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Oh ma Lordee, lookee here
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It holds a special place in the city's life - the transition from CBD to Kings X, a traditional dark side up the intersecting laneways and narrow streets.

Actually it is rather unique. Please feel free to discuss what William Street is, was, should and could be...

A visitor's blog view, 2006





David Moore caught its essence, 40 years earlier (1966)





From Sydney webcam:



The Coca Cola sign



Cyclists group asserting some territorial rights







1968- taken by a US serviceman on R&R



Same unit's source, 1971 I think




1964


and more recent:



That's it. Bronte:)
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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It used to be the place to be, but it aint anymore. It's very windy and uninviting. I'm disappointed that they had to ditch plans to rejunevate the strip after the backdown on the road changes associated with the Cross City Tunnel. Would of been a wonderful boulevard.

I'd love to see some trees planted in the middle to make it even leafier.
 

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I lived for 3 months on William Street in 1995. It was cool being so close to everything, but there were so many sirens, always seemed to be somthing happening. Not sure if they are still there, but there used to be a lot of pros on William St, and quite a few trannies amongst them, adds a bit more colour I guess, but a little seedy.

I used to go to the Irish pub at the Kings Cross end a fair bit, also the Strand which was opposite where I lived (the Boulevard Hotel, next to the building with the Westfield sign).
 

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spider inside my dreams
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I'm disappointed that they had to ditch plans to rejunevate the strip after the backdown on the road changes associated with the Cross City Tunnel. Would of been a wonderful boulevard.\
Yeah, me too. It could be so great, but it just sucks. At the very least they could change the phasing of the traffic lights to make it easier to get across (both walking and driving) - at the moment they seem to work completely in the favour of all the cheap skates who should be using the Cross City Tunnel.
 

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i was walking down william st today going to cook/pillip pool and saw this guy yelling out.
He was 6;2', muscular, long blonde hair, had a bikini on with tight pink mini skirt.lol very angry with the world.
anyway
very unusual facade treatment. only a couple of years old





love what this guys has done with this pic. very gotham city








bronte-The Hyatt Hotel was completed in 1971 and was tallest hotel in Australia!
so yes 71 is close

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v460/Bronteboy/Sydneywilliam31.jpg
 

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Oh ma Lordee, lookee here
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, this is some art-photo treatment: thanks for that Cul - it's one to keep.



I meant to call this thread 'Tail-light' Reflections of William Street - to give it two meanings. Hmmm, it's sad to hear that a great street has been carelessly used (by the planners, I mean). I was always attracted to the idea that was floated of making it a great Paris-style boulevard, but in the end it seems the road tunnel under The Cross took something away from its natural conclusion. I wish they had found another way to get around that bottleneck.

The thing is, it's one of those strips that always made you feel you were in the heart of great, pulsing city. I liked it most in the early evenings. Knocked around occasionally with guys from the ABC broadcast studios there - and my wife and I actually spent our wedding night at The Boulevard, after the reception at Kinsela's on Taylor Square. Went to Bali the next morning.

Well, the hotel took the Boulevard name - but in its larrikan way, it seems to rest of Sydney didn't give a damn about the pretentious dream.
 

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^yes has alot of potential.loves its sslow incline up to tunnel.

makes a great starting point for worlds biggest fun run

 

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heres the view from new office bldg in kcross called CROSS+
 

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Oh ma Lordee, lookee here
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow again. Pleased that this thread is picking up such stunning pics - I tried to find a good City to Surf, but everything seemed heavily watermarked. That one ^^ two posts down is amazing, as is that skyline from Cross+.
Real Manhattan of the Pacific.

Vibrant street examinations are great imo, because we spend so much time on the forum looking at the big overall skyline pics. I always remember how soaring that first tall thin apartment building (Park Royal?) at the CBD end of William Street looked when it first went up. Its thinness and isolation created an illusion of massive height then.
 

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can the can
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I'm so glad you found this photo - I've been looking for it everywhere. It really goes to show that the recent attempts to turn William Street into some sort of Parisian Boulevard are utterly misguided. The character of the street always was crass and commercial. I wish they'd let it return to the 1966 feel. I'd love to see the neon strip make a comeback. Why do we still feel the need to ape European urbanism in Australia?
 

