Monday, 17 February 2020

2001: Sydney's Motorway Revolution

A map of freeway projects (approved, under construction or proposed) in Sydney in 2001. Full citation below.

In early 2001, Federal Transport Minister (and Deputy Prime Minister) John Anderson announced that the Federal Government would provide $350 million to cover the $1.25 billion cost of the construction of the Western Sydney Orbital.

Across Sydney, it was estimated that over six years (2001-2007) $3 billion would be spent on the construction of new freeways which promised travel savings, increased productivity, lower running costs for trucks and jobs.

Source: Wainwright, R. 2001. "Sydney's motorway revolution". The Sydney Morning Herald, January 5:1. 

The Western Sydney Orbital (Westlink M7) was completed in 2005 ahead of schedule, however the Lane Cove Tunnel was opened in 2007 and the Cross City Tunnel in 2005. The M5 East was opened in December 2001.

In 2013, plans were unveiled for the  F3 extension to the M2 Motorway (NorthConnex). Approval was given in 2015 by the NSW Government. Opening is slated for mid year.

While NorthConnex will run under Pennant Hills Road, a proposed route in 2001 saw the road running from Macquarie Park to Wahroonga.

Source: Wainwright, R. 2001. "Pressure on to complete the city's traffic puzzle". The Sydney Morning Herald, January 5:4. 

Below is additional coverage from the January 5, 2001 edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Property Advert of the Week: 3 Tranmere Street, Drummoyne (1971)

Below is an advertisement for apartments in a three storey unit block located at 3 Tranmere Street, Drummoyne.

Source: Multiple Real Estate Pty. Ltd. 1971. "Drummoyne: Must Built Home Units" (Advertisements). The Daily Telegraph, June 12: 44. 

One bedroom apartments were on sale for $16 500 (equivalent to $183 000 in todays money) while a two bedroom apartments were available for $23 000 (equivalent to $255 000 in todays money).

Domain has listed sales of units in recent years and one apartment sold for $821 000 in 2014.

Price equivalents in todays money were sourced via the RBA Inflation Calculator.

Monday, 10 February 2020

1968: Highrise Swimming pools

Below is an article published in The Sun Herald on July 7 1968 on the construction of swimming pools in highrise buildings in Sydney.

Source: Anon. 1968. "Floating on top of skyscraper". The Sun Herald, July 7: 98. 

Park Regis which completed that year would house the highest swimming pool in Australia - 45 levels above ground.

Towards Circular Quay, the Travelodge Hotel at the corner of York and Margaret Streets' was building its own pool - 28 levels above the ground.

More than fifty years later, its standard for highrise hotel and apartment blocks to have a swimming pool on offer to its occupants. Some will offer views while others don't as they are located on the lower levels of the building.

Currently, the highest rooftop pool in Sydney is not the Park Regis, but the pool located in the penthouse atop the ANZ Centre in Pitt Street, completed in 2013.

The swimming pool atop the ANZ Centre as viewed from Sydney Tower. Photo taken by the author (2018). 
Today, the highest indoor swimming pool in Sydney is located on level 61 of World Tower, but they do have pools on two separate floors to cater for those residing in the lower sections of the tower.

The swimming pool and spa on level 61 of World Tower. Photo taken by the author (2004). 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Property Advert of the Week: Parkridge by Parkes (1970)

This is our very first Property Advert of the Week entry for 2020.

Below is an advertisement from 1970 from Parkes Homes to promote their model home - Parkridge.

Source: Parkes Ideal Homes. 1970. "Parkridge...the house with two faces". The Daily Mirror, April 17: 28. 

Monday, 3 February 2020

1975: The final demolition of the T&G Building

The final section of the T&G Building (1930) awaits demolition. Full citation below.

The T&G Building built in 1930 was located at the corner of Park and Elizabeth Street. The 12 storey building was 70 metres high to the top of its bell tower.

In 1972, plans were approved to demolish the building alongside every building located on the block bounded by Elizabeth, Park, Castlereagh and Bathurst Street.

By 1975, three quarters of the buildings had been demolished to accommodate 201 Elizabeth Street with the remaining section on the corner of Elizabeth and Park Street's still standing. There were calls for its preservation, but it still faced the wreckers ball.

Source: Owens, W. 1975. "Giant Meets His Match". The Sun Herald, October 12: 17.

And what did Sydney get in return for the demolition? A public square.

