The City of Sydney Council is set to rename a secluded Darlinghurst park in recognition of an extensive estate that stood on the grounds 180 years ago.
The pocket park, located near Farrell Avenue, will be officially christened Rosebank Park. The name originates from Rosebank villa, a 17 room house, built by James Laidley in 1827 on what was then known as Woolloomooloo Hill.
Mr Laidley, a Scotsman, was awarded the land for his economic administration, assisting the colony through critical economic adversity and food shortages. It was not until the 1870s that the five acre estate was sold and subdivided.
The villa would become an upper class school for young women until its demolition in the 1920s.
President of the Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Conservation Society, Andrew Woodhouse said: “The site’s heritage is important to be preserved and celebrated because it reminds us what we have lost or could so easily lose in the money-motivated rush to overdevelop a city.”
Encompassing 640 square metres, the park will be refurbished with new flowers and seating as well as a sign acknowledging the park’s heritage. It is just one of over 400 parks that cover the City of Sydney. Since 2006, City of Sydney Council has spent $8 million upgrading these parks, and plans to spend an additional $20 million over the next decade.
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said: “The City will maximise green space in the coming decades with more street trees and green walls and plantings along footpaths; all helping to increase habitat for local wildlife, improve air quality and filter storm-water run-off.”
Greens Councillor and Mayoral candidate, Irene Doutney said: “Parks of all sizes are essential to give lungs to the city and to give apartment dwellers some open space to relieve their cramped living conditions.”
Mayoral candidate for Living Sydney, Angela Vithoulkas agreed that “open space is directly related to the health and well-being for residents and visitors of all ages in inner Sydney.”
However, Ms Vithoulkas remained critical of Council’s spending. “The current Council has wasted millions on consultants’ fees on various park locations and has achieved very little from this spend,” she said.
“Over the last two years they have spent over $600,000 on consultants on Fitzroy Gardens in Kings Cross alone … Council budgets and processes need to be reassessed to ensure the rate payers get what they want and value for money.”
By Jack Derwin