Way Back Then

By on 23-03-2012 in Architecture, Inspired By, Shop There, Taste This

For some reason I was looking at historical photos the other day, and ended up doing a little search for Crows Nest as the collection of buildings in the Junction (including mostly the Beyond Furniture building – as I work here every day) intrigue me with their historical details which are still present, when you look past the modern facade.  It inspired me to stop & take notice and look a little closer at the details.  Whilst I can’t post all the historical photos in this entry due to copyright (I will add a link below for those interested) I can certainly share my photos!

The original ‘Bank of NSW’ inscription & decorative doorway above our current modern glass electric doors, this is largely concealed behind our red awning – so look up next time you come in! The juxtaposition between old and new represents the experience of the store, the historical exterior is preserved and the interior is a modern ‘insertion’.

The original decorative emblem above the entry way, The Bank of NSW was established in 1817, the building dates to around the 30’s (photos of the junction around c1925 – where our building stands is an empty block next to an electrician)

The entry as it is today, with the original doorway & restored steps.

The emblem and flag pole on the art deco style extension at the back of the building (currently the second floor of our showroom and our garage!)

Just near the front door, the deposit box from the buildings banking days, still there, but all sealed up!

Our neighbours across the road (Waqu Japanese Fusion Restaurant – on a side note, highly recommend the tasting menu there!) have retained the orignal building’s doors, it was also a bank in its previous years.  It also retains the yellow colour scheme the building had in the 80’s, although it has lost its marble cladding.

To see a photo of this building in all its 80’s glory, complete with an 80’s fire engine red Porsche outside, follow this link to North Sydney Council database:

North Sydney Council and search for “Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Savings Bank”

Every time I stop to look at these doors, which are the entry into Willoughby House building, the building that ‘New Orleans Cafe‘ currently occupy the bottom of, I think how glamorous they must have been in the 40’s heydey.  With a distinct Art Deco style, they seem to hold a secret about the building’s past, I love how this little entry way has captured the spirit of the building when built, whilst the rest of the building slots into the Crows Nest landscape without a second thought.  Originally built as the O.J Williams’ building in 1939, the building housed a haberdashery for many years, most likely the same haberdashery that was on this street corner prior to the construction of this building.

And just one for fun, Crows Nest Junction, photo estimates to be taken early 20’s (before the Beyond Furniture building!).  The photo is looking down the highway towards North Sydney, with Falcon St off to the left.  The Waqu building can just be seen on the right! Our building would soon begin construction on the corner of Shirley Rd (to the right) next door to the electrician.

Image Source: Archives Outside

“Tram tracks at Crows Nest Junction
Dated: early 1920s”