After years of debate the decision was finally taken in 1971 to create a new Guildhall Square in the heart of Portsmouth.
This involved truncating Commercial Road and demolishing the landmark Sussex Hotel.
The square was enclosed by the new Civic Offices and public library and the steps opposite the Guildhall were intended to provide a grandstand for spectators at civic events.
Here we see the view from the town hall (later the Guildhall) about 1911, looking towards Portsmouth and Southsea (Town) railway station.
A tram rattles past the goods department and sheds in Commercial Road, while in the recent picture a giant plasma screen offers a hypnotic alternative to reality.
Picture from John Sadden’s Portsmouth Through Time.