Monday, 15 September 2014

2000: Hiding Sydney's "Holes in the Ground"

The collapse of the property market in the early 1990's led to the shelving of construction projects in central Sydney. Many of the sites had been excavated with no major construction. World Square was lucky to have parts of the basement built and a section of one of the four proposed towers.

Obviously this led to the streetscape in sections of the city looking unappealing. However the Olympics led to a building boom during the late 1990's and still some sites were left empty.

Sydney City Council felt that the swarms of tourists descending on Sydney would be embarrassed by this sight and came up with a plan to erect temporary shops at street level at those sites as part of preparing the city for the Olympics.

One such site was the former site of the Regent Theatre (now Lumiere Residences). Seven temporary shops were constructed and lasted until 2004 when Frasers were able to commence construction on the site of a residential highrise tower and a serviced apartment tower.

Here is a photo I took of the temporary shops in early 2003. Bookstars eventually moved to Railway Square. It is no longer there but Basement Books ensures that you can still get yourselves a cheap read.

Photo taken by the Author.