206-208 King Street

Damien Stone

The 3-storey building present on the corner of King St and Brown St was built around 1901. It is an example of Federation (Edwardian) architecture, featuring face brickwork, timber window frames and an octagonal tower with a pressed metal roof. 206-208 King St was originally part of the Leichhardt Lodge Estate of Stephen

026233, City of Sydney Archives, 1972

Campbell Brown from 1867. Following Brown’s death in 1882, the estate was subdivided. By the following year, a pair of two storey houses and shops were erected on this spot. Its first owner was a Mr. Rudolph Hermann Bohrsmann, who rented the property out. Its earliest known known residents are listed as Madden (a bootmaker) and Hartley (an undertaker) in the Sands Directory. Bohrsmann subsequently sold the building to the Marcus Clarke Company. A 1902 article from the Sunday Times describes the building as thus: “At Marcus Clark’s, at the corner of Newtown-road and Brown-street, one of the show places of the city, the most fastidious of women can be satisfied. Whenever you have a friend from another State, you always have to take her to this Emporium, so that she may see one of the places Sydney can boast of”. In January 1924 a fire broke out and largely destroyed the building. “Thousands of people surrounded the place, and there were scenes of panic when the front wall facing Brown-street fell outwards, tearing down an iron verandah and electric light cables” writes The Scone Advocate. Sydney Morning Herald records that in the aftermath “Only the side walls

069848, City of Sydney Archives, 1991


stood, and that portion of the wall nearest to King-street, and at the rear of the building, looked like some drunken thing of bricks and mortar”. Following the disaster, the façade was replaced and rented out to Hobsons Limited, furniture makers. Another furniture making company, J Mansfield and Son, purchased the property in 1932. In 1988 the ground level of the building was converted into a convenience store. It is still operated as a 7-11 today. The original floorboards are likely to still be present, covered over with post-war concrete. A loading bay at the rear of the building contains an original lift and wooden stairs.


(1902, Dec 21), “Marcus Clark”, Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930), p. 14. Retrieved from Trove.

(1924, Jan 15), “City Fire”. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from Trove.

(1924, Jan 18), “Big Newtown Fire”. The Scone Advocate (NSW : 1887 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from Trove. Historical Atlas of Sydney.

1886, Lots 5 & 6 of Leichhardt Lodge Estate

(2017), Heritage assessment for Commercial Building including interior (206-208 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042). Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved from https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2420850

(1858-1933), Sands Directory: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/learn/search-our-collections/sands-directory

324 King Street, the Bank Hotel

by Sam Roderick

The Bank Hotel on King Street Newtown dates back to 1880 at which time Ralph Mason was the proprietor. The Bank Hotel was a popular location during this period for community and group meetings. Groups such as the Newtown Stonemasons and the Newtown Football Club would regularly meet at the 034712Bank Hotel.

In front of the Bank Hotel was where all outward trams diverged off to St. Peters, Enmore and other places making it one of the busiest parts of Newtown. During this period there was no shelter from heavy rain or fierce heat for waiting tram passengers so they would often seek shelter under the verandah of the Bank Hotel.

In 1912 Newtown celebrated the Jubilee of the incorporation of the Municipality on December 12th 1862, there was a week of Jubilee activities that saw the Bank Hotel decorated along with most of King Street.

In 1913 the Hotel became known as ‘Croads Bank Hotel’ when Mr. Martyn Hyland Croad became the owner.

Applications for liquor licences, at the time, were required to be accompanied by a plan or sketch of the premises to be submitted to NSW Licensing Courts in the Sydney Metropolitan Area for approval. As such, during Mr. Croad’s ownership of the Bank Hotel, architect George A Marsh drew up a plan of the premises to be submitted to the NSW Licensing Courts in May 1916, the application was approved in June 1916. (A portion of the ground floor plan is available through the NSW State Archives and Records, record series Plans of Licensed Premises: Hotel Plans).

034721Mr Croad, passed away in 1916, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter. As executor of Mr. Croad’s will his widow Isabella Sophia Croad transferred the licence to herself in 1917 before transferring the Bank Hotel to John Scott in 1918.

The Bank Hotel had a long list of owners and proprietors over the coming years including George Lilya, Henry Reid, Thomas Dowd, W. Meadows, Oswald Kennedy, James Heaney and H. Donnison. The hotel was remodelled in the 1930s.

