Goodbye old Woolworths building

“Save our city”

There has been public outrage in the city of Sydney, after Sydney city council announced plans to demolish a historic shopping centre called Woolworths to create an open space and a public park, which they hope people will be inclined to call a “square.”

The proposal is far from a square – it does not even remotely resemble one. The public have accused the Sydney city council of “personal interest” and turning Sydney into a city of trees and parks. For now, Sydney, is the only city in Australia, which has high density, an attractive number of high rises and is a world city without a square.

Historic building

The Woolworths building has been a part of Sydney since the city’s historic renaissance and is situated perfectly in the most prominent location in Sydney, George Street, opposite the Grand – Sydney Town Hall.

the Old Woolworths building has been there for Sydney, since the 1930s.
(Right)From the beginning of time the Old Woolworths building has been there for Sydney, since the 1930s. The building was turned into Woolworths later on. Courtesy of city of Sydney.

Sydneysiders were hoping for a long awaited square in the city, which would match other major cities like New York and Chicago’s squares. The proposal to build a park in mid town Sydney across from the Town Hall came at a big cost; the demolishing of the historic Woolworths building, which will also have subsequent economic damages with jobs being cut.

Unfriendly business

The square will also mean more sanctions in Sydney regarding height restrictions, which have plagued the city in development.

Most recently Australand, a Sydney building company, pulled out of a major deal, after the Sydney city council imposed rough measures on their development.

The park will mean lowering maximum height requirements, due to the sun access plane.

Sydney has massive parkland in its CBD; however adding more parkland will devastate Sydney’s status in the world. Like Central Park, Sydney has parkland, which stretches out from Hyde Park to the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. There is also another approved “Barangaroo” vision for more parkland in the city.

The Sydney city council has come under fire many times before by Planning Minster Frank Sartor and numerous developers. Now the proposed parkland and demolishing of the Woolworths building has sparked more public anger. The Woolworths building may be heritage listed before Sydney council can obliterate it, which many are hoping for.