Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Hungry Mile

Sydney's Hungry Mile was officially called Millers Point. It had its own tram line, but being such a short route, along George Street to Dawes Point through The Rocks area and then back along Lower Fort Street to Argyle Place, the trip was often tucked on to the end of trips in from suburbs or alternated with the Pyrmont service. The name Hungry Mile arose because the area was a wharf where casual dock workers would hang around hoping for a chance of a day's labour loading or unloading ships. Container transportation of goods on ships saw the end of the Hungry Mile and I imagine the area is now an unattractive no go place.

But land so close to city sitting unused? A state government struggling with its finances? Yep, a massive development is proposed. I mentioned the location once in the past. Here is a satellite image of the site from googlie.

View Larger Map

This first proposal came from the state government I believe. I see stepping stones down to Walsh Bay with a linear park along the edge of Darling Harbour. I suppose there must be tall buildings. Does the park run to a dead end at Walsh Bay? Not sure if that is a good idea.

Here is a developer's proposal. It is quite different to the original government plan. Not content with the massive are the have to work with, they want to build out into Darling Harbour. What a mish mash of tall skinny buildings and the area cut in two by what I guess will be a boat marina. Is it not enough that they get what was public land? Now developers want to take over the water as well. Why not just fill Darling Habour in and build tall buildings all over it. I blame VCAT and Justin Madden.


  1. Anonymous1:19 am

    I think Bryce Courtney made reference to the hungry mile in his latest book.
    Interesting read Andrew. Cazzie

  2. I like the idea of a pure white city as demonstrated by the's almost celestial.

  3. The hungry mile as opposed to the golden mile in Kings Cross?
    Sydney, celestial??!!
    The painted whore will be washed clean once the tides turn up higher and higher :P

  4. Anonymous10:53 am

    And we know which development will be approved don't we........just like the stupid apartment blocks they allowed in front of the Opera House.

  5. R is reading a newish one Cazzie, The Story of Danny Dunn.

    Brian, of course Sydney is anything but pure.

    Jayne, I wonder if they have taken rising sea levels into account.

    The Opera House block was a disgrace. Whatever goes up at Bangers, it won't be nice.

  6. The area has actually been officially renamed Barangaroo. The section of Hickson Road, behind the proposed redevelopment, was recently given the name 'The Hungry Mile' and the City of Sydney has installed a new street sign. I featured some photos of Barangaroo on my blog last year and just took a picture of the new sign on the weekend which I hope to feature soon.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  7. Thanks for the extra detail J Bar. I hope it all works better than Melbourne's own Docklands.

  8. I see Jim has beaten me to this post. Interesting comments. I laughed at the last sentence.

    Keating is heavily involved with this second (and "winning") design. That entire area bears no resemblance to the landscape a la about 1788, having been cut and filled and dragged and dropped over the intervening years.

    My big concern is that it will turn out to have all the pananche of Kings Wharf and Darling Harbour, which are way plastic for my taste.

    I don't have a problem with buildings going out over the water. The bridge already does that, somewhat.

  9. Hi Julie and welcome. Back from your train tunnels. I guess you heard about a train tunnel expedition in London a week or so ago.

    I am not familiar with King Street Wharf and had to check. I see what you mean. It is the taking over of public space by private interests that troubles me. They nibble into parklands, the sea water, rivers if they can, etc.

  10. Yes, I agree with the public space stance that you take. Up here that is particularly important re harbour foreshores. Not that it is less important elsewhere. But the sneaky buggers know that, and entice the pollies with trinkets of parklands down to the waters' edge so long as ...

    Now to read your Windsor Hotel rant ... er ... post.

  11. Julie, correct me if I am wrong, but I think some of the Harbour foreshore is privately owned? Apart from military and Kirribilli.