This week, The Past Present is focusing on the postcard image above. Moore Street may not be a street which many of our readers are aware of their familiarity with, as most people are much more familiar with its modern name, Martin Place.
Moore Street, which at the time ran between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets, was well in use in the 19th century. Yet it truly came to fame in 1863 when proposals began to suggest the building of Sydney’s General Post Office in the area. The northern exposure of the site was onto a small laneway which ran between Pitt Street and George Street, but during the construction of the General Post Office it was elected that the main facade would face North, onto this tiny lane. Soon enough the small lane was widened, creating a proper street which connected to Moore Street. In 1892 the new street was opened and named Martin Place in honour of the Premier of New South Wales, James Martin.
Both Moore Street and Martin Place were important centres of business and in 1913 the main office of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was even constructed on the corner of Moore Street and Pitt Street. Other banks soon followed. In 1921, reflecting the increasing importance of the area to Sydney’s business, Moore Street was widened and renamed Martin Place. This extended the existing Martin Place, with the street now running between Castlereagh and George Streets. In the 1930s the street was further extended, until it ran all the way up to Macquarie Street.