Tag Archives: sydney architecture

randwick 20th century

I’m not quite done with Randwick yet!

The Art Deco Walk was a great introduction to the 20th century architecture of the area, and I discovered a lot more as I was walking round.

Here are some more.

Day Avenue & Anzac Parade, Kensington
High Street, Randwick
Don Juan Avenue, Randwick
Mears Avenue, Randwick
Altadena, Botany Street, Randwick
Belmore Road, Randwick
Arthur Lane, Randwick
Corner of Bradley Street & Alison Road
Silver Street & Elizabeth Lane, Randwick
Avoca Street, Randwick
Belmore Road ,Randwick
Arthur Lane, Randwick


I didn’t realise until after I’d got back home from the Sydney trip that there was a companion to the Randwick Art Deco walk for the neighbouring suburb of Coogee.

That’s cool. I have somewhere new to explore next time I’m in the area.

I spent only a couple of hours in Coogee this time. It involved a walk down Coogee Bay Road, fish and chips on the beach, and the return walk up a back road that ended up in St Pauls Street in Randwick.

I was going to explore more the next day but the rain put an end to that idea.

Sunburst Music on Coogee Bay Road
Sunburst Music on Coogee Bay Road
173 Coogee Bay Road
This shop + flats on Coogee Bay Road is in the Coogee Walk. Constructed c. 1933.
Coogee Beach Rainbow Walkway (opened February 2021)
John LeMarseny Boatshed, Coogee Beach
Coogee Beach
The wall supporting the walkway

sydney city – the wrap up

After I’d spent more than an hour with Town Hall House, I wandered around briefly before deciding to call it a day.

First was the entrance to this building in Druitt Street, which was once, according to the real estate website, Australia Post’s central agency warehouse and also a gym operated by Madonna.

48-58 Druitt Street

And I couldn’t help this photo of the Western Distributor coming off the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I did come back into the city later in the week, to visit the Art Gallery of NSW.

Art Gallery of NSW

I wrote about what I saw there on my travel blog.

While I was making my way back to the city, I saw this building from Hyde Park, which I later found out was 201 Elizabeth Street, a 38-storey building that is about to be redeveloped.

201 Elizabeth Street (Kann Finch & Partners, 1979)

In the 1880s, this site was occupied by a five-story tobacco factory, which was demolished in the 1928 for a T&G Building designed by A&K Henderson. At 68 metres, it was the tallest building in Sydney at the time. That building was in turn demolished in 1975, with the current building completed in 1979. (Urbis, 2016)

201 Elizabeth Street

Walking though the city I was surprised at how many of the older buildings were scaffolded and being redeveloped. I wondered how many of them were featured in the Sydney Modern and Sydney Inter-War walking tours and how many I wouldn’t have been able to see if I had gone looking for them.

One that wasn’t was the Commonwealth Bank building in Pitt Street and Martin Place. This is the building that the Commonwealth Bank used on its money boxes.

It was built in 1916 and was the first fully steel-framed structure in Sydney.

Commonwealth Bank Building (John Kirkpatrick, 1916)

According to Sydney Inter-War, the building had a major addition from 1929-1933 along Pitt Street (not pictured) and again in 1965 along Martin Place, which can be seen at the back of the photo.

That was the end of my Sydney city adventures. I’m happy with what I saw on my two trips into the city, even if some of it was shrouded. 

I’m never sure if Sydney actually is a more complicated city than Melbourne, but it seemed to be a lot harder to find buildings in the Sydney books than it had been in Melbourne. It might be that I’m geographically challenged. It’s been more than once I’ve headed off in the opposite direction to where I’m supposed to be going in Sydney, and I would have ended up on the tram back to Circular Quay if I hadn’t looked at the signs on the platform as the tram was arriving.

Sydney racetracks run backwards so maybe everything else there does too!

I suspect it’s more likely to be me though.

Surry Hills art from a passing tram

town hall house

After my visit to Circular Quay and The Rocks, where I found some interesting places, but not what I’d set out to see, it was time to look for the one building that was on my if-I-don’t-see-this-the-whole-trip-will-be ruined list.

This was Town Hall House, which was designed in the 1970s to accommodate City of Sydney council staff that had outgrown the Town Hall and were spread around the CBD.

Town Hall House (Ancher Mortock annd Wooley, 1977)

The first time I saw a photo of this building, it reminded me of another building that was very close to my heart.

In fact, an information sheet from the Australian Institute of Architects states of 10 Murray Street that Dirk Bolt’s “architectural language of cantilevered deep beams to support levels above was to be adopted for  . . .Sydney Town Hall House”.

So it’s like 10 Murray Street’s cousin.

Town Hall House (Ancher Mortock annd Wooley, 1977)

I was excited to finally see this place in person!

Town Hall House and a weird ghost of a jetstream

In hindsight, maybe the middle of a hot weekday wasn’t the best time to try and make photographs of a CBD building. But I did what I could and managed not to bump into anyone or get run over in traffic. So all up, it was a successful trip. 

Town Hall House, Druitt Street
Town Hall House
Town Hall House
Town Hall House, Kent Street
Part of the public space behind the street front
Stairs off Kent Street to the plaza
Kent Street side
Druitt Street side
Druitt Street side
Druitt Street side
Druitt Street entrance
Druitt Street facade