Save the Rose Bay Church and Hall on the Corner of Old South Head Rd & Dover Rd, Rose Bay
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Ebenezer Vickery (1827-1906), a famous Sydney philanthropist donated the land on which the buildings stand to the Methodist Church. He provided some money for the construction of the building for the people of Rose Bay.
The existing structure was built in 1904 on a previous church site. The Church was enlarged and the attached Wesley Hall built in1924. It has continuously provided everything from Sunday School classes to ballet, preschool, and other support services to families and disadvantaged members of our community, true to the original intent of Ebenezer Vickery.
The Uniting Church: Designer / Maker: Arthur Latimer and George McCredie Architects Builder/Maker: W. J. Greenfrom Construction: 1904 - 1905
It represents a good example of one of the earliest community buildings in Rose Bay.
A peculiar feature, which Is not often adopted in the construction of Methodist churches, is the belfry and bell over the northern vestibule. Another point of interest is the rostrum, which has been removed from the Princes Street Wesleyan Chapel located in The Rocks and re-erected church and re-erected in the new buildings.
The Wesley Hall: Byera Hadley was the architect Builder/Maker: Longfoot Construction: 1924 – 1929
Byera Hadley (1872-1937) is one of our most visionary contributors to Australian Architecture. Examples of Hadley’s large-scale urban commercial structures include the original wing of the Wesley College, University of Sydney (1916) and its 1919 chapel. Hadley’s greatest contribution to NSW architecture remains his insistence on the importance of travel in Australian architecutral training. The Byera Hadley’s bequest is Australia’s most prestigious and sustained gift of its type; resulting in more than $3m being granted to over 220 architects, students and graduates since 1951. Travelling Scholarships promote travel and research in cities and communities around the world. (source: architectureinsights.com/Byera Hadley Biography by Michael Bogle August, 2011).
This church and hall were built as a facility to support the community of Rose Bay and it has provided the only affordably priced services for families in the area for nearly 100 years. It has included an affordable kindergarten which sadly had to close its doors just before Xmas for the first time. In addition, the ballet school, dance school, zumba, yoga, and other private businesses that have run valuable classes on this site will now be moving on and they wont be staying in Rose Bay, so we will have to battle the traffic to other locals or lose out altogether!
Here are some reasons why Rose Bay needs a community centre and why you should sign this petition:
1. Rose Bay has had a serious infrastructure shortfall for many years now and yet this gap is being accellerated by the increase in development that is bringing even more people to our suburb. With the leasing of the the hall on Carlisle street, a loss of this site there will be zero community space left in Rose Bay! A suburb that has a higher population and is growing faster than its surrounds, such as Vaucluse and Watsons Bay, both of which have community space!
2. Back in 2011 The Woollahra Council Community Facility report rommended that Rose Bay needs a Community Centre as a high priority. Why has it taken so long?
3. Woollahra Council have a plan for a community centre but it is a design to be squeezed into the proposed multilevel Rose Bay carpark, which might not actually be built for many years. Is this what we really want? Do we want our children catching a lift to a preschool sandwiched in the middle of a multilevel carpark? What about our growing aged care and community groups? Are we all expected to keep trundling them off in community buses through the traffic to other locals for basic services, for the foreseeable future?
4. A Community Centre, located in the church would add a vibrancy to the southern end of Rose Bay that is sadly lacking at the moment (empty shops and the turning over of businesses is prevalent). It would give people a reason to go there and increase its value as a commercial centre. A rash of high rise flats and more shopfronts will not have the same effect.
5. This is an investment for the long term. This church has been at the centre of Rose Bay's heart for many generations. It has provided support to the mentally ill, the aged, the young, the disadvantaged. It has enabled our police officers, fire fighters, teachers, hairdressers an affordable service which has enabled them to live in the area and has provided us with so much more in return. What will a block of units provide? If Council can pay for a fence at the Gap to prevent suicide, why stop there? Why not provide a stopgap by way of a community centre which can support our mentally ill and disadvantaged, so we dont actually need that sad expensive fence?
6. There are so many ways that the church and hall could be utilised: A library; Kindergarten; Aged care services and support for carers; music concerts/film nights, mothers groups; Festivals and markets as there is shelter from the weather; community group meetings; Community Classes - ballet, dance, zumba, meditation, yoga etc;
Please sign and save this heritage and community treasure, before its too late!
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