Monday, 31 October 2016

1970: Plans for Sydney's "Landmark" MSB Ports Tower is unveiled

As you may have noticed as of late the MSB Port Tower is being pulled down after four decades of service in controlling port traffic on Sydney Harbour.

Demolition Works in October 2016. The photo was taken by the Author.

But how did it come about? Changes to communication with ships in the harbour facilitated the need but also a tower would give greater visibility when compared to Circular Quay where they were based at the time of its announcement in July 1970. It was hoped to be completed in 1971 but did not open until 1974. 

Source: Anon. 1970. "Landmark: 200ft. port tower for Millers Pt." The Daily Telegraph, July 17:7. 

When completed the structure raised 87 metres above sea level.

The MSB Port Tower just prior to its demolition (2015). The photo was taken by the Author. 

Last year, the NSW State Government announced its demolition as it did not fit in with the reconstructed headland at Barangaroo but the relocation of port activity from Sydney Harbour to Port Botany along with the relocation of vessel operations to Port Botany in 2011 made the structure redundant. 

The National Trust opposed its demolition as it was a reminder of the harbour's past as a trading port and had listed the structure on its register in 2010. 

And where do I stand on its demolition? For starters, it was not worthy of heritage listing as it as not in an architectural sense worth retaining. Does it fit in with the surroundings? No. It towers over the terraces of Millers Point and the park.

But there was an opportunity lost to redevelop it. I suggested at a Barangaroo Community Consultation Forum in Caringbah in 2010 to turn it into an observation tower. Peter Holmes-A-Court who was (quietly) seated at my table liked the idea and suggested a staircase be built on its exterior. If no use could be found, then pull it down. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Liberty Grove (1999)

Our property advertisement of the Week takes us to Liberty Grove, which was one of Sydney's newest suburbs back in 1999.

  Liberty Grove Ad June 5 1999 SMH 24RE

Source: Liberty Grove. Untitled (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 5, (Real Estate Liftout). 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Blog Site Update

I am currently in the process of giving this site an overhaul. Please be patient as changes are made.

Monday, 24 October 2016

1998: How Sydney Tower got its signage

Above: Signage atop Sydney Tower. Photo was taken by the Author (2012). 
AMP was one of the official sponsors of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. As part of the Olympic Games, AMP wanted to erect its logo along with an Olympic Sign.


Source: Skelsey, M. 1996. "The people say no to a giant sign in the sky". The Daily Telegraph, November 20:15.

This was not popular with some Sydneysiders given the iconic nature of the building. In 1998, the AMP signage went up. However, AMP went for Olympic Artworks designed by Dominique Sutton. I remember this well from the TV news reports at the time. I recall swimmer Ian Thorpe and Seven Nightly News Sports Presenter (and former Olympian) Neil Brooks standing at the top of the tower alongside the sculptures.


Source: Anon. 1998. "Games art reaches new heights". The Daily Telegraph, July 27:9.

The sculptures remained atop the tower until 2003 when they were relocated to Sydney Olympic Park. In the early 2000's Westfield purchased Centrepoint from AMP and this included Sydney Tower itself. In 2011, Westfield was given the approval to erect its logo in place of AMP atop the tower.


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Forest Ridge, Hurstville (2001)

I actually remember when Forest Ridge at Hurstville went up in 2001. From memory, the site was once part of Dominelli Ford, which was directly across from the main dealership, before being demolished several years ago. Here is an advertisement promoting sales of apartments in the building from 2001. Sadly its now lost in the concrete jungle which has grown in spurts over the past two decades near to King Georges Road.


Source: Colliers Jardine. 2001. "Forest Ridge Apartments"(Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, March 20:107.

Monday, 17 October 2016

1967: Kareela is gazetted

To our followers from Kareela, find out below how your suburb was gazetted and even why its streets got their names. The suburb was developed by Stocks and Holdings.


Source: Anon. 1967. "Multi-million dollar estate to be called Kareela". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, November 8:27. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Newington (1999)

Yes, I have posted one advertisement promoting apartments for sale at Newington, but this one from 1999 is nice to post as well.

Newington Ad June 5 1999 SMH 22RE

Source: Mirvac Group & Lend Lease. 1999. "Blue chip" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 5:22 (Real Estate Liftout).

