The strange and wonderful history of level 7
What do a basketball court, a shooting range and a rooftop bar have in common?
By Benjamen Judd
Primus Hotel Sydney is rich with history, but our rooftop pool area and bar probably takes the cake for having one of the most fascinating backstories.
Level 7 has undergone numerous incarnations since the Sydney Water Board was first opened in 1939. In their own way, it was always tied to a sense of leisure or pastime.
While an open air shooting range in the middle of the city might not sound much like a “leisurely” pursuit today, it’s always good to look at things in context.
Shortly after The Sydney Water Board was opened, the world was thrown into chaos with the commencement of the World War II. The cost for the building – already controversial – was suddenly considered obscene.
But it did have one advantage – an accessible rooftop that was promptly turned into a shooting range. Soldiers and local citizens were able to head upstairs and shoot at practice targets. Thankfully, as soon as the war ended, the range was closed down and redesigned to become a leisure centre for employees of the Water Board.
During the 70s, the rooftop was a basketball court. According to legend a basketball was once thrown accidentally over the cyclone wire fence surrounding the courts. Luckily it missed anyone who might have been standing on the street below.
Today, level 7 is again a space where people can relax and enjoy the Sydney skyline. Albeit, in slightly more luxurious and less athletic setting.
So if you’re wondering where Sydney’s in the know crowd are going to be this summer – look no further than upstairs.
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