As building manager at The Works Glebe it is my pleasure to provide you, our fellow community members with a brief history of the inspiring building within which we are collectively creating the future with a solid respect for the past.
62 Glebe Point Road was built in 1870 on the traditional land of the `Eora' people in `The Glebe'; a 400 acre area of land given to the Anglican church by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1790. The heritage listed symmetrical frontage designed in a commercial Victorian style is simple yet timeless (shown below during the 1990's when Architectural Heritage occupied the building & the iconic centerpiece recreated as our instore chalkboard.)
A Mrs Neill originally owned the two-story street frontage until 1888 when it went on to become Raith's Bishopthorpe Bakery. Margaret & Christian Raith's bake house later became the single largest bakery in the Glebe area. The family lived in the 2-bedroom apartment upstairs. The original wooden staircase still leads us up to the first floor where we now hold our workshop classes and private dining events. (book tickets to upcoming events here...)
To the rear of the bakery were a number of stables housing local and race bred horses that raced at both Harold Park (opened in 1902) and Wentworth Park (opened in 1882). It is from this usage of the majority of the land that we derive the horse symbol that features in The Works Glebe logo… a.k.a The Workhorse.
In January 1959 an oil fill box was installed on the site and in 1963 brothers Christian Raith & August Raith (born in the building in 1905) changed the use of the premises from a bakery to a service station. Local council approved a massive extension to the building in 1964 to facilitate the servicing of cars on the busy Glebe Road (then joined to Glebe Island Bridge) and the awesome structure that is our first floor warehouse level was born.
The brothers Raith sold the service station in 1965 and it became Needham Automotive Co. Cars would drive in through the front of the current shopfront to refill and enter via Derwent Lane at the rear to be repaired & serviced.
After a decade as a service station the building was gutted and leased by an interior-decorating consortium in 1977 and reopened as Architectural Heritage.
Architectural Heritage was famous across the state for it's outlandish collection of enormous fountains, fireplaces and statues from estates of times gone by. Rumour has it that when sourcing pieces for his Hawkesbury River holiday house, Rene Rivkin placed a bet with the owners of Arcitectural Heritage over a particular fireplace worth $30 000. He presented a coin and said that heads would mean he got the fireplace for $15 000 and tails would see him pay $60 000. The owners agreed and Rene drove away with a new half price chimney.
2007 saw the building get sold to its current owner, a Hong Kong based property investor and former Chelsea football player who leased the property to a former Gowings Department store managing director. The building was reopened as the Junktique Emporium and housed 3 levels of second hand retail, a fully equipped photography studio in the 2nd floor and a variety of hireable event & function spaces.
Taking over the building in September 2012 we here at The Works are continuing on with the multipurpose usage of Junktique with an added emphasis on community and creativity. The Works project is the brainchild and `last hurrah' for local music and hotel industry legend David Milton. He has adored the The Works Glebe building for over two decades and jumped at the chance to inherit the lease. Together we aim to create a place inspired by warehouse uses in Berlin, London, New York and Melbourne with a fresh inner west Sydney twist. We think we're on the right track.
We aim to provide a place where creatives can design, create and on sell their ideas all from the one location. Being at the helm of realizing this vision has been the most interesting experience of my life. So far we have enlisted 20+ vendors to stock in our 2 level eclectic retail operation, moved in 15 tenants into a shared industrial office environment on the 3rd level, set up an upcycling and restoration workshop in our loading dock, a classroom for talks and workshops in the original apartment, contracted an architect to reimagine the flow of the space and installed a coffee machine downstairs to fuel the building's collective energy. Hey future, we're here FOREVER!