In 1952 Mr. Francis William Metcalf became the licencee of the hotel and it became known as Metcalf’s Bank Hotel.

On the 4th of June 2010 an electrical fire occurred in the basement of the Bank Hotel, fortunately the fire was contained and extinguished before any damage was done to the historic hotel. The Bank Hotel still operates and remains a popular spot on King Street.056036


(c1912) The Junction, Newtown: 034/034712. [Image]. City of Sydney. Archivepix

(c1912). Bank Hotel, Newtown: 034/034721. [Image]. City of Sydney: Archive Pix

(2009). View across the Bridge: 056/056036. [Image]. City of Sydney: Archive Pix



(1884, Sep 6), “Newtown and St. Peters Roads”, Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser (NSW: 1884-1907), p. 3. Retrieved from Trove.

(1886, Feb 3), “Newtown Stonemasons”, Evening News (Sydney, NSW: 1869-1931), p. 3. Retrieved from Trove.

(1895, Mar 30), “Newtown Club”, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW: 1883-1923), p. 11. Retrieved from Trove.

(1912, Dec 9), “The Jubilee of Newtown”, Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), p. 8. Retrieved from Trove.

(1916, Nov 4), “The Death of Mr. M. Croad”, The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW: 1898-1954), p. 4. Retrieved from Trove.

(1917, Jan 26), “Licensing Court”, Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), p. 3. Retrieved from Trove.

(1918, Feb 8), “Hotel Transfers”, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), p. 4. Retrieved from Trove.

(1927, Jul 16), “Obituary”, The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser (NSW: 1891-1937), p. 3. Retrieved from Trove.

(1952, May 27), “Cellist to Run City Hotel”, Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), p. 3. Retrieved from Trove.

(2010, Jun 4), “Fire crews battle fire at historic hotel”, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

State Archives and Records NSW

Flynn, C. (1994) King Street in the Twentieth century 1900-1950. Marrickville Council, Library Services Division.

Historical Atlas of Sydney

Howard, R. 1991. King Street / Enmore Road Main Street study: heritage paint scheme. Councils of South Sydney and Marrickville

Sands Directory

246-248 King Street, formerly Quartly’s

Quartly’s have occupied this site since 1918. Edwin Quartly, an oil and colour merchant, started his business in ca. 1880 in Goulburn, and moved to 286 King Street Newtown in 1897. Prior to becoming Quartly’s, the site at 246-248 King Street was occupied by numerous businesses from the mid-19th Century as diverse as tobacconists, undertakers, and hairdressers. Originally listed in the Sands Directory as Newtown Road, then 172 King Street, it became 246 King Street in 1895. The current building is designed in the Federation Free Style – a popular architectural design from c. 1890 to 1915. Edwin Quartly ran a successful business winning many tenders and contracts. In 1906, Edwin was nominated for Alderman of O’Connell Ward, losing by only 30 votes to Mr Henry Nunn Howe, and was also a Member representing the Employers in the Building Trades Group for the Department of Labour and Industry, resigning in July 1914. Edwin died in 1922 and left Quartly’s Pty Ltd to his sons: Leslie, Horace and Norton. A small fire on the 3rd of May 1929 resulted in minor damage. Quartly’s became Quartly’s Mitre 10 Hardware Store in the early 1980’s and later Mitre 10, and also houses solicitor’s offices upstairs. Quartly’s expanded to incorporate building 250 King Street and 1 Whateley Lane in the 1980’s. In 2011 Chemist Warehouse became the primary occupant and Mitre 10 moved to 1 Whateley Street.

quartlys1 059271  069899   055981


(1922), “Quartly’s Ltd” [Advertisement], In Newtown Diamond Jubilee Official Souvenir 1862-1922, p. 78.

City of Sydney Archives. (1983), Quartly’s Chambers & Gute; ArchivesPix: 059/059271.

City of Sydney Archives. (1991), Quartly’s Mitre 10 Hardware Store; ArchivesPix: 069/069899.

City of Sydney Archives. (2009), Mitre 10 Handy; ArchivesPix: 055/055981.


(1882, Jul 29), “E. Quartly (Late Richards) Oil & Color Warehouse, Sign Writer, Gilder on Glass & House Decorator, Auburn-Street South” [Advertisement], Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW: 1881-1940), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(1906, Feb. 6), “Nomination Day”, Newtown Council Minutes 1863-1948.

