Saturday, 12 February 2011 - Lost London

I'm sure this has happened to you online before - every once in a while you stumble across an absolute treasure-trove completely by accident.

That's what happened to me a few nights ago when I discovered the forum. It's a place where literally thousands and thousands of people gather to discuss architecture (heavily featuring the aforementioned skyscrapers), urban development, infrastructure and other issues. You could drill down into the London forum if you wanted to, where you'll find the Olympic 2012 section (with over 14,000 comments across 61 subjects) or look at news and debate about our city's new high-rise developments - places such as the Shard and the Heron Tower feature heavily, for example.

However, I want to draw your attention to another area of the site - go to the 'European forum', down into the  'UK & Ireland Architecture' forum and then click on 'Skylines and Photography'. Very near the top you will find a forum thread with over 1300 contributions called 'Lost London'. This is one of the most breathtaking things I have ever found on the internet - people have contributed thousands of photographs of London streetscapes from the Victorian era up to around the 1980s which show in graphic detail the changes that our city has gone through in the last 100 years or so. Very often, the old picture will be juxtaposed with a modern one to show you the changes that have taken place - the buildings that have gone or indeed been refurbished in some cases. Here are a few examples, but there are thousands more that you can look at on the site: