COFFEE @ Sub-Station Cafe – Alexandria 2015.
It’s always interesting to observe how old buildings are adapted for reuse and to see how a business capitalises on the unique marketing opportunities offered by a building’s history. Post Cafe Marrickville, Hyde Park Barracks Cafe, The Lock Up Cafe in Pymble and Sub-Station Cafe Alexandria are just a few cafes that have been named to reflect and capitalise on the history of the buildings in which they exist.
With all the paraphernalia removed from the simple c.1924 tiny brick sub-station on McEvoy Street, the space has been transformed into a cosy little cafe, aptly named Sub-Station Cafe. With an open style kitchen, high ceilings and a cute courtyard, the decor is on trend; warm, simple but interesting and very comfortable.
In an area dominated by cafes located in large former warehouse style buildings, the Sub-Station Cafe offers a more intimate space with good food and coffee. This one is definitely worth a visit.
NOW & THEN around Alexandria.
Following European settlement, Alexandria was known for its market gardens and the area developed as a residential suburb.
By the early twentieth century, due to its proximity to the brick works and rail yards, Alexandria changed into a predominately industrial area. By the 1940s Alexandria was the largest industrial district in Australia with over five hundred factories producing a range of products including aeroplanes and bricks.
In the late 1990s, the area again began to change with large industrial sites being redeveloped into mixed-use inner city living.
As part of the Green Square district, Alexandria continues to transform into a vibrant urban environment, attracting hundreds of new residents each year.
A photographic record of my visit to Alexandria
Surviving industrial and warehouse buildings from the twentieth century are historically significant remnants of the activity, progress and changes that have occurred in Alexandria.
Despite not being heritage listed or located within heritage conservation areas, the following images showcase former industrial buildings that have been adaptively reused. These contemporary developments have retained and incorporated substantially intact and recognisable facades into the design.
The following images of infill housing are located within one of the three main heritage conservation areas in Alexandria. In each case the buildings respond to the scale, form and detailing of the subject conservation area.
The images below depict contemporary alterations and additions to original building fabric located within one of the three Alexandria heritage conservation areas.
Alexandria falls within the local government area of the City of Sydney. The City of Sydney Heritage Development Control Plan provides information and guidelines about caring for and making changes to heritage listed buildings and buildings within heritage conservation areas. The document may also apply to buildings that are over fifty years old even if they are not heritage listed or within a heritage conservation area.
City of Sydney Council website, Dictionary of Sydney, Pictorial History of South Sydney, Office of Environment & Heritage – State Heritage Inventory.
Historical images courtesy Flickr Commons and the State Library of NSW.