Whereas some new owners of an address are quick to disguise the place’s former life, some embrace it. Exhibit A: the Newsagency Gallery at Petersham.
Occupying the former Sellick’s Newsagency on Stanmore Road, the Newsagency Gallery allows artists to rent the space for weeks at a time to display their work. They’ve left the outside almost entirely untouched…
…which is fine, but by using the shell of one to attract people to their gallery it’s almost making the statement ‘newsagents are dead, come and see what’s inside now’. But newsagents aren’t dead, despite the best efforts by Fairfax and News Ltd to make newspapers unreadable. Anyone seeing this familiar shopfront is likely to wander in hoping to grab a Daily Mirror and a couple of Scratchies. Interesting tidbit: in 1947 this shop was a hairdresser. Strange but true.
You may be shocked, as I was, to learn that this address has been a newsagent since at least 1951, when a Mr. C. G. Sternbeck was appointed a ‘new newsagent’ for the Burwood area. To put this into perspective, his phone number had a letter in it. In 1947, this place was vacated by a fruit and vegetable store, so I’d put its period as a shoe store between 1947 and 1951, unless it predates the greengrocer and that’s the world’s hardiest paint. Jury’s out until the sample comes back from the lab, it seems.