Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hyde Park - A road runs through it

Taken in 2013 from Sydney Tower. A better view of Macquarie St is impeded by buildings.

There was Macquarie Street. There was Macquarie Street North. And there was Macquarie Street South.

Macquarie Street North still runs from the Opera House Forecourt to Bent St (the State Library corner). Macquarie Street runs from Bent St to Prince Albert Road/St James Road. Macquarie Street South no longer exists. The stretch from Liverpool Street down to Wentworth Ave was renamed Commonwealth St in 1905. It had appeared on the original subdivision of the Fosterville Estate in 1843 as Macquarie St. There was a Little Macquarie St parallel to Commonwealth St, but it was renamed Alberta St in 1896. I do not know when the road running north-south through Hyde Park was removed, but my guess would be around the turn of the century.

Left: View of Macquarie St 1842, (John Rae)(State Library NSW)
Right: View of Macquarie St, 1830-1850 (Ellis)(State Library NSW)

I was amazed when I found the above two sketches of an early Hyde Park. I had no idea that Macquarie Street had bisected it. Park street bisected the park east-west in 1831. Park St, in the guise of William Street, ran up to Kings Cross from 1834. So, from 1831 to close to the end of the 19th century, Hyde Park was split into quadrants. No wonder Macquarie Street was truncated!

Hyde Park (2007) commissioned from Airview by Dictionary of Sydney

I am indebted to the City of Sydney, for their excellent "History of Sydney Streets"


William Kendall said...

What grand views! St. Mary's particularly draws my attention.

Joe said...

A great bit of urban archaeology Julie.

Joan Elizabeth said...

How surprising! Around here it is all tracks and streets in the plan that didn't happen not the other way around.