Around twenty years ago, the square was given a facelift. A Starbucks Cafe occupies the site. These photos were taken last week by yours truely.

There was scope to leave the remaining section of the building and integrate it into the development. It could have made a fantastic hotel or even be converted into apartments.

Finally, lets place the Park Street photos side by side for comparison.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Remember This? Gerry Harvey returns to Arncliffe (1992)

In 1961, Gerry Harvey and his business partner Ian Norman opened an electrical and furniture store on the Princes Highway at Arncliffe that would evolve into the now defunct Norman Ross Discounts.

Through Norman Ross, Harvey remained connected with the Arncliffe Store until he was sacked in 1982 following its takeover from Bond-Waltons.

His sacking led to him starting a new chain of electrical and furniture stores - Harvey Norman and evolved to become one of the biggest retailers in Australia.

In 1992, Norman Ross collapsed. For Harvey it presented an opportunity to acquire some of the former Norman Ross stores and convert them into Harvey Norman stores including Arncliffe.

For Harvey, it meant that the site that began his career in retailing was back in his hands and could reconnect with the people of the St George region that he had served for decades. It was also where he would experiment with extended trading hours on Saturdays and Sundays. He identified loopholes in legislation and risked prosecution for breaching trading laws.  However, he would set a precedent for the trading hours that shape shopping in 21st Century Sydney.

Harvey Norman would trade at Arncliffe for several years before it was closed (along with their Westfield Miranda store) when a new store at Caringbah opened.

Below is an advertisement for Harvey Norman at Arncliffe as published in the March 26, 1992 edition of The St George and Sutherland Leader.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Remember This? Sydney Ferries Ocean Cruises (1989)

In 1988, the Collaroy was added to the Manly Ferry Fleet. Unlike the other three ferries in the fleet, it was designed to operate ocean cruises. Also, it had outdoor decks on the upper level at each end (they were eventually added to the other Manly Ferries).

Ocean Cruises were provided for decades on Sundays by the old steamers, but had stopped. By the end of the 1980's, an attempt was made to revive the cruises.

The cruises were provided between 1988 and 1991. They were discounted as crew demanded a "spew allowance" to deal with cleaning up after those who were seasick.

The coastal cruises would commence at Circular Quay and proceed north along the Northern Beaches to the Hawkesbury River, exploring its lower reaches before returning back to Circular Quay by the same route.

For our readers, should the cruises be revived?

Below is an advertisement from 1989.

Source: Sydney Ferries. 1989. "Run away to sea for a day on a Sunday Coastal Cruise" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, February 28: 43. 

Monday, 13 January 2020

Remember This? Luna Park reopens (1995)

January 1995 was a month for openings e.g. Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

Luna Park has been part of Sydney life since 1935, but its history has included periods of closure to the public.

Following a fire on the Ghost Train in 1979 that killed six people, Luna Park was closed until 1982. Six years later (1988), it was then closed a second time for "renovations".

On January 20 1995, it reopened to the public. Below is an advertisement to promote its reopening.

Source: Anon. 1995. "Luna Park" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, January 15:7.

Below is a report from opening day. Not even the rain would detract people from visiting the park.

Source: Anon. 1995. "Luna Park spirit beats the rain". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 21:17. 

The reopening also led to the installation of a new face at its iconic entrance. This was the eighth face in its history and is the current face.

Source: Knowles, L. 1995. "All smiles as a famous face comes home again". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 9:14.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) monitored noise levels in areas around the park after concerns about noise being emitted from the park (especially The Big Dipper) would disturb local residents.

Source: Ryan, R. 1995. "EPA sounds a warning over Luna Park noise". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 12: 15. 

Sadly, it had a very short run. Financial problems led to its third closure the following year (1996) after local residents won a legal challenge against the noise of The Big Dipper, which had its trading hours restricted.

Eight years later (2004), a redeveloped Luna Park minus The Big Dipper reopened and continues to trade to this day.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Remember This? Sydney International Aquatic Centre Officially Opens (1995)

Did you know that this month is 25 years since the Sydney International Aquatic Centre at Sydney Olympic Park was officially opened?

It was officially opened by NSW Premier John Fahey on January 21 1995, three months after opening to the public in October 1994. 

Below is a feature article from the January 14, 1995 edition of The Daily Telegraph Mirror. In addition, swimming legend Murray Rose, provided some of his insights.