no longer be accessed by the public and juxtaposing historic photos with contemporary photos to showcase how the different spaces have been used over time.

Lucy wants to hear from anyone who has vintage photos of historic spaces,

“I am particularly looking for interior photos from buildings no longer accessible to the public. The old movie theatre above the Town Hall, inside the old Masonic and National Hotels, the gasworks, the bell tower, the water tower, the churches, the Thornton Sanitorium, the fuel bunker.”

Lucy and her family moved to Cambridge three years ago. She said they had explored many of the region’s historical places, and that’s what’s inspired this project.

“Cambridge has such a compelling rich historical background, and such a special tight-knit community. It’s just so interesting to see how these special spaces have been used in the past, and how our community uses these spaces now.”

The project has been awarded a funding grant from the Creative Communities Scheme, in association with the Waipa District Council and Creative NZ.

The work will go on show in an exhibition as part of the Cambridge Autumn Festival in March 2021.

  • If you have any vintage photographs that can be shared contact Lucy at You can follow the journey at #secretspacesofcambridge.

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