What we are doing Newcastle and Civic station precincts
Civic station precincts
In November and December 2016 we asked you for your thoughts on the future of the Newcastle and Civic station precincts, through the Ideas Festival engagement program.
We received more than 2,000 ideas for the precincts, with people of all ages engaging through school excursions, drop-in sessions, workshops and online discussion.
The findings from the Ideas Festival have been outlined in the outcomes report. This report will be used to guide the next steps for these two key precincts, which include standard approval processes through Newcastle City Council (NCC).
The Ideas Festival engagement program was part of the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to listen to local voices in delivering a vibrant city for generations to come.
Newcastle Station precinct
The Ideas Festival showed that Novocastrians are passionate about the heritage of the former Newcastle Station, and want to see the building restored and repurposed to provide attractions and services for locals and visitors.
The community supported eateries, an outdoor piazza, an active art space and cinema under the stars as ideas for Newcastle Station precinct. These ideas will be incorporated into an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the future use/s and design of the area.
The EOI process will allow us to identify the best opportunity to deliver a restored station with a use/s that incorporates the community’s ideas while providing an economically and socially sustainable attraction for the city. This EOI process is likely to commence in 2018.
In the meantime, we have lodged a development application (DA) for restoration and maintenance works at Newcastle Station. We plan to open up the station to Scott Street, fill in the area between the platforms, repair damaged doors and windows, and open up spaces on the ground floor.
These works will pave the way for temporary activation of the site before decisions are made about the long-term use/s.
Newcastle Station is an example of Victorian Italianate architecture. The first station was built around 1858 as a small brick building with a single platform. As Newcastle grew, the station quickly became inadequate and in 1878 a new, two-storey station was built. It included a verandah along the Scott Street frontage, which has since been closed in. The current awning along platform one was built around 1897 and additional buildings were established in the late 1800s. The gas retort building and associated gas tanks on the northern side of the station were constructed in 1883 to provide the station with gas.
Newcastle was the only regional station with a silver service dining room for passengers and the spaces for the dining room and upstairs kitchen, including a dumb waiter, are still visible.
In the 1920s the station was extended. Original plans included an L-shaped, two-storey wing along Watt and Scott streets, with a three-storey tower on the corner where the streets meet. However with no funding to construct the proposed works, a smaller extension was constructed followed by a building on the corner of Watt and Scott streets used for rail administration.
The building and surrounding grounds between Scott Street, Watt Street and Wharf Road make up the Newcastle Station precinct. Take a look at the current floor plans for the station and click through the gallery to see its beautiful features.
Civic Station precinct
At Civic Station precinct, there were mixed views on the removal or retention of the station buildings. There was strong support for improved public domain that could be used for entertainment or performances and as a gathering area. People also supported improved amenity such as shade, tables and chairs and disability accessible spaces for all to enjoy and participate in.
The next steps for this precinct will include working with NCC, heritage experts and landscape architects to develop a public domain plan and DA submission.
The community will be able to provide feedback through NCC’s public exhibition of the DA.