North Sydney Oval

The Bob Stand - Source Rappoport 2013In 2014 Rappoport will be involved in rectification works to four of the historic stands at North Sydney Oval. The heritage listed North Sydney Oval is located on land which was first known as St Leonard's Reserve and has been set aside as a reserve for public recreation as early as 1838. The stands comprised in the Oval No. 1 precinct each have a fascinating history and each bear the name of a prominent Australian athlete. Therefore Rappoport believes that the application of a variety of conservation strategies to The Bob Stand, Mollie Dive Stand, Macartney Stand (named after Charlie Macartney) and the O'Reilly Stand (named after Bill O'Reilly) is of the utmost importance in the immediate future in order to conserve these significant pieces of Australia's sporting history.

Macartney Stand - Source Rappoport 2013Although they were built in the recent past and are not formally heritage listed, the Mollie Dive, Macartney and O'Reilly Stands are highly significant in the history of North Sydney. Designed by Feiko Bouman in the 1980s, the stands were models for the "New Look North Sydney Oval". They represented the urban regeneration project for the suburb of North Sydney undertaken by Mayor Ted Mack in the 1980s and are the first significant changes to the sporting site since the start of that century.

The Bob Stand originates from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in the late 19th Century. Relocation of the Bob Stand was negotiated by Ted Mack during the 1980's after Mack became aware of the stand's imminent demolition. The relocated Bob Stand was carefully dismantled and re-erected at North Sydney Oval in 1983 as part of the redevelopment during the 1980's. The stand takes its name from the entry fee paid to enter the SCG during Cricket games held there during the Depression. The fee paid was a shilling otherwise known as a 'bob'.

These stands have an important place in North Sydney's history. Unfortunately, they have been subject to some weather damage in the last 30 years which has caused the material dilapidation of their fabric. The Feiko stands have severe internal rust to their structural steel members.

In the coming year, Rappoport will participate with Richard Mann – architect of Ecoarchitecture, in order to rectify the structural defects so that these precious buildings can be conserved and maintained for ongoing sporting events at North Sydney Oval.

Paul Rappoport - 25 July 2014

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