What we are doing The Station precinct
The Station precinct
The former Newcastle Railway Station is a significant component of the Revitalising Newcastle program and is an important state heritage listed building, located in Newcastle’s east end.
During 2015 and 2016, comprehensive community engagement was undertaken to establish how people most want to use the space and see it restored. With this feedback in mind, the Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) took the site to market for a temporary 18-month lease in late 2017, to see how The Station, as it has been renamed, could be used by the community.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, HCCDC undertook platform infill and heritage restoration works to the building. These works are important and are in line with Revitalising Newcastle objectives to celebrate and enhance heritage.
Following a competitive process, Renew Newcastle won the tender and now leads the activation of The Station. Since the spectacular launch event in September, the multipurpose space is now home to a range of events, as well as hospitality, education, retail, art and innovation platforms.
Renew Newcastle now leads the temporary activation of The Station until 2020.
Renew's activation is based on four key pillars: People’s Platform, Innovation and Education Platform, Event Platform, and Hospitality Platform.
The activation follows the 2016 Ideas Festival community engagement program, when we asked the community for its thoughts on the future of the precinct. We received more than 1,500 comments, consisting of 146 unique ideas. Through a rigorous process involving stakeholder and community groups, four ideas were most supported - eateries, an outdoor piazza, an active art space and cinema under the stars.
Read more about the Ideas Festival in the Outcomes Report.
Restoration of the public areas of The Station precinct are now complete, allowing for the temporary activation of the site. The works included opening the station to Scott Street as it was in the past, filling the areas between the platforms, repairing damaged doors and windows, restoring and painting the original metal fretwork, and opening spaces on the ground floor.
We will present a second EOI opportunity for the long-term design and use of the precinct. The EOI process will allow us to identify how 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.
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.