Thursday, February 17, 2022

Fitzroy Gardens Kings Cross Sydney NSW


I lived in the Kings Cross/Elizabeth Bay area for a number of years and walked past Fitzroy Gardens, and the El Alamein Fountain each day, and also enjoyed the park area on many occasions. It was my escape from the mechanical world and be with nature, yet still be part of the area that I enjoyed living in and being part of. Many of the pictures were taken 2013/2014.

Combined with the relaxing atmosphere of the historical past, and nature, gives one peace of mind. It provides a world that is separate from the unnatural, and Fitzroy Gardens is enjoyed by many.

The gardens were first established in the 1950's and maintaining the cultural and historical significance of this park is important to the past and for the future.

There are misconceptions about Kings Cross. 'Kings Cross' is classified centrally as an approx 250 metre strip from about Williams St to the El Alamein Fountain on Darlinghurst Road. Between 9pm and 6am on Friday and Saturday nights up to 20,000 people 
used to visit this 'Kings Cross' area.  Since new liquor and lockout laws were introduced in 2013 the number of people have declined. Kings Cross will establish, in the future, a new identity. In 2021 the lockout laws were repealed and Kings Cross is developing within a slightly different realm.

During the day the area becomes a village community, and this peaceful culture is enjoyed by all locals (and visitors) where Fitzroy Gardens is a resting point for this relaxed life.
 

20,000 locals live within a 1.4 squ.klms radius of 'Kings Cross'. Living in this area provides a cross section of life that cannot be captured in other areas; and living in Elizabeth Bay/Kings Cross was one of my life's highlights.

At the bottom of this page is a Video Walk from Fitzroy Gardens to Rushcutters Bay Park.

(Left) The El Alamein fountain awaits you if you are walking up Darlinghurst Rd from the train station. A prominent and relaxing water feature. (Right) To the left of the fountain is a sign that features how many kilometres you are away from capital cities in the world. Note the Xmas tree in the background.

 

 (Left) As you enter the park there is a grassed area to your right. (Right) A close up view as this area extends around the portion of the park on the upper portion.

(Left) Nov. 2013 - More seating placed around the grassed area.
(Right) March 2014 - New grass and a happy dog :)

Peaceful relaxing scenes in Fitzroy Gardens Kings Cross during Nov/Dec. 2014.
On the right you can see the Market Stalls - held each weekend.

   The bird life at Fitzroy Gardens, and - lay down and enjoy the view above.

(Left) A closeup showing the garden border (without seating) and in the back ground: walkway lights, statue and the police station. 
(Right) This picture shows the back portion of the grassed area moving into the paved centre portion of the park.

(Left) A closer picture of this area.    
(Right)
Down the stairs is another grassed area.    


Two views of this grassed area. On the left there are high rise apartments while in the background more units as you walk down Elizabeth Bay Rd.
Photo on the right shows the police station in the background with stairs down to the walkway.

November 2013
The 'Upgrade' of Fitzroy Gardens has reduced the size of the grassed area.....Or a downgrade?

(Left) The centre of the park features a paved area with seating around an historic Hills Fig (ficus microcarpa.var.hillii) reported as 80-100 years old and presently stands 20 metres high. 
 (Right) Another view taken close to Macleay St. showing a small grassed area on your left. 

Two pictures of this area again. Taken from the northern side looking towards Darlinghurst Rd and the Police Station.

(Left) Looking back towards where the previous photo was taken - Macleay St in the background.
(Right) To the left of the large Hills Fig, are more gardens and seating.

(Left) Looking from Macleay St area with more seating in the paved centre portion. 
(Right) And looking further right is Macleay St in the background.


(Left) Looking towards the northern area of the park are gardens and stairs down to the post office.  
(Right) The same area and further back within the park. The post office sign in the background.

(Left) There is a variety of seating within the park.    
(Right) On the bottom area of the park there are chairs and stairs to sit on, in the sun, with surrounding garden borders. Photo taken looking towards the post office.    



(Left) The lower portion of the park showing historic and maintained borders and seating - looking toward Macleay St. Berzins's carefully placed convict bricks are a feature of Fitzroy Gardens. 
(Right) The same area with the picture taken further back, looking towards Darlinghurst Rd with the grassed area towards the front and the statue beside the police station on your left.



(Left) The lower portion of the park again, looking up towards the park centre.  
(Right) This area also features garden beds, with the high rise apartments in the background and a wine bar on the ground level. Facing Elizabeth Bay Road.

