A steel skeleton is all that remains of Wollongong's Crown Street Mall amphitheatre as demolition works to remove the structure gain momentum.
It’s been a backdrop for countless events, performances, celebrations and protests for more than 25 years, but as of today, Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall amphitheatre will be little more than a memory.
Work crews moved into the site last night and began dismantling the stage piece by piece ahead of the $19 million mall refurbishment.
The popular amphitheatre has played host to thousands of events and performances over the years, ranging from local dance groups right through to international singers.
It was unveiled by the city’s then mayor Frank Arkell and former NSW Premier Barry Unsworth in 1986 as the flashy heart of Wollongong’s newly installed mall.
However, the current council decided in late 2011 to advance refurbishment plans for the mall that included the complete removal of the amphitheatre stage to create a clearer line of sight along the length of the mall.
A smaller performance area abutting the northern side of Church Street will be created as part of the refurbishment plans.
The amphitheatre is the second item to be removed from the mall, with the giant chessboard and accompanying seating area in lower Church Street demolished during the past two weeks.
A seal of asphalt has been placed on the now-levelled chess area so the site can be temporarily reopened until construction begins next month.
Workers will next turn their attention to pulling down the iconic steel archways, fondly known to many residents as the birdcage.
All removal works will be carried out after hours to minimise disruption to shoppers, retailers and business owners.
Businesses in the mall will remain open during the refurbishment.
The $19 million mall revamp is due to be completed by the end of 2014.