Tempe NSW 2044 – building construction Edgar St & Wells Ave

October 9, 2012

Day 1. On the weekends, the building construction is quiet and sketching is possible from outside the Edgar Street entrance. Unusual is the 20-foot diameter saw used for cutting into the sandstone rock, since this is a formerly disused quarry. For at least the last twenty years, the demolished house at the end of Edgar Street’s north side had a sand tennis court between it and the railway line. The tennis court will have seen a lot of action up until the 1960s at least. The early 20th-century house (upper left), ?c.1920, is part of the redevelopment, accessible from Wells Ave, but has yet to be demolished/renovated, it serving probably as a temporary site office for the developer as is the norm these days for massive residential developments like this.  Sandstone from the former quarry can still be seen in the footings and facades of late 19thC/early 20thC houses in the vicinity, especially those making up the historic precinct of Collins Street; sandstone is also used as curbing material in some streets, for example in Union Street near the nearby primary school. I sketched this about a month ago, around 3pm, before daylight saving and tried not to get heavy-handed with the watercolour. An aerial view is possible from the top of the cliff in Wells Avenue, but dark netting obscures the view somewhat.

Day 2. Two separate views from the high advantage point at the top of the former quarry from Wells Avenue, one looking south-eest (left) and one looking south-west (right). I didn’t measure it out exactly because the area is so vast; also I wanted to convey the ‘songlines’ of sawn sandstone (right) and the excavated area which has now been covered over (presumably concealing an underground carpark?). The circular sandstone saw blade features again and I included some of the two-dozen workers on-site, all dark-faced with light green fluoro top and dark blue trousers on this mid-week afternoon. For some context, I included a garage and rooftops in Edgar Street (left) and the southern railway lines (right). I didn’t think it possible to make much of anything through heavy mesh hoardings, but I like the idea of coming back and doing a proper measured drawing over several pages. At this stage, I have no idea what the finished residential high-rise will look like.

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