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Oh ma Lordee, lookee here
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)


I'm so glad you found this photo - I've been looking for it everywhere. It really goes to show that the recent attempts to turn William Street into some sort of Parisian Boulevard are utterly misguided. The character of the street always was crass and commercial. I wish they'd let it return to the 1966 feel. I'd love to see the neon strip make a comeback. Why do we still feel the need to ape European urbanism in Australia?
You'll find it in the State Library Collection shaggers_jr:
and it can be purchased, I guess in different sizes, if you had some particular reason to want it.

I couldn't capture the long link, but go to Google images and search David Moore Sydney and it will show up in the first page or two. :)

Here's another David Moore Sydney pic. He produced 50 years of great photojournalism, died 2003.

 

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I'm so glad you found this photo - I've been looking for it everywhere. It really goes to show that the recent attempts to turn William Street into some sort of Parisian Boulevard are utterly misguided. The character of the street always was crass and commercial. I wish they'd let it return to the 1966 feel. I'd love to see the neon strip make a comeback. Why do we still feel the need to ape European urbanism in Australia?
Most of the shops (and neon) seem to be car show rooms. Might make nice neon, but doesn't do much for the street scape when your walking on foot. Besides the bling of the large neon signs and the T junction there is nothing special about that scene.

Willam Street is now too different to revert back. The building of the tunnel, the old Hyatt Hotel and the demolishing of all the buildings on the left (their modern office replacements) and the road widening have assured that.
 

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I thought I'd do a William Street then anf now. My photo is near the same location as David Moore's pic except his has a higher elevation. If you look at the Bellett and Colt sign in his photo, that is now the Budget sign. Behind that is the Strand Hotel on the corner of Crown Street, which is now painted yellow with blue striping.

If you look to the right of David's photo under the PS lettering of the Philips neon signage you can see a triangle rooftop, which is the Kings Cross Hotel. In my photo you can locate it just behind the AVIS signage just left of the Coke sign. It is being restored atm. But you can really see the different between the two streets. Especially the visual populution caused by the ugly smart poles and all the modern offices on the left of William.





 

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i loved how it looked in the late 60's! what a pity it doesn't have that feel now. i think the biggest problem is that it is mainly posh indoor car dealerships and hire car companies now and not much else. sad really!
 

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Oh ma Lordee, lookee here
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks Fabian for that great folio, a really comprehensive view . And Ippgi, great work too to go out, twice, to do update images for the 'famous' David Moore photograph from the same spot 41 years later. A really interesting exercise in transference.

What can we read out of it?

It seems to me that David Moore caught the moment when William Street's identity was perhaps strongest. It was the street that went from the Day to the Night. The CBD closing down in the evening, just as Kings Cross is waking up.

Moore's neon-strewn skyline, the products advertised and the nature of the buildings holding them up seem to me to say everything about the kind of city Sydney then was.
VERY Australian, for a start.

From this distance, Ipggi's transference images, and Fabian's too, carry much more confusing, mixed messages for me. The skyline around it has all got much bigger, but it's harder to say what the street is now: part boulevard, part by-pass. An alternative traffic route, as one poster said, for Cross City toll evaders. A thoroughfare now heading somewhere else. And a street for car dealers and transvestites.

Hmmm, I'm too far away and too out of date to say much more.

I found this little image on a City Council planning site. I've registered for access to the high resolution images, maybe processed tomorrow. But just on the basis of this little picture, if they think that neatness is what it's really like, or is going to be like, good luck - but I suspect they're jerking themselves off.
Thanks again. Bronte.

 

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I love the contrast between these images; it seems to have been the beginning of the end for the neon signage?





I am curious about the ABC Radio studios too... there is an ABC sign on the left, but another neon advertising stations 2FC and 2BL on the right? Did they have two buildings or use someone else's for the radio advertising neon?

(I assume 2FC is now 2RN - Radio National?)
 
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