A new exhibition at Newcastle Region Library offers a timely look at the history of Newcastle's main street before it undergoes a dramatic transformation.
Based on a book by local historian and author Julie Keating, Newcastle's Hunter Street - The First 100 years documents the early days of the city's main street.
The street is named after the second Governor of NSW, John Hunter, and stretches 3.4 kilometres from near the ocean in the east to Newcastle's west end.
The roadway originally began at Watt Street but was later extended to provide better access to the coast.
The many buildings flanking it reflect the history and business of the city. Some tell a story of a vibrant past while serving a different purpose in latter years - the former police station has become a gallery and the former Trades Hall is an arts school.
Government buildings, banks, hotels and department stores feature in the exhibition, which also includes a number of old buildings that have been replaced by modern residences or commercial premises.
While light rail is the future, transport along Hunter Street has included horses and horse-drawn carriages, steam and electric trams, images of which will fascinate young minds.
Newcastle's Hunter Street - The First 100 years is on show at Newcastle Region Library, Local History Lounge until August 26.