Fires could transform landscapes, destroy buildings and businesses. Insurance brokers prepared detailed plans of city blocks to assess their risk, noting the structural constitution of buildings and possible investment hazards.
These insurance plans dating from the late 19th century and early 20th century are a rich resource for historians. They document business names, building footprints, construction materials, water mains, streets, pathways, wharves and vacant land. Such historic plans can be used to visualise the streetscape and reconstruct the city landscape.
City Historian Lisa Murray will demonstrate some of the key block plans of the Sydney CBD area available to researchers and the stories behind their production.
The illustrated talk will take place in the meeting room on Level 2, Customs House Library.
Free, but bookings essential.
This event is presented by the City of Sydney as part of their program for History Week 2019.