Bowstring Bridge | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Bowstring Bridge

Item details

Name of item: Bowstring Bridge
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Road Bridge
Primary address: Minogue Crescent, Forest Lodge, NSW 2037
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Minogue CrescentForest LodgeSydney  Primary Address
8 Chapman RoadForest LodgeSydney  Alternate Address
Bicentennial ParkRozelle BaySydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

This bridge connecting Spindler Park to A.V. Henry Reserve was designed by the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board in 1929. It is considered to be one of the earliest reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridges built in Australia and is a landmark linking parks on either side of the Johnston’s Creek channel.

This Bowstring Bridge is of local heritage significance in terms of its historical, aesthetic, technical and representative values.
Date significance updated: 19 Nov 14
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1929-1929
Physical description: A bowstring concrete footbridge over Johnston's Creek with slender arched girders and horizontal deck supported by vertical concrete bracing through the arch. Cyclone wire fencing secures the large gaps between the concrete bracing.

The bridge connects Spindler Park, located within Leichhardt Council, to AV Henry Reserve which is within the City of Sydney.


Category: Bridge. Structure: reinforced concrete with bowstring arches.
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Footbridge
Former use: Footbridge

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora.

Development of locality (Based on Comber Consultants 2011):

West of Johnston's Creek
In the late 19th century Johnston's Creek formed the eastern boundary of Major George Johnston's Annandale Farm comrpising 100 acres (40ha) of land granted by Lieutenant Governor Grose in May 1793. In 1794 and 1799 additional grants were made to Johnston adding to Annandale Farm. From 1876 North Annandale was subdivided and sold through the Sydney Freehold Land Building and Investment Company Limited with an area of land along the creek recalimed. Further areas of land bordering Johnston's Bay were reclaimed for subdivison c 1880s as well as some proposed reclamation in neighbouring Glebe.

Land between Rose Street and the Piper St Aqueduct, and adjoining Johnston's Creek, was dedicated for public recreation on 3 October 1924. The park, known as Spinler's Park, is thought to be linked to the former name for land in this location locally referred to as Spindler’s Paddock. Until 1921 Frederick Spindler operated a business at 104 Taylor St property selling horses, harnesses and wagons [SMH 9 Apr 1921:11].

East of Johnston's Creek
The eastern side of Johnston's Creek was land set aside for the use of the Church of England in 1790 known as The Glebe. In 1828 “to relieve the pressing needs of clergy”, Glebe was subdivided into 28 allotments and all but four lots (numbers 7,8, 27 and 28) were offered for sale. The lots were offered as villa retreats suitable for 'respectable' families.

George Allen, a solicitor purhased 95 acres ( 38.5 ha) of the Glebe between Johnston's Creek and Glebe Road overlooking Rozelle Bay. On the land John Verge designed a villa for Gerge Allen, named Toxteth Park which was completed in 1831. A small portion of Toxteh Park on Glebe Road was sold in 1876 but it was not until 1884 that the estate was subdivided (Soling 2007).

A small parcel of land, adjoining Johnston's Creek was set a side as a public reserve known as A V Henry Reserve. It was formerly a playground.

Historical summary of site:
Johnston's Creek flows from Petersham under Parramatta Road, past Annandale, Camperdown, Forest Lodge and Harold Park to Rozelle Bay, Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). It had been converted into a concrete channel by Messrs Carter, Gunmow and Co of North Sydney in 1898.

A small bowstring reinforced concrete footbridge was built to connect Spindler’s Park with the east side of Johnston’s Creek Channel and A.V. Henry Reserve. It was designed by the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board in 1929 and is considered to be one of the earliest reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridges built in Australia and a local landmark linking parks on either side of the channel. The bridge would have provided easy access between Annandale and Glebe’s racecourse, Harold Park, and alternative tram services.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This bridge connecting Spindler Park to A.V. Henry Reserve, designed by the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board in 1929 is considered to be one of the earliest reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridges built in Australia.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Research to date does not indicate any historical association with a person or groups that are important to the historical development of the area.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This concrete bridge is a local landmark linking parks on either side of the Johnston’s Creek channel.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Social assessment requires further study to ascertain its value for the local community. It can be anticipated that the bridge’s early construction period would provide a social connection to Sydney’s history.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The bridge has high research potential into the reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridges built in Australia.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
One of the earliest reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridges built in Australia.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
A representative example of an early reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridge built in Australia.
Integrity/Intactness: Largely intact
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The bridge should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. Archival photographic recording, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines, should be undertaken before major changes.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanBowstring BridgeI64314 Dec 12   
Heritage studyLeichhardt Heritage StudyB13A   
Heritage studyCity of Sydney Industrial and Warehouse Buildings    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Sydney Industrial & Warehouse Buildings Heritage Study2014 City Plan HeritageCity Plan Heritage Yes
Leichhardt Municpal Heritage Study1990B13-AMcDonald McPhee P/L  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenAnnandale on the web2012Anecdotal history of Annandale
WrittenComber Consultants2011Statement of Heritage Impact Johnstons Stormwater Canal Shared Pathway Project
WrittenMax Soling2007Grandeur and Girt, A History of Glebe

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2435683


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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