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Historic Eveleigh rail building brought back to life

26 July 2017

The public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Chief Mechanical Engineer’s (CME) Office courtyard at North Eveleigh, as part of a community day marking the centenary of the 1917 Great Strike that began at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops.

The event on Saturday 5 August will also mark the completion of UrbanGrowth NSW’s restoration works to the external façade of the 130-year-old building, as part of its commitment to local arts, heritage and culture.

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation’s Interim CEO Steve Driscoll said, “The history and stories of Eveleigh are important to the fabric and identity of the local area. “This late Victorian railways office is returning to its former glory with careful restoration of its balcony, paintwork, windows, and lacework,” Mr Driscoll said.

“It has played such an integral part on shaping the history of the rail network across NSW as a command centre. During the great strike it was modified to provide lodging close to the workshops so that men working double shifts to cover for the reduced workforce could take advantage of being able to live near their work.”

The community day is part of a broader program of events across the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops involving Carriageworks and Australian Technology Park.

Members of the public can drop in to see the progress of restoration works at the CME Office between 10am – 4pm at 527 Wilson Street, Eveleigh.

A heritage architect will be giving talks at 10.30am and 12.30pm, and there will be acoustic music and the opportunity to have a photo taken with a life size photo of the Chief Mechanical Engineer of 1917.

Decisions about the long-term use of the CME Office and its courtyard will be shaped by community and stakeholder ideas within the building’s technical and structural constraints.

The building, owned by Rail Corporation NSW, is being managed under license by the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, which is providing funds for its external restoration.

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation is also pleased to be able to support Sydney TAFE signwriting students who will install an interactive blackboard to encourage thought-provoking ideas on the working conditions at the time of the Great Strike. 

Download the community day program

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