In the heart of Sydney city is the people's plaza that is Martin Place which takes on various roles at various times and is a convenient and well-known meeting place as well as a venue for city workers to have lunch and socialise.
Take any workday lunch hour and Martin Place fills with people taking a break from work.
Various areas serve various purposes: concerts and stage performances take place in the entertainment area, skateboarders and inline skaters have their own arena, the Anzac Cenotaph is the focus of Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies, and the entrance to the Martin Place railway station provides access to the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line and the South Coast Line.
In January, during the annual Sydney Festival as in 2010, 2011 and previous other years, Martin Place can become a venue for concerts and other outdoor events.
In December, Sydney's tallest, decorated, lighted Christmas tree lords it over Martin Place, with a Christmas concert launching Sydney's Christmas season
For pedestrians walking through, there are seats for those resting weary feet.
Where is Martin Place?
Martin Place is bounded on the west by George St and on the east by Macquarie St, and lies between Hunter St in the north and King St in the south.
Intersecting Martin Place are Pitt, Castlereagh, Elizabeth and Phillip Sts.
The closest train station is the Martin Place railway station, with Wynyard station's George St entrance/exit a short walk north. South, down Macquarie St, is St James station. Wynyard and St James are on the City Circle line.
For those taking the bus, there are bus stops adjacent to Martin Place on north-south city bus routes.
Martin Place buildings
Martin Place is in Sydney's central business district and includes buildings of various styles at either north or south side.
Among the older buildings are:
- No 1 Martin Place is the Sydney General Post Office built in stages from 1866 to 1891 with a neo-classical facade and a colonnade around it. Formerly headquarters of the New South Wales postal service, the building now contains shops, eateries and bars, with Westin Hotel and Macquarie Bank offices in the former courtyard.
- No 2 Martin Place is the Romanesque-style Bank of Australasia Building which is now expected to comprise retail spaces.
- No 4 Martin Place is art deco Challis House built in 1907 with funds from a bequest to Sydney University, whose crest appears above the door.