(1922, Nov. 23), “Obituary: Nr. Edwin Quartly”, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW: 1881-1940), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(1929, May 3), “Another Paint Shop Fire”, The Sun (Sydney, NSW: 1910-1954), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(2015), “Federation Free Style c. 1890-c. 1915”, Retrieved from Sydney Architecture.

Archives Investigator

“Biographies of the Early Alderman: Mayor Joseph Nicholas Jolly”, Newtown Project, no. 21.

Estell, J. (1914, July 22), “Department of Labour and Industry, Sydney, 20th July, 1914 [495]”, Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW: 1901-2001), no. 126, p. 4266. Retrieved from Trove.

Sands Directory

Town Clerk, (1905, Aug. 3-5), City Surveyor’s Office – TC. [Request for new kerbing at 173 Macquarie St to be contract to Mr. E. Quartly], City of Sydney Archives, Item no: 1905/1317.

Compiled by Renée Grant


323 King Street, former Oxford Hotel

There has been a pub on this corner since the 1860s. Originally called the Daniel Webster Hotel, from 1863-1866, according to the Sands Directories, it is listed variously at Newtown Road, Eliza Street and Eliza St/Newtown Road. It was renamed the Oxford Hotel in 1875, and refurbished in the art deco style in 1913. In the 1980s, the Oxford Tavern was a popular live music venue, and was open late most nights. The hotel was refurbished in 2002 with an African theme and renamed Zanzibar. More recently it was renamed Webster’s Bar.

 323 King Street, circa 1880-90s, 085856    034711    323 King 2000, 048539

1880-90s                                                                          1912                                                                    2000

Gritty Newtown

Sands Directory 1863   p. 131

Sands Directories 1865  p. 166

Sands Directory 1866   p. 346

Sands Directory 1867 p. 189

Newtown Station

The Great Western Railway line from Sydney to Parramatta opened in 1855 with four stops along the way, including Newtown. The original train station was near Crago Flour Mills (now the Silos Apartments), hence the street name Station Street, but was moved to its present site in 1892 when the railway line was expanded. A ticket office was built at street level on the Newtown Bridge and the platform accessed by steep stairs. (source Gritty Newtown)

085836 059285 060310


672 King Street

672 King Street

Information compiled by Graeme Barber

672 King St was one of Sydney’s early cinemas from around 1913. It was originally named the Coronation Picture Palace.  The cinema reopened as the St Peters (Kinema) Theatre when a  new building with 2 levels of seating, capacity 1707 seats, was constructed in 1927, the façade of which remains on King St. The building was designed by Emile Sodersten, as ‘a prominent social and recreational venue for the local community in the 1920s and 1930s’. The theatre closed for the last time in 1960 and the building was subsequently used as a warehouse. There was an unsuccessful bid to have it revived as a theatre in the mid 90s. Development applications 2002-3 allowed new development behind the façade, completed in 2007 with the heritage listed façade restored. By 2009 the ground level part of the building had become a picture framing store and the remainder of the building a gym

                                         056243, Lifestyle Fitness, Masterpiece Pictures, 2009

1983                                                                                                                          1991                                                                                                              2009

Robert Parkinson Picture Shows in the Marrickville and Newtown Districts 1898-2012

NSW Heritage Listing  http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2420318

Emile Sodersten – ADB ; Wikepedia

New Life for Victorian theatre, SMH, November 7, 1995

143 Union Street

143 Union Street Newtown was the site of a battle between police and Communists on 19th June 1931. Dozens of people on both sides were injured in the altercation, and 19 men were arested. Around this time hundreds of poor and unemployed people had been forcibly evicted from their homes across Sydney. The Unemployed Workers Movement (UWM) had been attempting to prevent these evictions by squatting and organissing mass turn-outs. Conflict between the activists and police had been escalating, and a battle had already been fought in Bankstown on 17th June 1931. The two-storey house in which the battle took place still stands today, and as late as 2010 bullet holes could still be seen inside the house. The incident inspired a song by Alistair Hulett, “The Siege of Union Street”.

The site was first mentioned in the Sands directory as 105 Union St, until the street numbers changed in 1896. It was probably owned by George Crosby, a butcher, from 1883-1900, who lived next door at 107 (later 145) Union St between these dates and is listed as the ratepayer for the site between 1887 and 1892.

