Parramatta Road Heritage Streetscape by Emilio Cresciani

In response to the large scale proposed changes to Parramatta Road under the WestConnex Project, the Leichhardt Council Heritage Advisory Committee have facilitated a Local History grant to create a photographic panorama and heritage streetscape of Parramatta Road which documents all the buildings on the Leichhardt Local Government Area side of Parramatta Road – from Hawthorne Canal to Booth Street – approximately three kilometres long.

This project contributes to a cannon of famous documentations of streetscapes, a valuable record for now and the future.

Parramamtta Road Street Project3 from Localnotes on Vimeo.

(right click to turn off quick start)

Parramatta Road has been a major artery linking the two settlements in Parramatta and Sydney from early colonial times. Progressive improvements to the size and type of road reflect changing technology and urban use.

Governor Macquarie called tenders for the repair of the track in 1815 and widened it to ten metres. The Sydney Municipal Council set about widening the major routes into the city with the Sydney end of Parramatta Road widened and improved in 1910-1911.

The 20th Century also saw the advent of motorised traffic on the road, and in the 1920s the surface of the road was sealed and trams were removed from the road.

Today, over three million commuters use Parramatta Road each year.

The street is characterised by high street shops in buildings dating from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The streetscape is rich with Victorian, Edwardian / Federation, Art Deco and 20th Century architectural styles. Today it is known as a strip for wedding dress shops, pubs, camera stores, 1960-70s milk bars.

Emilio Cresciani’s photo essay preserves a unique moment in the history of this major artery and contributes to the social history and photographic archive of Sydney. It continues the legacy of documentation of key times and periods in Sydney’s growth and the global practice of street documentation.

Take a walk. .

The Heritage Group of Leichhardt District (HGOLD) has recently published a collection of historic walks in the area, compiled by Jeannette Knox and funded through Leichhardt Council’s Local History Grants Program. There are 11 walks in all: six in Balmain, 3 in Leichhardt and one each in Annandale and Lilyfield/Rozelle. Each one is accompanied by a map and there is historic detail about each suburb as well as about the buildings and other sites, illustrated with a number of photos.

Information is also provided about the duration of each walk and public transport connections to each area. The book is spiral bound for easy use while walking and there is space for your own notes at the end.

This is the ideal solution for people wanting to discover more about where they live, or for those outside the area who are interested in the history and heritage of one of the oldest parts of Sydney. Best of all, these walks can be undertaken in your own time, doing as much or as little as you like.

Exploring Leichhardt Heritage costs $20 and is available from the Balmain and Leichhardt libraries, the Customer Service Centre next to Leichhardt Town Hall, at Journeys Bookshop in Booth Street, Annandale and Shearer’s Bookshop in Norton Street, Leichhardt, and from the Balmain Association.

Further information about HGOLD is available at: