Friday, May 15, 2015

Old Service Stations in Sydney

Guest Post by Nancy MacAlpine, Sydney Urban Sketcher.

Over the last few months, Nancy has been doing a wonderful series of sketches of old Service Stations in Sydney. Here she shares with us four of her favourites. Please check out her blog for more of her work.


I had been think about sketching this Spanish Mission style service station in Newtown, an inner Sydney suburb, for some time.  Finally got around to it over the Christmas break and having time to spare, started a project of sketching these fast disappearing buildings.
This particular service station is a beauty, built in 1928 and  designed to attract  the wealthy as they were the ones who owned cars.
Service stations were purpose built between the wars when cars became more widely owned  Of course pre-existing buildings were converted for this use too.  The purpose built stations  in Sydney often are deco style, P &O style or Spanish Mission.


This is the second service station that I sketched and you can see the similarities between this one and the first.  This happens to be the place I take my own car to be serviced.  It serves petrol too and the bowsers are right on the footpath.  This was built between the wars. It was closed this day, when open it is a very busy place.


This is an unusual service station on Cleveland St, Sydney, and it had some nice old luxury cars out the front.  I had thought it might be from the 50's but the owner says it is from the 1930's.  I realised after that I had seen some Clarice Cliff ceramics that had similar shapes, also created in the 30's.
A man stopped and talked about this building when I sat sketching it.  He said his father used to take his car there and it always had an excellent reputation for good work.


I sketched this Arabic style service station on a very sunny summer day.  This one is located on the Princes Hwy at St Peters, Sydney. It was far too hot on that day so I sat in the shade of a doorway across the highway.

It has been so much fun sketching these buildings and trying to find a bit of their history.  Unfortunately, so many are disappearing, we need to capture them before they are gone.
There are more of these service station sketches on http://wearesoarty.blogspot.com.au

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