The New York Brewery 22 King Street Newtown

Samuel and Lucy Marks returned  to Australia from San Fransisco in 1881, settling in Sydney this time, and Samuel had breweries variously called “Marks & Murphy”, “The Sydney Brewery,” and finally “New York Brewery” in Newtown, Sydney. Mark S, New York Brewery & Bottler is listed in the Sands Directories at 22 King Street from 1889, although the numbers changed around somewhat. He advertised his prize-winning beer as “all malt, no substitutes, and free from colonial twang” and is credited as being one of the first to introduce lager to Australia (in 1882). He sold the New York Brewery at auction in 1898 for 155 pounds. Samuel died in unusual circumstances in 1905 at about 84 at his home at 30 Yelverton St, Sydney. He drowned in a bathtub, which is a sad irony for someone who once manufactured soap. An inquest into his death found that he took his own life as he had been depressed over the poor state of his health and only had a short time to live. Samuel went in and out of partnerships many times but one partnership that lasted was his 50+ year marriage to Lucy who also worked as bookkeeper at the breweries. Lucy died in Perth, Western Australia, in 1913. Samuel and Lucy didn’t have children but Samuel’s older sister Frances had 11 of them, many of whom migrated to Australia


Excerpt from Ancestor of the month newsletter http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5d177aaef3d6e2981308f9270&id=42ad53e220&e=44d5e1fd11

Cities and Sustainability Report (King Street, Newtown, Sydney)


  1. Introduction

    1. Location and Boundaries

    2. History

    3. Broader Context

  2. Analysis

    1. Transportation

    2. Current Land Uses

    3. Water Use and Management

    4. Biodiversity and Natural Environment

    5. Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainability

  3. The Vision

  4. The New Plan

    1. Reducing Auto-mobile Dependency

    2. Redesigning the current urban form

  5. Conclusion

  6. References


1 Introduction

With sustainable projects and groups that act to contribute towards an informed local community, the King Street area located between Newtown and St Peters train stations, is an interesting area to choose for this report. Moreover, “people in the cities do not usually need to travel as far each day as country dwellers, and are more likely to be able to take buses and trains for the journeys they do make.” (Barley 2010:32) So why is personal automobile use growing at the rate as stipulated by the RMS? This report will touch on the opportunities that Newtown’s King Street has in regards to further moves towards a sustainable future addressing issues such as public transport, community participation, pedestrian and bicycle safety, alongside population growth and development in the area with an emphasis on circular rather than linear models.


1.1 Location and Boundaries

Newtown has a long and interesting history and is now, according to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, “.. a place for people from all social classes and cultural backgrounds… [additionally a], strong sense of community, progressive ideas, creativity, acceptance and environmental awareness” (www.sydneymedia.com.au). Past residents include the poet Henry Lawson, and the convict pioneer Mary Reibey, whose face adorns the $20 note. Since the 1990s, Newtown has been the much-loved heart of Sydney’s live music scene, kick-starting the careers of popular Aussie bands such as AC/DC, The Whitlams and Frenzal Rhomb (http://www.sydneymedia.com.au). Newtown locals set up “Australia’s first, and largest, professional car sharing service”, GoGet (http://www.goget.com.au). Furthermore, the centrepiece, King Street, is said to follow a walking track used by the land’s original custodians from Gadigal country in the Eora nation. Indigenous pride has continued to this day with the “I have a dream” mural pictured below where people gather for market stalls, music and political activism.

1.2 History

Traditionally a transit hub that spanned the Sydney CBD and Eastwards, Newtown had seen the last of trams in 1961 following pressure from the NRMA and other private automobile stakeholders, with a major arterial roadway put in its place, King Street.

(Pic source – www.teara.govt.nz)

Newtown has Sydney University to its north, and Sydney Park to the south, and so King Street is bordered by professors, researchers and students, as well as a park that facilitates an innovative and internationally recognised sustainable rainwater harvesting program, and draws crowds of families, dog owners and fitness enthusiasts daily, who are proud of the sustainable projects that have been implemented over the past years, and into the future. Newtown is in a state of constant change and it is important to ensure that developers take into account the local feel, history and future sustainability.

(Pic source – https://www.flickr.com/photos/state-records-nsw/6957398451)


1.3 Broader Context

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2013, out of 23673 people in the Newtown, Camperdown and Darlington area, there were 9507 registered vehicles, or just over 40% car ownership. (http://stat.abs.gov.au)


As you can see from the map, there are over 25 green spaces within a 10 minute walk from King Street. This adds to the idea that Newtown local’s value parks, and these are used by a range of people for a range of activities from dog walking, to children’s playgrounds, picnics and meeting up in clean, green areas.


