Thursday, February 09, 2006

Two poles

Bustling Downtown Woy Woy

A few photos from Blackwall Road near the station. Took them last month or something and forgot about them.

Blackwall Road
(Big version

The two veranda roofs thing is interesting. The top one is the original, going by the style and the age of the tin. The lower one says eighties to me but that's just the pitch talking. If it was eighties it would proably be some psuedo-Federation colour or that hideous pinky-yellow so beloved of the eighties. So I'm putting it down as nineties due to the colour and the pitch being governed by the existing roof above it.

The empty shop had crafts or something in it for a bit. They went out of business quick. You'll also notice an old Angus&Robertson (national bookshop) sign up the top. Not sure when they left, maybe the late eighties.

The blue-green bit of shop you can see on the right edge of the photo was a chemist. They moved down to the old Pizza Hut place opposite the Library, lopped the roof off (hallelujah!) and replaced it with nice green tiles. There's a couple of old photos in the Post Office (next to where the chemist is now) and one shows the PO back in 1890 or something when it was where the blue-green shop is. Confused? Me too. I gotta do a new map.

Blackwall Road
(Big version)

Haven't seen the back of this one yet. The front looks fifties. The depth of the veranda roof thingy, the tiles at the left end of the window and that wall of windows upstairs. The green peaked roof just visible behind the shop is the clock tower.

Even at this hour (about 5.45AM) there's some bastard parked in my photo. Probably one of these mad keen fishing types. Can't throw a rock in Woy Woy without hitting one of those buggers.

Tiled shop
(Big version)

As far as I can make out this one is Inter-War Art Deco (circa 1915 - circa 1940) and I've got a feeling it was built in the 20s.

First time I saw it I would've bet ten bucks it used to be a cinema (theater) but the cinemas were at No 14 (where the Commonwealth Bank is now) and next to the Library where Woolies is now. Perhaps the owner of this just wanted something flash.

Wee arcade
(Big version)

Can't find room for any doubt that this one's 1950s Post-War International (circa 1940 - 1960). The back of the building's the same style as the front, the roof's 50s and the bricks you can see down the side are a fifties colour.

The stairs are in the middle and there's a tiny shop under them. It was a stamp and coin dealer a coupla years ago and now it's the world's smallest hairdresser. At the back there's the Cat Rescuers' Society shop or something and a bit of a carpark. The shop on the right with frocks in the window used to seel over-priced second-hand furniture.

It's right next to the lights at the Blackwall Road-Railway Street corner and adjacent to the station.

Whatsit Street

These two're from last week as well. They're across the road from the Lifeline shop and just along from the pub. The tides of time seem to have moved from around the Trafalgar Avenue corner (where the pub is) and left several shops empty. Maybe the tide will wash back again. Who knows?

217-225 West Street
(Big version)

Most of the West Street shops to the east of Trafalgar Avenue (where the pub is) are lower rent like this one or just plain empty. A lot of them haven't been renovated since the seventies.

No idea when this was built or designed. The top looks seventies in style and those window ledges seem to have made a reappearance in the seventies. But the bricks are saying fifties to me and the depth of the veranda roof thingy is not saying seventies. This one's going in the too-hard basket for now.

Empty shop on West Street
(Big version)

Around 211-213 West Street, one shop to the right of 217. Can't remember when the marine supplier moved out. A few years ago I think.

This one I'm putting down as late fifties/early sixties due to the tiles on the shopfront, the depth of the veranda roof thingy, the colour of the bricks visible on the top half and the style of the top half. I'd put it down as plain fifties except for the window frames on the top half. They look more sixties than fifties.


Suzanne said...

The place calling itself The Jean Warehouse? That could be right on Central Ave, the main drag that runs through Albuquerque, and probably constructed in the same decade. It's weird - the subjects for this latest string of photos are so ordinary, and quite frankly unlovely, and yet the pics themselves are still quite compelling. There's something a little forlorn about the shops inhabiting these buildings, and they don't exactly look like they belong - they look temporary, like they're wearing borrowed shells that don't quite fit. I don't know how to express it, exactly. By the same token, the architecture itself looks strangely insubstantial and impermanent. It's a weird juxtaposition - for me, they're foreign, yet completely recognizable. They're generic and at the same time ephemeral. Or maybe it's the wine talking...

So this is photo-journalism, I think, and I like it just as much as your more 'arty' photos, although I'd be less likely to hang it on my walls.

Joan said...

The building you thought might have been a theatre was the old Rural Bank of NSW (60s/70s), then the State Bank of NSW, then the Colonial State Bank.

Spike said...

Suzanne, maybe some of it's the wine talking but I get you :)

There's something a little forlorn about the shops inhabiting these buildings, and they don't exactly look like they belong - they look temporary, like they're wearing borrowed shells that don't quite fit.

I noticed a while back that if you just look at the bottom half you don't get that. I s'pose it's the disparity between the constantly updated shopfronts and the older, sometimes quite elderly top bits.

Joan, thanks, I love that sort of info. It fills in the gaps in the library books and I like hearing from long-time residents.