Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An unregarded corner

(Random walkies)

This is one of my favourite buildings in Woy Woy. It's a quiet unassuming creature, seen by many and remembered by few. Downstairs is a girly hairdressing place, tucked into the Chambers Place end is a narrow staircase going up to a solicitor's office or something similar. It's been built to fit the corner and thus has an eccentric shape.

It's on the corner of Oval Avenue and Chambers Place, opposite the footy oval, just down from the Library and a few dozen metres from the railway station. It's been hard to get decent photos of. Usually there's cars parked in front of it. These photos I got at 7AM this morning. Those palms shadowed on the facade are from out front of the footy oval.

Corner of Oval Avenue & Chambers Place Woy Woy

I'm going to put it in Inter-War Art Deco (circa 1915 - c. 1940) and close to 1940. With those tethers on the veranda and the age of the materials it doesn't seem to fit into Post-War International (circa 1940 - 1960).

Oval Avenue Woy Woy

That little archway (next to the lamppost) puzzles me. What did it belong to? Judging by the archway's style, there was a fairly grand building to the right of the lamppost in the early 20th century and that wee archway was part of it. I feel a research trip coming on.

Oval Avenue Woy Woy

The stepped side of the building is another Art Deco thing. That wee boutique next to it looks like Art Deco as well. The change in the colours of the bricks on the side of the boutique I haven't seen on another Art Deco building or any other local building, except for repaired buildings. Perhaps cheaper bricks used where some other structure originally covered them up.

Oval Avenue Woy Woy

Detail of the decorative brickwork. That raised edge of the facade. There's two or three more edges like that in the station area, though they have just the one row not two. Don't have photos of them yet. There's few examples of decorative brickwork on the Peninsula. Offhand I can only think of three, including today's and this one on Whatsit Street.

Men in black

Men in little black dresses. Sydney Frontrunners are having a charity run on Saturday 10th of February, 9AM, Centennial Park Sydney. Go down Oxford Street past Victoria Barracks (the ex-army place not the drag queen), turn into Parkes Drive at the Centennial Square lights.

Be there or be straight. It's part of that glam time of year we like to call the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.


Michael said...

this used to be an energy australia shop where you could go to pay the electricity bills and before that it was called Brisbane water County Council they had a few of these places on the coast (the main one was at gosford opposite the council building but that looks like its about to go soon so get in there spike and take some photos of it before its too late!!) the rest of the energy australia places closed down I think the only one left is at Erina
Cant help you with the archway thing I park across the road from there when I go shopping and havent noticed it until you pointed it out


Inexplicable DeVice said...

It's nice to see the Frontrunners accessorising, too. I nearly said 'coordinating' but that's blatantly not true. Still good effort with the clutch bag, whoever he is!

kitchen hand said...

There are plenty of post-art deco small scale industrial and small retail buildings around me here in Melbourne's inner north. A lot of buildings went up in the immediate post war years for one-, two- and three-man operations in manufacturing and trade.

The style is generally spare, reflecting post-war austerity and shortage of materials, but still benefitted from quality workmanship before trades started dying in the fifties and sixties.

There's a beautifully simple brick factory around the corner complete with wrought iron gate across the inset frosted glass doorway and a magnificent but rusting wrought iron sign showing the name of the foundry works.

It will all be apartments soon, with purple feature panels, fake brick faciae, narrow windows that you can't look out of and cordyline plantings among the white pebbles.

michael said...

looks like a bushire has just broken out on blackwall mountain

jen said...

Wow, what a great building. Love that brickwork.

Spike said...

Michael - Thanks for the info. Just as well you can pay yer power bill at the PO. Wouldn't want to trek all the way to bloody Erina just for that.

looks like its about to go soon

That place opposite the GCC with the clocktower? Fear not. Only the clock's coming down and that's for safe-keeping. But the crap 60s/70s left hand bit of the building is being flogged off or summat.

Device dear - He'll need that clutch bag stuffed full of Moist Ones* if this fucking weather keeps up.

Kitchen Hand - Sounds yummy. Got a blog to bung some pics up on?

It will all be apartments soon, with purple feature panels

The bastards! Nip in there quick and save it for posterity.

Michael (again) - Missed it. How big was it?

Jen - It's surprising how much decoration they can do with just the bricks, isn't it? Never noticed much of it before I started this walkies business but I've developed quite a taste for it.

* Not those, you filthy beasts. Little damp towelettes in sachets.

michael said...

I saw on NBN news that night i posted the comment that they were keeping the building because apprently there some heritage shit in there i thought they were pulling the whole down but obvously theyre not
re the bushfire: it wasnt a large one it was out within the hour but next morning another small fire had broken out in almost the same spot that one was out not long after as well but one of the firetrucks going to the scene was involved in a minor accident near my place, the poor bloke across the road from me was out the front watering the garden and he ran down there because he thought one of his kids got hit but they didnt

Anonymous said...

Michael was mainly right, it was built in the early 50s as Woy Woy Branch Office for Brisbane Water County Council. I was closed down when Local Government County Councils were terminated by the N.S.W State Government.

Les R.

Spike said...

Ta Les. Brisbane Water was in Cumberland County wasnt it?