There are many little corners, nooks and crannies in Centennial Parklands that feature heritage structures and buildings – like the Moore Park Rotunda. “The what?” I hear you ask.
This great old photo from the 1930s shows a group of women playing volleyball in Moore Park (West). The bandstand can be seen in the background…
The bandstand was used on an ad hoc basis for military ceremonies and commemorations, typically by soldiers stationed at the nearby Victoria Barracks.
In the mid-20th century, the building was enclosed and converted to an Amenities Building. The open-air platform was enclosed in brickwork, and the base extended as part of the amenities addition.
In 2003 the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, under its Park Improvement Plan 2003-2010, received funding from the NSW Government to refurbish the building and return it to its original form (thank goodness!).
Restored and re-opened!
On Sunday 17 October 2004, the beautiful Moore Park Rotunda was re-opened to the public. The day was highlighted by the ribbon cutting ceremony, using the same scissors from the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge opening in 1932, and a terrific performance by the Australian Army Band, Sydney.
With the sounds of classical and modern jazz tunes and the smell of the sausage sizzle wafting across Moore Park, it was a wonderful chance to enjoy an old-fashioned bandstand experience and learn some of the history of this grand old building.
Today and beyond?
The Moore Park Rotunda is maintained as a heritage asset, and occasionally in use for short-term activities – most recently as the venue for the public consultation sessions relating to the construction of the adjacent Korean War Memorial.
There have been a number of proposals for adaptive reuse of the building, particularly the part of the rotunda beneath the bandstand platform. No plans are currently in place for reuse, however will be considered as part of the development of the Moore Park Master Plan.
In the meantime, the building is a wonderful restored heritage asset that provides a link between this part of Moore Park and its historic roots.
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