Most recently, the NSW government has unveiled plans for a new road project named WestConnex to facilitate a fast roadway tunnel to bring an estimated 7243 more cars into the area from the Western Suburbs during morning peak time of 7am – 9am, adding to the already crowded 1898 in the 2 hour morning period. (Pic source – Sydney Morning Herald, May 26 2015)

Added to this is the recent abolishment of frequent trains stopping at St Peters and Erskineville stations (see flyer from FOE – Friend of Erskineville).


The congestion on King Street will continue to rise through population growth and urban density set to increase through large planned residential developments on Alice Street and Mitchell Road. Both of these developments are on roads that lead to King Street. Furthermore, to take a different approach, dense development and dense urban populations are critical to support a public transit system, however as Porter states “Most communities are trying to overcome the traffic crisis in ways that actually perpetuate it. Most projects being planned and developed in fast growing areas build in automobile dependency, which leads to congested arteries which results in cries to reduce densities of development, which in turn creates greater dependency on automobiles (Porter1987:34 cited in Kenworthy 1990). Or in other words, Michiel Bliemer from the University of Sydney Institute of Transport & Logistic Studies comments “…quite quickly it will have the phenomenon of induced demand, which is that all the other roads around will become less congested and more attractive to drive on,” he said, which would probably attract public transport users back to their cars.” (Saulwick 2015) This report will look at ways to encourage commuters to adopt more sustainable practices.

King Street is a hub of creativity with a village feel. It has a diverse range of shop fronts leading to a vibrant walkway that flaunts street level cafes, second hand stores, music stores, hairdressers, fashion, restaurants, buskers and pubs that add to a great local culture at all hours of the day and night. This goes on to attract people to the area to live, work and play. It is clear that population density will continue to increase in the future and the transport projects that are adopted must reflect the needs of everyone, not just the minority of wealthy car owners. In other words, “The disturbing part about all these trends [WestConnex] is that they are seeking to treat only the symptoms of an ailing transport system”, rather than an open and honest critique of the system via a holistic approach with emphasis on innovative public transport models and walking/bicycling options. (Kenworthy 1990)


On a positive note, the WestConnex project has ignited local activism and brought people together to form groups and in doing so, has ensured that the area is teeming with public meetings, conversations in cafes and ways to counter act the planned automobile invasion in order to preserve the local culture of which many are so proud.

As you can see from the map below that outlines the public transport (trains and buses) and bike paths. King Street has 2 train stations on different lines, namely Newtown and St Peters. Additionally there is a bus system that criss-crosses the surrounding areas and 11 different bus routes that move people from Newtown around the city. Coupled with extensive bike lanes, this system has the potential to revolutionise getting around the city. Unfortunately this public transport system is underused because it lacks reliable timetabling that links buses with trains. Wait times are over 10 minutes and the routes lack logical planning, thus leading to many who prefer the convenience of personal automobiles. (see map)

2.3 Water Use and Management

This map outlines a $10.5 million project that captures 850 million litres of stormwater to be harvested and cleaned. This helps to achieve the 2030 target for “10% of water demand to be met through local water capture and reuse.” Additionally, this water will top up Sydney Park wetlands and irrigate, thus enhances the existing environment and improves ecological, environmental sustainability and the magnificence of the 44 hectare park. (http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au)


In addition to the specific plan for Sydney Park, the City of Sydney Council aims to ensure ongoing biodiversity as presented in the table below. (City of Sydney Council (2014) Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan, Chapter 1 Background, Page 10.)



Category Objectives
Local indigenous vegetation • Protect, expand and improve condition of naturally occurring locally indigenous vegetation, including possible remnants.• Increase the extent of bush restoration sites across the LGA, and maintain sites in good condition.

• Re-establish representative patches of the likely original vegetation communities.

Fauna • Protect and enhance sites that provide habitat for priority fauna species.• Increase the distribution and abundance of priority fauna species across the LGA
Habitat connectivity • Improve habitat connectivity across the LGA, particularly between priority sites, and between identified habitat areas in adjoining LGAs.


