THE HISTORY OF GREENWAY

History of Greenway

The Greenway Apartment’s named after Australia’s first architect, an ex-convict called Francis Greenway, who was sent out to Australia as a convict for forgery in England in 1814. Greenway had been sentenced to death for his crime, but influential friends had the sentence commuted, and he arrived in Sydney Cove with a letter of introduction for Governor Macquarie.

The apartment’s comprising 308 units were built between 1948 and 1953 by the NSW Housing Commission. In 1946, the North Sydney Council were informed by the Commission that it was interested in obtaining a vacant site on Ennis Road “for the erection of multi-storey dwelling units” as part of the post-war program of public housing that saw thousands of dwellings built in response to chronic housing shortages. Initially, the Council objected to the proposal, noting the problem of overshadowing and the need for parkland.

View of Greenway around 1955 from Miller's Point
View of Greenway around 1955 from Miller's Point
View from Greenway 24th February 1957
View from Greenway 24th February 1957

However, the land was resumed for development in 1947 and construction began in 1948. Designed by architects Morrow and Gordon, the “all electric” one and two-bedroom apartments reflected the latest ideas in public housing design being implemented in Europe and the US.

The complex was the largest apartment development in the Southern Hemisphere at the time. It consists of 4 blocks, A, B, C, D with 122, 22, 128, and 37 flats respectively. The smaller blocks became available for occupancy in late 1952, whilst Blocks A and C were completed in late 1953.

The entire project took 5 years to complete and consists of 3,500,000 bricks, 3,000 tons of cement, 2,000 tons of steel, 7,315 meters of earthenware pipes, 9,144 meters copper downpipe, 1,219 meters, and 10,000 square meters of glass at an all-up cost of A$2,000,000 00, A$800,000.00 above budget. Greenway was officially opened on 28th March 1954 by descendants of Francis Greenway's family.

View from Greenway 24th February 1957
View from Greenway 24th February 1957