Monday, 10 October 2016

MILESTONE: Westfield Burwood opens (1966)

Above: An advertisement by Westfield to promote the opening of their new centre at Burwood. It was published in The Sun  on October 10 1966. 

On the back of Bankstown Square opening in 1966 and Roselands the year before, the emerging Westfield Development Corporation (Westfield Group)  needed to step up in what their centres offered to Sydney shoppers.

Westfield had centres at Hornsby, Blacktown, Eastwood, Baulkham Hills and Dee Why. Except for Hornsby, the other centres are no longer managed by Westfield.

The centre was known as Westfield Burwood Shoppingtown and was the first centre to carry the famous Westfield logo.

Key facts:
  • Westfield selected Burwood due to its location between Parramatta & the Sydney CBD and Westfield wanted to revitalise Burwood, even believing it would benefit businesses on Burwood Road. 
  • Construction took 12 months and cost $8 million.
  • Major tenants included Farmers (Myer), Coles, Winns & Mark Foys. 
  • First shopping centre in NSW to have shops sloped on an incline making it possible for a shopper to not use stairs to access the two levels inside the centre. Westfield Hurstville (1978) and Macquarie Centre (1981) have layouts based on the incline. 
  • First Westfield Shopping Centre to be branded as a "shoppingtown". The idea of a "shoppingtown" was that the centre would contain just more than shops, but professional services like cinemas, petrol stations, doctors and dentists. There were even commercial offices available, though the redeveloped centre no longer has a office component. 
  • The original centre had a Hoyts Cinema and Ampol Petrol station.
  • 1000 carpaking spots over three levels.

    Below are some assorted advertisements to promote its opening sourced from the major Sydney newspapers at the time of opening.

An advertisement for Farmers:

And one for Coles.


None of the original centre remains today. As part of the redevelopment of Westfield Burwood, the entire centre was demolished and rebuilt from scratch during 1999 and was reopened to the public in 2000. It now has 250 shops. Coles remains but Farmers (which became Myer, then Grace Bros and reverted to Myer) left in 2007 and was replaced by David Jones.

Finally, for those of you on Facebook, there is a Facebook Page (Old Westfield Shoppingtown Burwood Mermories) dedicated to the original Westfield complex itself with photos and tales.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Belrose Heights Land Release (1966)

This advertisement is for a land release in Belrose Heights, dating to February 1966. It was being urged to buy before the opening of the Roseville Bridge.

Belrose Heights February 12 1966 daily telegraph 39

Source: Anonymous. 1966. "Belrose Hgts." (Advertisement).  The Daily Telegraph, February 12:39.

Monday, 3 October 2016

1987: Sydney Airport Centre development

In late 1987, plans were unveiled by CRI for a major development at Mascot, near the Domestic Terminal complex. The development would include an 11 storey hotel with a retail complex, plus new catering facilities for Qantas and major airlines. Bourke Street. would be extended through the area.

Source: Holland, L. 1987. "$150m hotel complex on airport site". The Daily Telegraph, November 25:9. 

The hotel was built and is currently the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport. In recent years, the Adina Apartment Hotel has opened alongside it. Qantas ended up basing their headquarters there. The key decisions that Qantas have made in recent decades have been made right at Mascot, not a boardroom in central Sydney.

This combined with the decision to construct Mascot Railway Station as part of the Airport Line (opened 2000) has helped establish it as a centre of business. It's proximity to rail and to the city also has aided in the establishment as a residential hub. Mascot is also regarded as part of Sydney's global arc of business stretching from Sydney Airport north to the Sydney CBD and northwest to Chatswood and North Ryde.

Below are two photos of the Qantas Headquarters (Photos taken by the Author).

Holiday Inn Sydney Airport (Photo taken by the Author). 

And finally, two photos of the area around Mascot Station in 2011 (Photos taken by the Author).

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Property Advert of the Week: Carlingford Land Release by Stocks & Holdings (1966)

This advertisement was featured in the February 12 1966 edition of The Daily Telegraph, where two thousand pounds bought you a block of land at where I believe is Camelot Court, Carlingford.

And just two days before we embraced the dollars and cents!!!

In today's money, this was equivalent to around $50 000 according to the RBA Inflation Calculator.

Carlingford Ad February 12 1966 daily telegraph 44

Source: Stocks & Holdings Projects. 1966. "Carlingford: Land!" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, February 12:44.