3.6 Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainability in Newtown

Challenges Opportunities
·       Getting people out of cars and either onto public transport or walking/cycling·       Manage eco-efficient energy into residential and commercial buildings

·       Embrace an increase in population density

·       Encourage people to participate and engage in well designed and planned public spaces

·       Use the local public spaces to enthuse people to adopt sustainable lifestyles·       King Street to accommodate more for the pedestrian than the personal automobile

·       Education as a tool to facilitate more sustainable practices


  1. The Vision

The vision for King Street in Newtown is one where pedestrians

  • feel safe
  • can engage in a range of outdoor public spaces
  • can travel quickly from one end of King street to the other
  • can travel quickly throughout Sydney as a whole
  • are informed of sustainable energy options
  • embrace the physical environment and network/share ideas without the over use of social media
  • all urban space used for a purpose with no wasted space


In every city, public spaces, or the lack of them, instil either an idea of safety, independence and interest or as somewhere unattractive and to be avoided. Whilst Newtown is an example of a localised mixed walking, transit and automobile area, King Street is also a major thoroughfare for many daily commutes. The automobile city, according to Schiller, Bruun & Kenworthy, encourages “gated, unfriendly human environments that are the logical extension or expression of a declining public realm.” (2010:14) In Newtown, and King Street in particular, there are 12 pubs, with 13 more within a 15 minute walk. (see map)

Additionally, as you can see from the image on the right from timeout.com.au that King Street and its surrounds is literally studded with a myriad of small bars, restaurants cafes and boutique stores. “Streets with active frontages such as ground-floor commercial uses are also important in making streets feel safer and encouraging pedestrian activity.” (Rudlin & Falk 1999:155) This adds to the feel of the area and whilst King Street is a thoroughfare for daily commutes, it is also a busy area for those who live, work, study, eat, shop and socialise in Newtown.


There is a diverse range of opportunities to actively participate in the local Newtown community, and a range of ways to get to King Street. The WestConnex roadway sees a push for more cars to bring people to enjoy Newtown rather than use public transport. This has ramifications in regards to safety, parking, noise pollution and the ‘feel’ of the area. Additionally, “Like the motel room, the parked car was a new kind of domestic space, a mobile extension of the living room.” (Davidson 2004:103) So while it could be appealing for people to have this extended living room in Newtown, it also lacks the community feeling and limits the participation in street foods, buskers and other often hidden gems only found through a casual stroll or bike ride.


It is this point that lends our prerogative to create or in this case, preserve the social spaces on King Street. In the Scientific American journal it reads “The most hopeful impact of city life may be its effect on the mind. Humans are social animals; we draw stimulation from other minds close at hand… Technology is reshaping city life and making it more intellectually productive, but it will not soon replace the easy interchange of ideas that comes from casual proximity, the cornerstone of city life.” (—– 2011:40) One could argue that King Street may be at risk of losing this with the introduction of increased urban density, more traffic and congestion, however I argue that increased population, along with careful planning, will lead to a more vibrant, diverse Newtown with further potential to add to the rich social tapestry.



  1. The New Plan

4.1 Reducing automobile dependency

As mentioned earlier, urban population density invites opportunities to move away from car usage into adopting more planned walking and public transport to get around. “Coordinating walking and cycling with public transport enhances the benefits of all three modes, encouraging more walking and cycling as well as more public transport use.” (Brons et al., 2009; Givoni and Rietveld, 2007; Hegger, 2007; Martens, 2004 and 2007; Pucher and Buehler, 2009; TRB, 2005; U.S DOT, 1998 cited in Pucher and Buehler 2010:16) As it stands, King Street lacks the coordination of these methods and so coupled with ongoing funding of road projects, it seems to act to move away from sustainable methods to get around the city.


One way to reduce automobile dependency in Newtown, would be to introduce a $2 toll from 7am to 9am on weekday mornings. As per the RMS calculations, this would raise $4000 per day or $20000 per week. This toll, due to population growth, increased urban density and WestConnex, would only make more and more money that would be used to fund a range of local sustainability projects, educational workshops and community events; and would act to dissuade people from using their cars, instead, coupled with planned and logical public transport, encourage ongoing lifestyle choices that benefit individuals, families and the community.


Education is important to seeing long term sustainable lifestyles adopted by local residents. “Education and training programs can help to overcome barriers to the market acceptance of energy efficiency.” (Hennessy 2008:31-32) Here we see people not only adopting sustainable lifestyles and habits as mentioned in this report, but also understanding why these new ways of doing things are so important.

