History of Hugo Street Reserve
The site of this reserve was acquired in stages between 1948 and 1956 by the South Sydney Municipal Council for a playground.
Hugo Street Reserve is on the corner of Hugo and Vine Streets, Redfern.
Houses and a corner shop were built on this site in the early 1880s. During the Great Depression which began in 1929, when unemployment grew to 30% in parts of Sydney, the houses could not be leased. When the owners defaulted on their mortgages the houses were repossessed by Colonial Mutual Life and left vacant. Damage by vandals made them derelict and the Redfern Council ordered their demolition.
The site was acquired in stages between 1948 and 1956 by the South Sydney Municipal Council for a playground. Toilets and a cantilevered roof weather shelter were erected in 1957.
In 1977 16-year-old resident Matthew Raschke wrote to Council asking for a basketball ring to be installed, and was pleasantly surprised to find his request was granted. This was later expanded to a full basketball court. Matthew was the son of Dr John Raschke, founder of the Australian National Basketball League.