Sunday, 17 July 2011

Yeah yeah yeah yeah stayin' alive!


In Sydney on Thursday, the CEO of our snootiest department store went public looking for a scapegoat for a profit downgrade he was about to announce. Everyone copped a spray, except himself and his board.

This brings me to my photograph today, which shows one of the walkways through the TGV building which stands diagonally opposite the Sydney Town Hall. TGV stands for The Galeries Victoria. No idea why it is called that.[Light-bulb Moment: it is opposite the QVB with its statue of Queen Victoris. Duh!!] However, the site has a fascinating recent history. Recent meaning in my life-time. Watch it!

This is the site of the old Waltons department store which put out its shingle in 1951. The Australian retail scene was changing and old allegiances were being strained - as they are now. Waltons took over Marcus Clark and then swallowed Anthony Hordern's Palace Emporium. Quickly followed McDowell's in 1971. By the following year Waltons had expanded to 96 department stores. The Waltons retail empire was sold to Alan Bond in 1981. The Waltons name disappeared when Bond sold the company in 1987. For many years it was a hole in the ground. Now it is TGV which, although you might think it to be a fast train in France, is actually a couple of malls with small boutiques and coffee shops.

And this stained glass hanging at the Pitt Street entrance.

15 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Julie, I can't get started on Big Business, or I will go on a rant for hours. Takeovers and all that, ugh, makes me crazy.
You take great photos, however.
Luv —Kay, Alberta, Canada

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I'm sure a profits down turn won't stop them from giving each other huge bonuses.

Is it just me, or does that stained glass window have a Klimt-ish quality?

Windsmoke. said...

I bet my bottom dollar this ceo and his board members won't forgo their multi-million or billion dollar bonuses to assist the company out of its profit downgrade, its just greed and more greed they're all the same :-).

Peter said...

I recommend the Sushi Hotaru on the second floor. Both food and prices great, but there is usually a queue after 12.30.

Victor said...

I can't help thinking that the stained glass window design looks like a giant condom. Sorry!

Love your photography.

Ann said...

Was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about the "event" of going shopping in Sydney in the days of Horderns, Farmers, Mark Foys etc. Most were before my time but I do remember Horderns and Mark Foys (and Farmers which wasn't much by that time and about to be taken over). You say this was Waltons, was it Horderns before that? Have been trying to remember where Hordens was. Waltons was on Liverpool St I think.

Hope your computer problems are sorted. Bummer about the photo challenge, really wanted to know what that involved. Faustus was good (only one bit that I couldn't see the relevanced of).

Ann said...

relevance. Read before hitting button.

Mark said...

I had a friend that used to work at Waltons. It was a real rabbit warren and I loved it.
I used to love the old Horderns building and although i am too young to remember it as a shop I used to wander around it when it was used as a tech college. I remember the old oak tree motifs, "while we live we grow" was the motto I think. I lived in Sydney when Horderns was pulled down, it was a terrible tragedy and then that was that hole in the ground for many years. I visited World Sq once and thought it soulless and like every other "mall" you have ever visited.

Julie said...

I should do a before and after on some of these department stores. If I have the headspace.

Farmers was on the corner of Pitt & Market. It was taken over by Grace Bros which was taken over by Myer.

Mark Foys main store is now the Downing Street Courts.

Horderns was in the Brickfield Hill stretch of upper George Street. As Mark noted, it was a massive hole in the ground for years until it became World Square.

I note further, that the old Gowings building is undergoing a further facelift. Its use by 'Supre' did not last long, thank goodness. I am not sure if this make-over is related to the coming makeover of the space over the State Theatre. Suspect it might be ...

Joan Elizabeth said...

Not being a Sydneysider in my youth I don't know these department stores but do know Waltons were the guys that let you put everything on time payments and then would consolidate all the little debts (at a cost) so your could afford more debts etc. My mother in law was caught in that loop. The Waltons man was a weekly visitor to collect his payments.

As for the current TGV I have not notices that stained glass. I only very go in there to the big bookshop which I like a lot but wished they had more chairs.

Ann said...

Ah, I was getting TGV confused with World Square. I miss Mark Foys, and the Regent Theatre (pulling that down was criminal), well lots of places actually, especially Gowings.

Julie said...

I miss the old Coles Specialty store on the corner of King and Pitt. When I worked as a programmer at Hookers at 175 Pitt (about 1978), I used to go in there for lunch up in the cafeteria. Yonks ago ...

I think MacDowells was where the King George Tower now is ... corner King and George ... duh!!

J Bar said...

I walk past this many times every week and I have always thought that I should snap that interesting stained glass design. You beat me to it. :) TGV has the same owners as the QVB and I think that's why they chose that name.

Mark said...

Julie the other place i was going to mention was Coles & Coy likewise the cafeteria was fantastic. I always loved a wander through Nock and Kirby on George St,preferred the George St DJ's to the Market st branch but mostly bought my clothes at Gowings or Grace Bros on Broadway. I was so sad when Gowings closed, Sydney really lost something original with that place. It is funny how we used to have attachments to certain shops. Now I find it such a boring and same everywhere activity.

Thérèse said...

At least you have History, I am in Arizona right now;-))
Ceo's profits won't disappear without holes in "regular people's" lives!