(Left) The stairs are a feature on their own leading you to the centre portion of the park. Taken from the Elizabeth Bay Road section. These stairs have now been demolished to make way for a larger playground.
(Right) The historical stairs, block and brick work leading up to the centre portion from the post office on the northern side.

November 2013
(Left) Fitzroy Gardens heritage steps and gardens.
(Right) Fitzroy Gardens Modern Upgrade.... Rather than maintaining a heritage visual aspect to Fitzroy Gardens. Shouldn't any maintenance work be appropriately designed/maintained to fit within the original heritage feels of the park? 
Is this now the future for Fitzroy Gardens - a modern upgrade - where the council takes a dogmatic approach and ignores community aspirations to keep Fitzroy Gardens free from modernization.

During construction two council signs below say "We have been working with the local community to improve this playground." 

Could modernization be described as creating inconstancy that precludes community existentialism - Dogmatic, pseudo-idealism?

The signs erected at the site during 'modernizing'.
A part of Fitzroy Gardens liberty is lost; an irrevocable step that is hard to assimilate with the ethos of community sociology.
What is next?...

(Left) Block and stair on the eastern side.   
(Right) Showing the block and stairs again with the large trees - looking towards the post office area from the lower portion. Right portion now demolished for a larger modern playground.

 (Left) This picture highlights the density of the trees within the centre portion of the park. Taken from the northern side.  
(Right) This photo shows the first grassed area mentioned on this web page, the paved walkway towards the fountain, lighting and the sculpture beside the police station. A walk I regularly did just like many locals living from this area of Elizabeth Road.

A close up picture of an area just up from the post office - before the upgrade. A hedge and bush border with seating towards the back. There is a German style restaurant (2013) in the background beside the post office.

(Left) This picture was taken on the corner of Macleay St and a walkway towards the post office.   
(Right) Looking down towards the fountain and Darlinghurst Road on the right.

(Left)  The older and smaller children's playground on the lower portion. Replaced with a modernised (not heritage) playground. 
(Right) The Xmas 'Christmas Tree' and flowered borders. When I was there the Christmas Tree was protected by a security guard each night. A reflection of our continuing decaying alcohol society.

New modernised area with playground.

There were many times I laid on the grassed area near the fountain listening to the water flow, the breeze, and looking towards the sky through the palms - watching the clouds move.

The El Alamein Memorial Fountain has a plaquue located just to the right as you enter Fitzroy Gardens.  It reads:

"This fountain was erected in commemoration of the deeds of the ninth division, Australian Imperial forces in World War II by the council of the city of Sydney and placed in operation by the right honourable the Lord Mayor of Sydney - Alderman H.F. Jensen on 11.11.1961."

2012 garden setting - On the northern side of Fitzroy Gardens near the post office is a bronze statue and plaque commemorating the life of Maurice Bernard Houghton.
It reads: "Howdy Pardner" Maurice Bernard Houghton
1920-2000."
Bernies texan greeting is warmly remembered.  He loved his adopted Kings Cross. Bernie loved people and helped those struggling in life. His Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar became a local and international icon.

(Left) Old heritage landscaping. (Right) New modernised 'upgrade.' Note how the picturesque area has been demolished to make way for a 'sleek modern' look that has little natural warmth or emotion.

The Fountain Cafe beside The Bourbon.

Enjoy your time at Fitzroy Gardens and while you are there take time out to reflect within on the importance of this park for human society. A place where nature lives beside the mechanical world yet where nature will always be our connection to the real meaning in life.

On the left 1960s and the right early 1970s. Bottom right 1960s. 
Photos above and below from "Stations of the X."
Below: The building in the background was demolished for the Police Station.

During 2017 Development Plans were drawn to change features of KX
....From This....

April 2018 - The developer withdrew the plans and in 2021 came up with new plans and concepts. They were accepted by the Central Sydney Planning Committee and development commenced in 2022.

The Bourbon is located centre/left, then Fountain Cafe near the Fitzroy Gardens.
It is a relaxing atmosphere sitting outside The Bourbon and The Fountain Cafe. Visit and Enjoy!

It is a short walk (and well worth it) from Fitzroy Gardens to Rushcutters Bay Park. The below map shows the location of Fitzroy Gardens, walkway directions to Rushcutters Bay Park (in red), Cafe's at the park, and an alternative walk back to Kings Cross.


A Video Walk from Fitzroy Gardens Kings Cross Sydney to 
Rushcutters Bay Park




Link to Manilla NSW Australia Story

(c) Mitchell Zen