Saturday, 31 March 2018

Property Advert of the Week: King Street Wharf (1999)

This week, we head to King Street Wharf where apartments two decades ago were on offer from $295 000. With the development at Barangaroo, apartments are more highly sought after than ever. If you bought in 1999, it was a very wise move.

Source: Walker Corporation. 1999. "King Street Wharf" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, September 25: 22RE (Real Estate Liftout). 

Monday, 26 March 2018

1981: Sydney Tower opens

An advertisement published in The Daily Telegraph in September 1981 to promote the opening of Sydney Tower. I recall it was published on September 24.

It took thirteen years for the vision of Donald Crone and the AMP to become a reality. Construction of the tower began in 1974 and took 7 years to complete.

Source: Warnock, S. 1981. "Some guys can afford to be smiling...when they're at the top". The Daily Telegraph, September 24: 2-3.

In September 1981, the public was finally allowed inside Sydney's tallest structure. The official opening was on September 23, 1981, by NSW Premier Neville Wran. He received a gold token that gave him free access for life. The public gained access two days later to the observation deck and two revolving restaurants.

The Sydney Morning Herald published a special supplement on September 25, 1981, focusing mainly on the construction of the structure.

This is believed to be one of the first commercials to promote Sydney Tower.

Since 1981, it has been the main observation deck in the Sydney CBD. The observation deck at Australia Square closed immediately after the completion of Sydney Tower. However, the observation deck (and museum) on the southern pylon of the Harbour Bridge continues to be open decades after opening.

Crown Sydney will offer an observation deck at a similar height to Sydney Tower when it is completed in 2021, but I think Sydney Tower will continue to attract the hordes.

The construction of Sydney Tower has profoundly impacted on the evolution of the city skyline. It's central location in the "midtown" precinct has meant that Sydney Tower appears to be in the middle when viewing the skyline from any vantage point in the metropolitan area. Sydney Tower hence appears as the "summit" on the city skyline. The photos below illustrate the arc as seen from various locations around the city.

Until recent times, it has also been a yardstick for city development. While planning guidelines control building heights to preserve streetscapes and protect city parks, streets and public spaces from overshadowing, it has also been used to protect the views from Sydney Tower.

As for the tower itself, visitors have been provided with additional experiences including the Skywalk (introduced in 2006) to provide an outdoor viewing experience, 4D cinema feature at ground level.

Currently, Sydney Tower is managed by Merlin Entertainment and is currently branded as the Sydney Tower Eye. Merlin Entertainment is also responsible for several tourist attractions in Sydney including Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife Park and  Madame Tussauds. Tourists can buy integrated passes that allow access to those venues on one pass.

Sydney Tower and Centrepoint has been owned by Westfield since 2001 after it was sold by AMP. In 2011, Westfield relocated their headquarters into the office building after a major renovation. This included the redevelopment of the retail complex which also encompassed the former Imperial Arcade and Skygarden shopping centres to create one large city shopping centre - Westfield Sydney.

Westfield Sydney also includes the former Sydney Central Plaza directly opposite in the Pitt Street Mall.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Property Advert of the Week: Mirvac Homes (2000)

This property advertisement by Mirvac was published back in 2000, advertising a mix of new housing estates and display homes across the metropolitan area.

Source: Mirvac. 2000. "choice [Only Mirvac] has it all" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 4: 4H (Domain Liftout).

Monday, 19 March 2018

Royal Easter Show Flashback: 1993

Easter Show Ad - March 28 1993 sunday telegraph 143
Like the previous year, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW went for "There's No Time like Showtime" and used the same photo for its marketing campaign. 
Source: The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. 1993. "Take a friend to the Easter Show" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, March 28: 143. 

For the second time in two years, Easter is early this year and will not fall in school holiday time. On a positive, the Royal Easter Show begins on Friday and goes for 14 days.

This year, the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) will celebrate the shows of yesteryear. The historical exhibition will return and focus on the 1950s.

Getting into the spirit of the past, I will take a look back at what the Royal Easter Show was like a generation ago, focusing on 1993.

Bare in mind, this was at all at Moore Park.

Dates: April 2-13, 1993

Admission & Transport:

Adults - $13
Children - $7
Concession - $10

Showlink tickets were available combining a return rail fare with show entry.

In addition, admission was $5 if attending after 5pm. There was also $5 entry for pensioners (before 12pm on April 5 and 6.

In 2018, it will cost $42.50 for adults if purchased at the gate, $26.50 for Children and $32 for concession. However, discounts apply if purchased online or at a Woolworths Supermarket. Public transport is also included. For an adult, assume it will cost around $10 for transport to and from Sydney Olympic Park.

Parking was available at Moore Park for $5.

Attendance: 855 000 (Organisers hoped for one million).

  • The street parade through central Sydney returned on April 1.
  • Special Display to promote the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Bid.
  • The Hordern Pavilion had a special program of concerts ($15 extra) including Lee Kernaghan, Anne Fitzpatrick, Colin Buchanan, The Choirboys & The Radiators.
  • The Home & Garden Exhibition debuted for the first time. 
  • Australian Defence force Exhibition
  • The Grand Parade was held under twilight for the first time. 
  • 138 000 attended on Good Friday.
  • Nightly spectacular based on the book The Silver Brumby.

