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31 Dec 2018

Our photogenic bridges are part of history

Some of the most photographed features in Centennial Park are its footbridges. Well, maybe they aren't the central subject in most photos, but you're about to see why they feature so regularly!

There are three footbridges of particular note.

Lily Pond footbridge

Built circa 1890s, this white timber pedestrian bridge over Lily Pond was built by the NSW Public Works Department. It has become one of the iconic images of the Park and is a popular backdrop for many wedding photos.

Lily Pond at sunset - by Phil Quirk
Lily Pond in Centennial Park at sunset. Image Credit: Phil Quirk

Frog Hollow footbridges

Built in the mid-1890s, there are two stone bridges in the Frog Hollow area – one with a timber pergola and one without.
Frog Hollow is a triangle formed by Grand Drive, Dickens Drive and Parkes Drive in Centennial Park and was originally the site of an open drain.

Frog Hollow’s formal garden area was established around the turn of the 20th century and the footbridges were constructed in the 1890s by the NSW Public Works Department. The floors of each footbridge are made of arched concrete, and they are braced centrally.

Frog Hollow Footbridge
Frog Hollow footbridge in Centennial Park.

Musgrave Footbridge

The Musgrave Footbridge may not be as immediately as attractive as the other footbridges but is no less important.

A timber bridge in this area was built in 1915, but demolished some time later (exact date not recorded). The bridge we know today was re-built after falling into disrepair in 1994.

Then, in 2012, members of the Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club (who have conducted their weekly Sunday training dog sessions nearby since 1962!) donated nearly $15,000 towards the refurbishment of the footbridge as part of general safety upgrades in 2012. New ballustrades and decking were installed and a small celebratory event was held in June 2012 at the bridge re-opening:

At the Musgrave Footbridge re-opening event in 2012
At the Musgrave Footbridge re-opening event in 2012

 

Paul Rheuben (Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club) in front of the Musgrave Ponds footbridge circa 1980s (left) and in 2012 (right)
Paul Rheuben (Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club) in front of the Musgrave Ponds footbridge circa 1980s (left) and in 2012 (right)

Our favourite footbridge moment!

While it's great to see and learn more about our footbridges, it's only when you see how such seemingly small features can loom large in the memories of park visitors.

The wonderful Costa Georgiadis recently shared his personal memories of Frog Hollow footbridge.

A very young Costa rides his tricycle under the footbridge in the 1960s!
A very young Costa rides his tricycle under the footbridge in the 1960s!

 

Costa recently showed us how spaces that looked so large when you're young don't look so large when you grow up!
Costa recently showed us how spaces that looked so large when you're young don't look so large when you grow up!

 

Category: History

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