Balmain has a new plaza at the former Telstra Exchange site on Darling Street.
The plan to demolish the front of the 1957 Telstra exchange building, improve the presence of the heritage post office and create an open space with seating and shade dates back to 2004.
The design includes a green wall with an artwork by local artist Sue Callanan, ‘Connecting You Now’, which references the telecommunications history of Balmain.
The Square also includes a paved area with central landscaping, a tree feature, surrounding low level planting, a green wall, seating and a sandstone block wall at the base of the clock tower.
The heritage post office, in particular the clock tower, can now be more readily seen and enjoyed from areas around the Darling, Rowntree and Montague Streets intersection.
“I am pleased to unveil the completed, new Balmain Square at the site of the Telephone Exchange on Darling Street,” Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said.
“This precinct, including the Town Hall, the Courthouse and the glasshouse is the centrepiece of Balmain and we want to breathe new life into it.
“We are continuing to work with Telstra on plans to create a larger square, replacing the entire telephone exchange site. Telstra has agreed to make that space available to Council when the roll-out of the NBN is completed.
“This improvement is also just the beginning of a broader plan to revive the whole Balmain Town Hall precinct. Breathing new life into the entire precinct, including the Courthouse (owned by the NSW Government), the glasshouse and Balmain Town Hall, is an important priority.
“To this end, $1.4 million has been allocated in this year’s budget for the heritage renovation of Balmain Town Hall,” Mayor Byrne said.
“I hope everyone visits the Square and enjoys our beautiful new community meeting space.”