ASHonline – published by the Sydney Maritime Museum; home of Sydney Heritage Fleet
After 50-plus years, Sydney Heritage Fleet decided the time was right to look to its future. The move was triggered by the hoped-for move of the SHF operational fleet to a new Maritime Heritage Precinct (MHP) planned for the waterfront around the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in Darling Harbour and shared with the ANMM.
Sadly, and after detailed planning of the infrastructure, the NSW Government, which had committed to build the MHP, decided not to proceed, a blow for both Museums.
With the MHP still in sight in 2017, museum masterplanners, Freeman Ryan Design (FRD) were commissioned to define the purpose and future of Sydney Heritage Fleet. The MHP may be a thing of the past, but FRD’s recommendations live on, principally because they are flexible in terms of location.
FRD’s Stage 1 of the project recommended a future which, some said, was self-evident, but which had never been so simply and logically presented : create the Museum of Sydney Harbour. It would link our historic fleet and the other objects in our Collection, but above all it would enable us to tell the fascinating and varied stories of Sydney Harbour.
Despite ‘Sydney Harbour’ being tourisms greatest draw card and a must-see for every Sydney visitor, there is no single place in the city to learn about the Harbour and its diverse and colourful history.
FRD’s concept can do just that and, what’s more, the SHF and its vessels can take visitors out onto the water, so that the new museum really is the Museum of Sydney Harbour.
There’s a way to go yet to realise the concept. And the Museum won’t be in Darling Harbour – but watch this space!
Artists impression of the Maritime Heritage Precinct in Darling Harbour – now consigned to things that might have been.