We found this new Facebook Page which you should like, The Archives. They share old photographs and artwork of Sri Lanka, including one of the Old Parliament Roundabout (where Kingbury is now) in 1976. They shared a photograph taken by Mr. Nerber of Yugoslavia.
We’ve compared the shot to a photo we took in 2014 and made an animated GIF out of it:
You can see how much has changed, and not necessarily for the better. The roundabout itself was neglected and is only now under renovation. The somewhat unattractive Galadari Hotel has replaced the service barracks of Echelon Square (at left). At the bottom of the picture, the tiki huts of the Intercontinental have been replaced by the Kingsbury lawn. The cannons are still there on the beach as, surprisingly are the piles of rock.
Note that the landscape has already changed with land be filled in for the Colombo Port City (though the fate of that project is currently uncertain).
The Old Parliament is basically the same, though we have added more statues and a fence since then. You can see that construction has started on the Shangri La hotel in the middle distance, which will change this scene dramatically. Finally, in the far distance you can see the high-rise apartments that have come up – the Iceland, Monarch, Crescat – as well as the in-construction Hyatt Regency.
Also, we have crosswalks.
We’ve been looking through some of the old photographs on The Archives and, honestly, we could learn a bit from the past. Some of the old roundabouts (like Lipton Circus) were miniature parks and we’ve just made them something you drive around.