Saturday, January 8, 2011

Painting Miller's Point from the top of Harbour Control Tower New Year's Eve 2010- Part 4:Through a glass darkly

Painting on New Year's Eve 2010 from Amenities Level at the top of the Sydney Port's Harbour Control Tower.

Painting on New Year's Eve 2010 from Amenities Level
at the top of the Sydney Port's Harbour Control Tower
Painting of Barangaroo at sunset, waiting for the fireworks.

People have gathered on the 'knuckle' of North Barangaroo to see the fireworks. When this area was still an operational port, the wharfies and their families used to sit here and have a picnic outside the now demolished Shed 3.

The parade of tall ships and other Heritage Fleet vessels decked out in fairy lights, sailing the length of Sydney Harbour, is my favourite part of the whole celebration.

Self Portrait with painting of Sydney Heritage Fleet with fairy lights.

One of my traditions is to paint the fireworks on New Year's Eve and other major celebrations from the vantage point of the top of the Sydney Ports Corporation's Harbour Control Tower.
This may be for the last time.
There are no guarantees that this Tower will have any place in the redevelopment of Barangaroo. If it is to be retained, what function will it serve?
The interior spaces of both the amenities floor, where I paint, and the top floor, where the port operations are carried out, are very snug, to say the least. There isn't much room. The Tower is a magnificent observation post with breath-taking 360 degree panoramic Sydney Harbour views, but the number of people that could visit at any one time would be severely limited. I am worried that the Tower would be seen as being not economically viable to maintain in the new Barangaroo.
It could be demolished at any time after April 2011, which is when all the port operations will be finally transferred to Port Botany. Even if it is not immediately demolished, it will be inaccessible for a couple of years while major earthworks will be disrupting the Northern end of the Barangaroo Headland. The sandstone escarpment will be buried in earth to provide a slope down from Merriman St to the new shore of the Barangaroo Headland Park. I wonder how the inhabitants of the quaint little terraces in Merriman St will cope? They are a stoic, laid back bunch, but these changes will be traumatic.

Happy New Year!

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