Did you know that when plans were first drawn up in 1886 for Centennial Park they included a “Grand Drive” or processional main entry into the park? The “Old Grand Drive” from Anzac Parade to the Western Gateway was built in 1887 but was never quite finished as intended due to lack of funds.
In the lead up to the Australian Centenary of Federation celebrations, funds were made available to redesign the Old Grand Drive based on the original park plans from 1886. Federation Way, as shown above is the result.
A design competition was held with Australian architect Alexander Tzannes (who also designed the Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park) won the competition. The design included a long avenue from Anzac Parade under an arched canopy formed by figs, oaks and pines per interpretation of the original plans for a Grand Drive.
It was closed off to road traffic, the two lanes were resurfaced, lighting was installed and landscaping was completed to form what is now a lovely long avenue to stroll or cycle through before passing through the ornamental gates and entering the park.
In additional to the redeveloped avenue above, the Federation Gateway was also constructed at the Anzac Parade end of what is now known as Federation Way. The timber, copper, bronze and cast iron gate is 8 metres tall completes the dramatic entrance into the park. The gate was formally opened on the 9th of December 2001.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.