COFFEE @ Haven Cafe, Surry Hills 2010.
If you are looking for a relaxing place to enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat before or after taking a train, or heading to uni or work, you must try the Haven cafe. Located a few steps from the Chalmers Street entrance to the Devonshire Street Tunnel, the cafe is a short walk to the Elizabeth Street entrance to Central Station.
Haven cafe is roomy and, while the space does not completely open up to the outside, the use of mirrors and high ceilings results in a cafe that feels light and airy. The use of white-framed furniture and light timber table tops also contributes to the fresh feel of the space.
A coat rack, photograph wall, pendant lights and an extensive display of teas also add to the comfortably cheerful feeling that Haven radiates. Pretty is the word that keeps coming to mind when I think about Haven. Seating options include both share tables and private tables.
The coffee was really enjoyable and is served with a little bowl of raisins that provide a lovely sweetness to your coffee.
NOW & THEN around Railway Square
Railway Square, originally known as Central Square, is the visual and functional gateway to the city from the west for both road traffic and public transport. In the 19th century and early 20th century, Railway Square was the heart of the city’s modern retail district, enhanced by the presence of Central Railway Station and its adjacent hotels, erected to serve country visitors arriving in Sydney by train.
Contemporary additions (c.2000) to the Railway Square landscape include the glass bus terminal structure and the four towers with coloured steel ribbons inside which represent the four elements; Air, Water, Earth and Fire.
Defined by several significant landmark Federation era buildings, Railway Square is a heritage-listed landscape. Central Railway Station, located to the east of Railway Square, is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
To date there have been three Central Railway Stations in Sydney. The original station was opened in 1855 in an area known as Cleveland Fields. The station soon became inadequate for the growing network so a replacement station was built in the late 1800s on the same site and was also called Redfern.
The second station expanded quickly with railway infrastructure constantly being added and by 1888, the Railway Commissioner at the time, Edward Eddy, began work on a plan to construct an even larger station in a new location.
Work commenced in 1901 and the existing Central Railway Station, although still incomplete, opened in 1906. The main terminal building is built from Pyrmont sandstone and was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon.
Mortuary Station (1869), which had previously been used to transport funeral parties to Rookwood Cemetery, forms part of Central Railway Station. The 75-metre clock tower in the Free Classical style was officially opened in 1921. Due to the high visibility of the clock tower at the time of its completion, it earned the nickname ‘the worker’s watch’ as workers in nearby factories relied on it to tell the time.
Numerous modifications and extensions to Central Railway Station have been undertaken including the construction of additional platforms between 1922 and 1926 for new electric trains; the removal of redundant infrastructure associated with steam trains after 1969; the introduction of an interstate booking hall in 1951; modernisation programs in 1955, 1964, 1980 and 1986; the opening of further platforms to service the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra lines in 1979; and the construction of the Sydney Airport line in the 1990s.
A photographic record of my visit to Railway Square, Sydney
Railway square is a terrific example of how heritage listed buildings can be adaptively reused, whilst contemporary elements can be added either to the structures themselves or within the local vicinity. Ultimately, if additions are sensitively designed and well built they provide a layering of the built form, which can enrich a city.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, City of Sydney Council website, Dictionary of Sydney, Office of Environment & Heritage – State Heritage Inventory.
Historical images courtesy of Flickr Commons and the State Library of NSW.