C1909

Royal Commission on Sydney Improvement Plan Showing Proposed New Roadway Between Rushcutters Bay and Oxford Street Womerah Avenue Improvement

Rare plan made by Norman Selfe (1839-1911) showing the proposed new road to run between Rushcutters Bay and Oxford Street made for the Royal Commission on Sydney Improvements. The plan extends from Victoria Street to Waratah Street. The 1908-1909 Royal … Read Full Description

$A 450

S/N: RCM-09041-NS–389982
(MD11)
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Details

Full Title:

Royal Commission on Sydney Improvement Plan Showing Proposed New Roadway Between Rushcutters Bay and Oxford Street Womerah Avenue Improvement

Date:

C1909

Engraver:

W.A.Gullick, Govt. Printer 

Condition:

In good condition, with folds as issued. Laid on archival linen.

Technique:

Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

880mm 
x 260mm

Paper Size: 

913mm 
x 322mm
AUTHENTICITY
Royal Commission on Sydney Improvement Plan Showing Proposed New Roadway Between Rushcutters Bay and Oxford Street Womerah Avenue Improvement - Antique Map from 1909

Genuine antique
dated:

1909

Description:

Rare plan made by Norman Selfe (1839-1911) showing the proposed new road to run between Rushcutters Bay and Oxford Street made for the Royal Commission on Sydney Improvements. The plan extends from Victoria Street to Waratah Street.

The 1908-1909 Royal Commission on Sydney Improvements had studied numerous issues affecting the city at the turn of the c.20th and put forward a number of future planning proposals. They looked at the transit system, traffic congestion, pollution, housing needs, beautification, open spaces as it was and for its future growth requirements. This was Sydney’s first major planning review. Forty recommendations were put forward some of which were subsequently implement such as; Hickson Road remodeling, Central  Railway Station approaches, completion of Martin Place, creation of Anzac Parade, and a number of road widening and extensions.

Norman Selfe (1839 - 1911)

Selfe was an Australian engineer, naval architect, inventor and urban planner. He designed many bridges, docks, boats, and much precision machinery for the city. He also introduced new refrigeration, hydraulic, electrical and transport systems. For these achievements he received international acclaim during his lifetime. Decades before the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built, the city came close to building a Selfe designed steel cantilever bridge across the harbour after he won the second public competition for a bridge design. From the time of Selfe’s return in 1886 from two years’ travel in the United States and Europe, he campaigned for improvements to the city of Sydney. These included proposals for a city railway loop, the redevelopment of the Rocks, and a bridge to the North Shore. His obituary in The Sydney Morning Herald noted, “Mr. Selfe for over twenty years was a strenuous advocate of a circular city railway that should connect up the eastern, western, and northern suburbs of the city with the marine suburbs of the harbour, and stations adjacent to the ferries”.[1] He published plans and proposals elaborating on his ideas, and produced major articles with titles like “Sydney: past, present and possible” and “Sydney and its institutions, as they are, and might be from an engineer’s point of view”. In 1887 Selfe published proposals for a city underground railway, with stations at Wynyard, the Rocks and Circular Quay, and a loop to Woolloomooloo and the eastern suburbs. The proposal included a bridge across Sydney Harbour for trains, vehicles and pedestrians. He presented these schemes to the Royal Commission on City and Suburban Railways in 1890; but nothing was to come of it, largely because the 1890’s depression brought public works initiatives to a standstill. In 1908–09 he served as one of 11 expert commissioners to the Royal Commission for the Improvement of the City of Sydney and its Suburbs. Selfe’s proposals included an overhead railway station at Circular Quay and major landscaping works at Belmore Park opposite Central Railway Station. Both of these visions were later realised, but not in his lifetime.

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