I’m a bit short on material today, but after a quick look through the history books for October 20, here’s a big one for the post-war history of Australian landmarks…
Today is 48 years since the Sydney Opera House finally opened to the public, only 10 years late and 1,357% over budget.
Construction started on March 1, 1959, on the site of the old Fort Macquarie Tram Depot, and the original completion date was January 26, 1963, with a budget of £3,500,000… by the time it was finally opened in 1973, Australia had changed currencies and the budget was AUD$102,000,000, which would be just under one billion dollars today.
Of course, while Queen Elizabeth was there to open the building, the rather infamous fact of it all was that Danish architect Jørn Utzon wasn’t even mentioned during the ceremony, let alone invited to it, after he left the project (And the country altogether) in 1966 after disputes with the NSW Minster for Public Works, Davis Hughes, which led to Peter Hall being called in to finish off the landmark.
Of course, what does this yarn about the Opera House have to do with a sporting website?
Well, we can’t forget that among the thousands of performances at Bennelong Point, the Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour did play host to the first Triathlons in the history of the Summer Olympics, on the first 2 days (September 16 & 17) of the 2000 Games in Sydney:
Denmark gave us Jørn Utzon….
In return we sent him back and gave them Princess Mary as well.