A record of 209 showbags were on offer from $2 through to $10. Today, more than 300 are on offer and retail for up to $30.

The Super Hero Stand didn't disappoint. Confectionery Showbags were actually better value then than now e.g. M&M's.

Nestle had better bags in 1993 then than now, though they have branched into "superbags" which do offer the better value for money. Budget or midrange ones in 2018 are a little disappointing and have lost the luster of the past.

Triple M offered a simple duffle bag. Note that they offered a can of TAB Clear, when the clear cola drinks were a fad. This bag would not rate against the offerings that Triple M will have this year.

Coca Cola offered it all for just $7.90. Interestingly, they are not selling one this year. Arch rivals Pepsi are following them too. 

Source: Coca Cola Amatil Ltd. 1993. "Easter Showbag" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, March 28: 149. 

Finally, I have further material online at my Royal Easter Show archives album on Flickr.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Property Advert of the Week: Westminster Homes (1972)

Back in 2016, I shared one advertisement for Westminster Homes from 1972. Here is another one from the same period; promoting homes for sale at South Wentworthville and Moorebank.

Source: Westminster Homes. 1972. "Westminster Homes" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, April 22: 49. 

Monday, 12 March 2018

1968: The conception of Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower has been the defining structure on the city skyline since its completion in 1981. Getting there was a timely process.

The story of Sydney Tower dates back to 1968, when plans were unveiled by the AMP Society to build an 850 foot (259 metre) tower atop a new shopping centre and 15 level office building on a site bounded by Market, Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. The estimated cost was just $25 million.

Source: Anon. 1968. "$25 Million Plan Keeps Shoppers Safe From Cars". The Daily Telegraph, March 22: 1. 

Sydney Tower is designed by architect Donald Crone. It is believed that the design (in fact the entire development) was conceived at a dinner party where he drew a sketch of the tower on a napkin.

Source: Anon. 1968. "Untitled" (Artists Impression). The Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 1.

The initial proposal contained a four level turret with an observation deck and revolving restaurants as we see today. However the section above for the plant room did not feature with an antenna rising from a flat roof. 

Within a year, the design was evolving into what would become the final product with the section for the plant room included with a small antenna rising above it. You will notice this from a 1969 article in The Sydney Morning Herald, where a scale model of the tower was being subject to wind tests.

Source: Anon. 1969. "Untitled" (photograph). The Sydney Morning Herald, August 14: 11. 

A more detailed render had been published a few weeks earlier in The Sun Herald on June 29, 1969.

Source: Anon. 1969. "Untitled" (photograph). The Sun Herald, June 29: 9. 

They were aiming for the tower to be completed by 1974, but completion was pushed back further and further.

Above: One of the advertisements promoting Sydney Tower as part of the Centerpoint Complex. The retail centre was opened in two stages (1972 & 1974 while the office component was completed in 1974.
Further refinements led to the final design that we see today, especially with the plant room, which also contains water tanks to be used in the event of a fire but also to minimise swaying. 

The final height would be 309 metres, fifty metres higher than the earlier schemes.

In a fortnight, we will look at its opening in 1981, and the impact it has had on the city skyline. 

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Property Advert of the Week: The Quadrant, Milsons Point (1999)

In 1999, luxury apartments were on sale at The Quadrant in Milsons Point. 

Source: Colliers Jardine. "The Quadrant Milsons Point" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 5: 11RE (Real Estate Liftout).

Monday, 5 March 2018

1977: Northpoint Tower, North Sydney

Northpoint Tower in 2003. The photo was taken by the Author.

The tallest building in North Sydney is the Northpoint Tower, located at 100 Miller Street. It was completed in 1977. A 34 level office tower rises over a retail podium to a height of 131 metres.

An early scheme for the Northpoint Tower.
Source: Anon. 1970. "Untitled" (Artists Impression). The Sydney Morning Herald, October 24: 12. 
Initial plans to build on the site date back to 1970, when a rectangular tower was proposed in line with Miller Street only. The final design would see the building bent in half to make it align with either the Pacific Highway (western half) or Miller Street (eastern half).

A public square at ground level along with a retail complex would complete the development.

Northpoint is still the tallest tower in North Sydney four decades after completion. However new towers under construction will see it lose its mantle. The photo was taken by the Author (2017). 
Renovations occurred in 1997 and a major redevelopment of the site commenced in 2016. Apart from a new retail centre, there will also be the addition of the Vibe Hotel; to be built at the rear of the office tower.

Redevelopment works also include recladding the exterior of the tower and refurbishing office space.

Recent photos of work are shown below. All photographs were taken by the Author.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Property Advert of the Week: 1A Robert Street, Artarmon (1996)

For as little as $285 000 back in 1996, you could own an apartment in 1A Robert Street at Artarmon.

Source: Mirvac. 1996. "1A Robert Street" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 22: 19RE (Real Estate Liftout).