Potts Point, Woolloomooloo Bay
and Sydney Harbour

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This is a photograph of Potts Point, Woolloomooloo Bay and Sydney Harbour taken from the AMP Centrepoint Tower in Sydney Australia.

Potts Point, Woolloomooloo Bay and Sydney Harbour

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Potts Point, New South Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Potts Point is a small, densely-populated suburb of inner Sydney, Australia. It is located approximately 1.5 kilometres from Sydney's central business district, on a ridge immediately east of Woolloomooloo. The suburb has a roughly trapezoidal shape, and at its greatest extent is no more than 1 kilometre long by 200 metres wide. However, within its boundaries resides a population of 12,931 (according to the 2002 Australian census), giving it one of the highest population densities in the country.

The area that today comprises Potts Point and the adjacent suburb of Elizabeth Bay originally constituted part of a land grant to Alexander Macleay, who was the New South Wales Colonial Secretary from 1826 to 1837, and for whom Potts Point's eastern boundary, Macleay Street, is named. The suburb's other boundaries include Darlighurst Road to the southeast, William Street to the south, Brougham Street and part of Cowper Road to the west, and the Garden Island facility of the Royal Australian Navy to the north.

The area was further subdivided after Macleay's time, and a number of grand Georgian mansions were built along the high point of the suburb's ridge line. Several of these survive (albeit much hemmed in by later buildings), including Rockwall House and Tusculum, the latter of which now serves as the headquarters for the NSW chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Most of the others, such as Orwell, have survived only as street names.

Potts Point was the site of some of Australia's earliest apartment buildings, and from the 1920s through to World War II the area was intensively developed along those lines. As a result it boasts the highest concentration of Art Deco architecture in Australia. Amongst the most notable examples are the Cahors and Frankonia apartment buildings in Macleay Street, and what are arguably two of the finest streamlined moderne buildings in Australia: the Minerva (or Metro) Theatre and the Minerva Building in Orwell Street. The Metro Theatre (as it was then known) was the site of the first Australian production of the musical Hair in 1970. The area also boasts many fine Victorian-era terraces. These are chiefly located along Victoria Steet, which bisects Potts Point from north to south, and is widely known for its impressive canopy of plane trees.

During the Vietnam War the Darlinghurst Road precinct (commonly known as Kings Cross), which straddles Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay became a popular destination for US military personnel on R&R — due chiefly to its proximity to a major naval facility. Partially as a result of this the area attracted organised crime syndicates and developed an unsavoury reputation as Australia's drugs and prostitution capital. Dozens of hotels constructed at the time ensured that "the Cross" remained a tourism mecca well into the 1990s.

It should be noted that while Kings Cross is the name of a railway station sited beneath Darlinghurst Road, it is not an officially designated suburb of Sydney, but rather a locality encompassed entirely by the suburbs of Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay.

At the turn of the 21st century, almost all of Potts Point's hotels were aquired by developers attracted by the area's proximity to transporation and amenities. By 2004 most tourist hotels had been converted or rebuilt as high end apartment developments, resulting in a rapid wider gentrification of the area — although the continued presence of a number of large backpacker hostels along with dozens of pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and similar venues have confirmed the suburb's role as one of Sydney's and Australia's leading entertainment precincts.

Potts Point has been administered alternately by South Sydney Council and Sydney City Council at various periods throughout its history. In March 2004 it again reverted from management by the former to the latter as a result of a series of local council mergers endorsed by the government of New South Wales. Subsequently Sydney City Council has commenced a major streetscape upgrade centred on Darlinghurst Road and the southern part of Macleay Street, involving footpath-widening, roadside tree-plantings and the installation of new paving, street furniture and lighting. Plans to force the replacement of historic neon shopfront and awning signage on strip clubs and other adult commercial premises in the area with generic signage proved more controversial and have not been implemented.

Famous current residents of Potts Point include former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, and actor David Wenham.

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