Distillery Hill

Date Built: 2004

Architect: Denton Corker Marshall

The Distillery, The Quarry, Jones Street Townhouses, Refinery Apartments. Two 18-storey towers, 20 townhouses. Site of CSR distillery.

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Distillery Hill


Molasses tanks and the Anzac Bridge Distillery Hill from Saunders Street Distillery Hill

In 1984, as industries quit Pyrmont, the State government resolved to redevelop the area, and in 1987 decided that the peninsula needed its own plan. In the same year CSR asked Lend Lease to study the feasibility of redeveloping the industrial site.
Many studies ensued: the Pyrmont-Ultimo Heritage Study (1990), a Social Impact Assessment (1991), and a Regional Environmental Plan (1992). In 1993 the Pyrmont-Ultimo Urban Development Plan was approved, and so was a Master Plan for Pyrmont Bay.
As historical sources the most useful studies were archaeological surveys, summed up in the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s Jacksons Landing Interpretation Strategy, and Jane Bennett’s extraordinary series of paintings. Later, John Broadbent complemented these studies with his comprehensive history of the ecology of the peninsula.
Pyrmont residents were deeply divided: some were forced to leave the area, others welcomed development, but in 1979 opponents formed UPROAR (Ultimo Pyrmont Residents Opposed to Arbitrary Redevelopment) and endured years of being consulted (or, in their view, coerced). In August 1992 a few activists proclaimed the Republic of Pyrmont. In this brilliant but forlorn gesture the republicans issued visas, and publicised their critique of top-down planning, and in particular to Jacksons Landing, the casino and the helipad.
Meanwhile in 1997 Lend Lease bought the CSR site, and by April 1999 Jacksons Landing was under construction. The distillery was demolished, to be replaced by towers of residential apartments.