Monday, 2 February 2015

1969: Imagine this at Angel Place & Martin Place

In 1969, Sydney City Council approved a concept plan for redevelopment on the northern side of Martin Place. This comprised of sites facing straight onto the northern side of Martin Place, George Street up to the current site of Ivy, the current site of the Angel Place Tower and the Angel Hotel on Pitt Street.

  City projects September 9 1969 daily telegraph 3

Source: The Civic Roundsman. 1969. "Sydney Keeps on Growing Up: Plans for $50 million buildings." The Daily Telegraph, September 9, 3.

At the time, the cost was projected at $25 million (About $275 million in today's money). Extensive retail space and pedestrian plazas were to be included.

Eight "enterprises " were to be involved including AMP, Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society (CML) and the University of Sydney.

Building heights were not specified as each site would be developed over time.

But I think about it today, and it actually was good for it to not proceed because it would have meant the loss of significant historical buildings along the northern side of Martin Place and George Street including:
  • Bank of Australasia Building (1904)
  • Challis House (1907, expanded 1938)
  • Original Colonial Mutual Building
The tallest of the towers featured in the concept, Angel Place was not completed until 2000.

Photos taken by the Author.

There was a plan back in the late 1980's to build Sydney's tallest tower at 244 metres tall. It was approved and was to be developed by the AMP. The recession of the early 1990's plus the collapse of the property market meant that the site would be empty for the entire decade.

angel place aug 13 1988 (2)

Source: Chancellor, J. 1988. "AMP plans $530 million office development for Sydney." The Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 37. 

Another major highrise development that went up was the CML Building. The 21 level building was completed in 1977 to a height of 88 metres. This included retaining the original building  (14 Martin Place).


Photo taken by the Author. 

Finally for those curious about the other proposal on the page, that was an early proposal for Exchange Square which was home to the Stock Exchange until the 1990's when it relocated to the current Exchange Square Building at Bridge Street. It was a two building proposal, but they opted for the one tower which we see today. 

Photo taken by the Author.