History of Perry Park
Perry Park is at the corner of Maddox Street and Bourke Road, Alexandria. This area of flat land along Shea’s Creek was used for market gardens during the nineteenth century when a substantial Chinese community grew vegetables for the Sydney Produce Markets. In the twentieth century the district filled with factories and engineering works, and by 1943 there was 550 companies based here which produced goods ranging from bricks to aeroplanes.
In 1935 Alexandria Council bought seven acres of land nearby from the NSW government to create a park. At first it was used as a garbage tip and in 1938 a swap was arranged with Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd, which owned this site. Council was satisfied that the new site was superior to the original block.
The park continued to be used as a garbage tip and in 1957 it was still just a patch of open grassed land. In 1967 it was first used for basketball and ten years later toilets and changing rooms were built. Today City of Sydney Basketball Association has a perpetual lease of one-tenth of Perry Park, containing Alexandria Basketball Stadium with 2 basketball courts and associated facilities.
The park was named after Alderman Arthur Reginald Horatio Perry JP who was president of the Alexandria branch of the ALP and mayor of Alexandria in the 1930s.
Main image: Industry encroaching into Perry Park, 1957. (City of Sydney Archives, CRS 48/651)
“Alexandria 1868-1943: ‘The Birmingham of Australia’”, Sydney, c 1943
Last updated: Wednesday, 27 March 2013