Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Hyde Park - Burdekin Terraces

Whitlam Square. The cyclist is crossing over Liverpool Street, heading north. The cars are crossing from College Steet, over the square, and heading down into Wentworth Avenue. The pedestrians have crossed over College St from Hyde Park, and are about to head up Oxford Street.

Hyde Park is part of a swathe of green-belt carved out by Governor Lachlan Macquarie between 1810 and 1821. It includes the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, and Hyde Park. This green oasis sweeps up from the harbour, beside the Opera House, to Liverpool Street, on the southern boundary of Hyde Park (which, of course, is named after HP in London). In the 5th image in this post, you are looking down the gunnels of this parkland, from close to Liverpool Street, between the spires of St Mary's Cathedral, over Hyde Park Barracks, and between the sails of the Opera House.

Two very hard to find shots of the Burdekin Terraces. On the left: 1917, and the slender sandstone building right on the corner is being demolished. On the right: March 1926, and the terraces themselves are being demolished. This was about the time when College Street was widened. More on this widening next week. Both images courtesy of City of Sydney Photographic Archives

For well nigh 100 years (abt 1830 to abt 1930), Hyde Park was surrounded by the homes of the powerful, and the well-off, terraces mainly. Housing judges, doctors, and government officials. I have already posted about Lyons Terraces on Liverpool Street which were erected in abt 1841. However, College Street was constructed in 1832, and the Burdekin Terraces pre-date the Lyons Terraces, but I cannot find their date of construction. Burdekin was an ironmonger (hardware merchant) with a fine eye for buying the debts of others. He built himself a fabulous mansion on Macquarie Street which was demolished in 1933 to make way for the extensions to Martin Place.

A taller shot of the intersecyion and its hotels today. Remember, the terraces were only three floors high, so about up to that funny looking olive screen on the Hyde Park Plaza.

However, these terraces were on College Street, just down from what is now called Whitlam Square (the intersection of College Street, Oxford Street, Wentworth Avenue, and Liverpool Street). In the two shots I took last week, the cars are coming FROM College Street, and we are looking directly at the location of Burdekin's terraces. Not the corner building (which is very slender), but the next two towers - the Hyde Park Plaza Hotel, and the Pullman Hotel. The 4th tower block along is the old Avery Building which housed the bureacracy of the NSW Police Force for 30 years from abt 1970. It is now The Residence, Hyde Park, and it was from the top of this building that the shot showing the greensward was taken.

A shot taken from the top of the new "The Residence, Hyde Park", from the website of Scott-Carver who did the remodelling of the Avery offices, into a very swanky set of apartments, thank you very much. Eye teeth to get up to the roof-top terrace!

I have used this sketch by John Rae before, but it serves its purpose well. I have noted both Lyons Terrace, and Burdekin Terrace.

A sketch by John Rae, 1842

Other posts of interest:
Hidden Agendas - Lyons Terraces
Hyde Park - Then & Now
Hyde Park - A road runs through it


William Kendall said...

What a remarkable transformation of the area. The buildings have something of an imposing look to them.

Tahiti Daily Photo said...

Julie, I think you're an history book !

diane b said...

Great view from the swanky apartment s