Friday, 6 March 2015

Looping-the-loop around the Archibald Fountain

A friend queried an image I included in a post last week, wanting to know why the gent was facing AWAY from the cathedral rather than facing TOWARD it.

Here are the competing views. In the bird's-eye-view of the fountain, the first image in today's post was taken from the College Street steps of the cathedral. The photo of the gent last week was taken from the garden bench I have labelled 1. Today's view of the cathedral was taken from the garden bench I have labelled 2.

The two smaller photos (taken from Sydney Tower in Sept 2013) will both enlarge and are labelled.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Hyde Park - the widening of Elizabeth Street

Walking south along Elizabeth Street, just after Thornton's Scent Bottle on the Bathurst St intersection (2015)

The final report of the "Royal Commission for the Improvement of the City of Sydney and its Suburbs" was dated 25th June, 1909. The photo of a decimated Hyde Park was taken 25th August 1909. Implementing the reommendations of a Royal Commission are no longer that speedy!!

Paris was "made-over" by Haussman between 1853 and 1870. Plans for a Chicago "make-over" were drawn up by Daniel Burnham between 1906 and 1909. These designs were organic, and visionary; whereas the plans that came out of our Royal Commission were largely practical, and pragmatic. A nip here, a tuck there.

Before WW1, came the widening of Elizabeth, College, George and Oxford Streets. In the medium term, came the conversion of Randwick Road to Anzac Parade, the extension of Martin Place, and the construction of both the city circle underground, and the harbour crossing (bridge), together with an electrified suburban above ground railway system.

Elizabeth Street, facing north, just after the intersection with Park Street. The spire is St James Anglican Church on King Street. This was before the David Jones Department Store which now dominates this section of Elizabeth St. (August 1909)

All these changes had a massive impact upon Hyde Park, which is bordered by Liverpool, College, and Elizabeth Streets, all of which were widened by crimping a metre of parkland here, and three feet of greensward there.

Walking south along Elizabeth, this time closer to the Liverpool St intersection. The building with the faux-gold turrets was the Mark Foy Department Store flagship, but now serves as the Downing Centre Local Court (2015)

The next history post will be on the widening of College Street.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Hyde Park - Burdekin Terraces

Whitlam Square. The cyclist is crossing over Liverpool Street, heading north. The cars are crossing from College Steet, over the square, and heading down into Wentworth Avenue. The pedestrians have crossed over College St from Hyde Park, and are about to head up Oxford Street.

Hyde Park is part of a swathe of green-belt carved out by Governor Lachlan Macquarie between 1810 and 1821. It includes the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, and Hyde Park. This green oasis sweeps up from the harbour, beside the Opera House, to Liverpool Street, on the southern boundary of Hyde Park (which, of course, is named after HP in London). In the 5th image in this post, you are looking down the gunnels of this parkland, from close to Liverpool Street, between the spires of St Mary's Cathedral, over Hyde Park Barracks, and between the sails of the Opera House.

Two very hard to find shots of the Burdekin Terraces. On the left: 1917, and the slender sandstone building right on the corner is being demolished. On the right: March 1926, and the terraces themselves are being demolished. This was about the time when College Street was widened. More on this widening next week. Both images courtesy of City of Sydney Photographic Archives

For well nigh 100 years (abt 1830 to abt 1930), Hyde Park was surrounded by the homes of the powerful, and the well-off, terraces mainly. Housing judges, doctors, and government officials. I have already posted about Lyons Terraces on Liverpool Street which were erected in abt 1841. However, College Street was constructed in 1832, and the Burdekin Terraces pre-date the Lyons Terraces, but I cannot find their date of construction. Burdekin was an ironmonger (hardware merchant) with a fine eye for buying the debts of others. He built himself a fabulous mansion on Macquarie Street which was demolished in 1933 to make way for the extensions to Martin Place.

A taller shot of the intersecyion and its hotels today. Remember, the terraces were only three floors high, so about up to that funny looking olive screen on the Hyde Park Plaza.

However, these terraces were on College Street, just down from what is now called Whitlam Square (the intersection of College Street, Oxford Street, Wentworth Avenue, and Liverpool Street). In the two shots I took last week, the cars are coming FROM College Street, and we are looking directly at the location of Burdekin's terraces. Not the corner building (which is very slender), but the next two towers - the Hyde Park Plaza Hotel, and the Pullman Hotel. The 4th tower block along is the old Avery Building which housed the bureacracy of the NSW Police Force for 30 years from abt 1970. It is now The Residence, Hyde Park, and it was from the top of this building that the shot showing the greensward was taken.

A shot taken from the top of the new "The Residence, Hyde Park", from the website of Scott-Carver who did the remodelling of the Avery offices, into a very swanky set of apartments, thank you very much. Eye teeth to get up to the roof-top terrace!

I have used this sketch by John Rae before, but it serves its purpose well. I have noted both Lyons Terrace, and Burdekin Terrace.

A sketch by John Rae, 1842

Other posts of interest:
Hidden Agendas - Lyons Terraces
Hyde Park - Then & Now
Hyde Park - A road runs through it

Monday, 2 March 2015

Sitting in blissful neutral

He was sitting in the warmth of the day, facing the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park (North). The glorious sandstone of St Mary's Cathedral was at his back. There were dozens of folk milling, as is invariably the case with this walkway through the park.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Theme Day - Ageing

He is in care.
30 years without running water.
30 years without a fridge.
He did not care.

He is in care.
He ate veggies, and nuts.
He drank urine, because Ghandi did.
He did not care.

He is in care.
He lived alone.
In a hovel, in the bush.
He did not care.

He is in care.
He wandered five days,
After the stroke seeped
Blood into his drug-addled left-hemisphere.
He could no longer understand.

He is in care.
He is reminded to wash.
He is reminded to change.
He is fed 3 times daily.
He cannot read.
He cannot follow television.
He is all but mute.
Now others care for him.

He ain't heavy,
He's my brother.

City Daily Photo bloggers hold a Theme Day on the 1st of each month.
Click here to see what other members have contributed for March 2015.