The Anzac Memorial on Hyde Park South was built to commemorate
the men and women who served in World War I. But by the time it
was opened in 1934, the land fit for heroes was no longer providing
jobs for all as the country was experiencing profound economic depression.
When the Council received funding to create work for the unemployed
one of the tasks was to build a large pool in front of the memorial.
the site 1
The war memorial nearing completion in 1934. The architect,
Bruce Dellit designed a self consciously ‘modern’
building replicating aspects of the Art Deco ‘skyscraper’.
The site for the pool is being excavated with the help
of a tractor, a horse cart and the traditional pick and
shovel. (City of Sydney Archives, CRS 57/730)
the site 2
At the right of this image is one of the Frazer Memorial
Fountains. This was moved down to College Street as part
of this project. The building of the war memorial and
its pool was not without its critics. The suggestion to
rename the park ‘Anzac Park’ was resisted,
and the idea of using it as an annual ‘field of
remembrance’ was refused.
(City of Sydney Archives, CRS 57/731)
The pool with its rows of poplars, and in the distance
the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This postcard is undated, but
the size of the tree plantings in the park and the forest
of cranes on the city skyline suggest that it was probably
taken in the 1950s. (City of Sydney Archives,
SRC Photographic Files)
The Pool of Reflection provides a dramatic setting for
the Anzac Memorial. In later decades the building of high
rise in Liverpool Street behind diminished its presence.
(City of Sydney Archives, SRC Photographic