King Street is congested with commuters during peak hour and so parking is restricted to allow for 4 lanes of traffic rather than just 2. A fast bus that ran every 5 to 6 minutes could be used by closing the outside lanes and would ferry people from the south end to the north where they could walk, take a train or another bus to complete their journey.


Outside of the peak hour times, cars race through King Street as it is used as a thoroughfare. To slow down these motorists and encourage them to enjoy what King Street has to offer, traffic calming techniques such as pedestrian islands or reduced speed limits, would go on to create a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment. Additionally, according to Newman & Kenworthy, “Traffic calming’s major objectives are to:

  • Reduce the severity and number of accidents in the urban area
  • Reduce local air and noise pollution and vehicle fuel consumption
  • Improve the urban street environment for non-car users
  • Reduce the car’s dominance on roads by reclaiming road space for living space
  • Reduce the barrier effects of motor traffic on pedestrian and cycle movement, and Enhance local economic activity by creating a better environment for people” (Newman & Kenworthy 1999:146)

The quiet streets around King Street are already being transformed into pedestrian friendly havens and there are businesses that are thriving due to the increased traffic of people on foot.

Techniques used to make walking or riding more attractive include reduced speed limits, one way streets and pedestrian/bicycle only walkways.

Community engagement and interaction is evident in a number of community gardens and workshops that are run in the Newtown area. All space in urban areas should be used for a good reason. “… the planners’ approach must incorporate some more radical visions of compact land use patterns both in developing areas and through selective infill and redevelopment in older areas.” (Kenworthy 1999) Here we see a block of land used to grow food, bring people together and create a local economy whereby people share ideas and support each other to create depth and meaning in their sustainable lifestyle choices.


This is supported by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage who state that “The sustainable city of the future will integrate the built and natural environments” (2003:4) and all space will be used for a purpose leading to increased urban density and the ability to walk, ride or take public transport in order to, for example, grow food, harvest urban gardens, sell or barter the food, collect food scraps from local restaurants, compost these food scraps and so on. The specifics of these ideas are based on the particular area because cities are individual and have their own personalities. As Hook (2007) puts it, “if you have money, you go to a tailor where the clothes are custom fit. You look better, you feel more comfortable… what is needed… is a tailor for the streets.” (2007:3) In saying this, some initiatives will work and others will not. What works in one city may not be taken up in another for whatever reason. The underlying idea here is that people should remain vigilant and confident to try new things, innovate and create based on careful planning and refinement of ventures, or that instead of a one size fits all approach to sustainable cities, we should look at ways to customise in regards to the people, culture and opportunities.


4.2 Re-designing the current urban form

There are many things that have been mentioned in this report that lead to a positive outlook for Newtown to continue with further urban density, community participation, public transport and reduction of automobiles. However there is still some room for improvement.

  • The abolishment of the WestConnex roadway to reduce road traffic ( http://www.jamieparker.org)
  • $2 toll during 7am and 9am to reduce peak traffic and encourage the use of public transport
  • Bus lanes on King Street instead of 4 lanes of congestion during peak times
  • Traffic calming in back streets to promote walking or riding, and the introduction of new business, cafes etc. to line these streets.
  • Tram lines in line with 1961 Sydney tram system to link Newtown with the Eastern Suburbs via Randwick, and the Western Suburbs via Leichardt and Parramatta Road. (See tram map from 1961 and tram lines still exposed in a road in Glebe Point Road between Newtown and Leichardt – (http://www.bondivillage.com/tramsyd.htm)


  • Empty space to be used in a variety of ways including the old 1961 tram sheds to be used to service new trams, empty lots for community gardens that foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for the area.



It is clear that for sustainable design to be successfully implemented into Newtown, there must be collaboration between major infrastructure developments and local community groups. This will ensure that each project reaches its potential to service the public now and into the future. Newtown was a great area for this report due to the passion displayed by all people that I spoke to, the quality of the local projects and the desire to achieve sustainable lifestyles for all.














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Sanic American Herbal Co. – W.H Chapman

156 King Street Newtown


Image : 150-158 King Street, 1991

Victorian Free Classical terraces built c 1880. Retail shops are 156 – 158 was the La Lunar clothing store in the 1980s and 1990s.

1906-1907  The Elliot American Herbal Co.

1908 – 1932 The Sanic American Herbal Co. W. H. Chapman

The property was owned through out this time by the estate of B Byrnes

Mad Mex is currently on the site.

Sanic Oils bag

Ephemera donated by City Historian Lisa Murray