Yesterday I found myself on Regent Street, Chippendale. The sun was going down over the Central Park construction site (really original name by the way guys…) and opposite I came across this beautiful building which sits seemingly unattended and ignored.
Upon my exploration of the interweb, I found out that this place is a Mortuary Station. A MORTUARY STATION and here I am taking a photo of it. Luckily I had the flash on my iPhone turned off because I am convinced now there would have been several ghosts floating around me at the time.
However, forgetting the creepiness of the fact that a place like this exists, the history is actually pretty interesting.
There used to be this ‘funeral tram’ which started at the Mortuary Station and that would act as a hearse and transport coffins out to Rookwood Cemetery.
In 1981 it was taken over by the State Rail Authority and then became heritage listed.
But it wasn’t until 1985 when it became a PANCAKE RESTAURANT that it really hit it’s stride. I got this information from Wikipedia so obviously was a little skeptical – according to Wikipedia my friend Karlos is the ‘king’ of his Longueville – so I dug a little deeper onto the NSW Rail Heritage site to find that it’s all true! Patrons would sit in old trams as they chowed down on a ten stack o’flapjacks! I can only imagine one of those scenes from a horror movie where the little girl says, ‘Pass the salt, please” and then a ghost passes it to her but she doesn’t realise for about 5 seconds and then her head slowly rises up upon the realisation and then lets out an almighty “Aaarrrrghhhhwieujeroifwe;!!!!!!!!!” except in this case, the salt would be maple syrup.
The sad thing here is that today the Mortuary Station sits there surrounded by scaffolding and looks like it has been unattended for a while. They might be working on it but there was no sign of construction (apart from the scaffolding) that I could see. The once pristine garden was overgrown and bindi filled (not of the Irwin variety, the “Ow, my fucking foot!” variety). This beautiful building that stares out to the sunset everyday, stands alone.
Dear Sydney, what a waste.