The 1930s were a period of dramatic change in Millers Point. Reductions in maritime trade led to similar reductions in work opportunities. Many walked The Hungry Mile looking for work.
The opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 marked the end of an era of transformation during which almost half of Millers Point disappeared. The entire area had been reshaped, with new arrangements of wharves, stores, roads and workers flats.
For more thirty years before the opening of the bridge, Millers Point had been a gigantic constructions site. At the start of the century all property in Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks was resumed under the Darling Harbour Wharves Resumption Act and passed to the Sydney Harbour Trust. Between 1906 and 1922 the Trust built the wharves of Walsh Bay; the Harbour Bridge was constructed between 1922 and 1932; and a new road was built along the shoreline from Circular Quay to Walsh Bay and on to Darling Harbour.
To build the southern approaches to the bridge required the demolition of some of Sydney’s finest homes along Princes Street. Hickson Road, the street that runs along the shoreline and adjacent to the new wharves, replaced myriad streets that once ran down from the ridge. These were demolished along with the buildings that fronted them, and in their place were built the great wool and bond stores that still dominate the area. Also demolished were the private wharves, replaced by modern and efficient government-owned finger wharves along Walsh Bay and Cockle Bay (later renamed Barangaroo).