• History and Heritage

    Footbridges are far more than just for foot traffic!

 

Some of the most photographed features in Centennial Park are its footbridges. Well, maybe they aren’t the central subject in most photos, but you’re about to see why they feature so regularly!

There are three footbridges of particular note

 

Lily Pond footbridge

Built circa 1890s, this white timber pedestrian bridge over Lily Pond was built by the NSW Public Works Department. It has become one of the iconic images of the Park and is a popular backdrop for many wedding photos.

 

Lily Pond at sunset - by Phil Quirk
Lily Pond at sunset – by Phil Quirk

 

Frog Hollow footbridges

Built in the mid-1890s, there are two stone bridges in the Frog Hollow area – one with a timber pergola and one without.

Frog Hollow is a triangle formed by Grand Drive, Dickens Drive and Parkes Drive in Centennial Park and was originally the site of an open drain. Frog Hollow’s formal garden area was established around the turn of the 20th century and the footbridges were constructed in the 1890s by the NSW Public Works Department. The floors of each footbridge are made of arched concrete, and they are braced centrally.

 

Frog Hollow Footbridge

Frog Hollow Footbridge

 

 

Musgrave Footbridge

The Musgrave Footbridge may not be as immediately as attractive as the other footbridges but is no less important.

A timber bridge in this area was built in 1915, but demolished some time later (exact date not recorded). The bridge we know today was re-built after falling into disrepair in 1994.

Then, in 2012, members of the Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club (who have conducted their weekly Sunday training dog sessions nearby since 1962!) donated nearly $15,000 towards the refurbishment of the footbridge as part of general safety upgrades in 2012. New ballustrades and decking were installed and a small celebratory event was held in June 2012 at the bridge re-opening:

 

At the Musgrave Footbridge re-opening event in 2012

At the Musgrave Footbridge re-opening event in 2012

 

Paul Rheuben (Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club) in front of the Musgrave Ponds footbridge circa 1980s (left) and in 2012 (right)

Paul Rheuben (Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club) in front of the Musgrave Ponds footbridge circa 1980s (left) and in 2012 (right)

 

Our favourite footbridge moment!

While it’s great to see and learn more about our footbridges, it’s only when you see how such seemingly small features can loom large in the memories of park visitors.

The wonderful Costa Georgiadis recently shared his personal memories of Frog Hollow Footbridge:

 

A very young Costa rides his tricycle under the footbridge in the 1960s!

A very young Costa rides his tricycle under the footbridge in the 1960s!

 

Costa recently showed us how spaces that looked so large when you're young don't look so large when you grow up!

Costa recently showed us how spaces that looked so large when you’re young don’t look so large when you grow up!

 

Health and Fitness eNews sign up

 

Tagged with:

Similar Articles

  • Sydney history unearthed: five ‘must-see’ heritage landmarks in the Parklands

    Visitors to Centennial Parklands are easily impressed by its surface beauty, filled with green vistas and water features teeming with native and exotic wildlife. Scratch beneath the surface though, and you will find a whole new layer of historical significance to explore. You might be surprised to learn that Centennial Parklands is in fact, rich […]

  • An ‘entertaining’ Parklands

    Over the years, Centennial Parklands has been home to some of the most spectacular events in Sydney’s short history. From hosting the ceremony to celebrate Federation in 1901, to some of the most nail biting sporting events (such as at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games), the Parklands has been home to some wonderful celebrations. Over […]

  • Celebrating NAIDOC Week, from important sites to precious plants

    The land on which Centennial Parklands is constructed does have a rich Aboriginal cultural heritage, so for this NAIDOC Week (2-9 July 2017), we are taking some time to acknowledge the site’s traditional custodians. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and with ‘NAIDOC Week’ week, members of all kinds of Australian communities are encouraged to come together to celebrate Aboriginal […]

  • What do the new $5 note and Centennial Park share in common?

    On the 1 September 2016, last year, the Reserve Bank of Australia unveiled an exciting new look $5 note.  Like most, we were hugely impressed with the tactile features to make the note more accessible for blind and vision-impaired people. We also couldn’t help but be a little excited to learn that there is a distinctive link between […]