While people pose in front of monuments and historical sites, I’m the person who chooses to be behind the camera taking pictures of everything. Maybe I don’t understand exactly what the building or sculpture is exactly when I take the picture, but when I return home and research them, I usually can’t contain my excitement.
It’s as if I get to relive my trip all over again through the pictures, but with more information. Here are several buildings, sculptures, and other objects that caught my eye while in Sydney that I hope you find as interesting as I do. As there are many suburbs in Australia, click here to find out more, especially if my photos have persuaded you that much to move to this country. It’s such a lovely place to live in, that I wouldn’t be surprised.
The NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure, also known as the Department of Lands building, which sits at the corner of Bridge and Gresham streets, is one of the buildings that helps define Sydney as a “sandstone” city. It’s called this because of the abundance of sandstone available that was used in creating buildings, many of which have since been demolished. Built between 1877-1890 and designed by colonial architect James Barnet, the building is three stories tall and features a copper dome and clock tower. As of July 2013, the NWS Department of Planning & Infrastructure building along with the nearby Education Building were set for commercial sale to raise an anticipated $200 million for the NSW government. If you have a construction project which requires excavation, excavator hire Sydney can provide you with the right machinery for your needs.
The stark contrast of modern architecture against Edwardian architecture has you longing for the past while looking directly into the future. The 1 Bligh Street building is an architectural wonder. This is from the Archiseek.com website:
This an ecologically sustainable development and was awarded six-star green status by the Green Building Council of Australia. Green features include a basement sewage plant that recycles 90 percent of the building waste water, solar panels on the roof and air conditioning by chilled beams. It has a full height atrium running through the building to help air circulation. It is Australia’s first major high-rise building with a full double-skin façade with external louvres. These conserve energy, eliminate sky glare and optimise user comfort. The angle of the louvres blades is automatically adjusted depending on their orientation to the sun. A naturally ventilated, full height atrium, on the southern side of the building, maximises natural light to each office level.
Another example of a historic sandstone building stands at 121 Macquarie, 65 Bridge Street, and 44-50 Phillip Street. With nine life-size statues, (six external and three internal), the Chief Secretary’s Building is another design by architect James Barnet and was built between 1873-1880. A fifth floor and dome were added by Walter Liberty Vernon in the Victorian Second Empire Style in 1890 as well as the addition at 50 Philip Street. After renovations were completed in 2005, this building was opened to the public with historical displays and a glass lift shafts allow archaeological viewing of the construction of the building.
The oldest hospital in Sydney dates back to 1788 and now Sydney Hospital is located at 8 Macquarie Street in Sydney. The original Sydney Hospital was located where the Sydney branch of the Royal Mint stands today. In 1810, Governor Macquarie set aside land for a new hospital and gave a license to three men to import large quantities (60,000 gallons) of rum under the condition that they build a hospital to care for up to 200 patients. This was because the British government refused to give money toward the new construction. The original hospital in Sydney was in the Rocks and was first a tent hospital and later a portable prefabricated hospital sent from England and made from wood and copper. Convict patients entered the new hospital in 1816 on the street that bears the former governor’s name. There is a wing of this hospital called the Nightingale Wing in honor of Florence Nightingale who was called upon to to help Australia and its need for trained nurses in 1868. Lucy Osburn was sent with five other trained nurses to clean up the infirmary despite opposition from its staff.
As I was walking in front of Sydney Hospital, I happened to notice a crowd in front of a strange looking statue. Turns out that this is a copy of Il Porcellino or “piglet” in Italian, a bronze statue of a boar which was donated to the hospital in 1968. The original sculpture was created by Pietro Tacca around 1634 and visitors in Florence, Italy place a coin in the boar’s jaws for good luck and then rub the snout to ensure a return to Florence. The snout over time looks polished because of all of the rubbing and the same can be said of Il Porcellino in Sydney.
It’s impossible for me to pass up a beautiful example of architecture, especially a church or cathedral and St. Mary’s Cathedral in Hyde Park is one that won’t disappoint. Built in 1882 by architect William Wardell in the Gothic Revival or Decorated Gothic style of the 13th century England, it is the largest ecclesiastical building in Australia.
Located at 184 Phillip Street just outside of Hyde Park, the Supreme Court of New South Wales was an impressive sight to see with floor to ceiling windows and bright and modern future in the lobby area.
Located at The Rocks at 100 George Street, the Rawson Institute for Seamen was the former Mariner’s Church. Built in the Victorian Free Classical style in 1857 by architect John Bibb, it was used as church with a missionary activity among seamen. Later a mission was created for neglected seamen and the name was changed to the Rawson Institute for Seamen in 1910. Today it functions as a gallery.
These 18th century sandstone buildings at The Rocks form what is now known as the Italian Village. Although I was really hoping for some kind of great historical background on this area, the best I can say is that it has great views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House to enjoy while you dine on contemporary Italian cuisine.
Always willing to take a risk for the perfect shot, as I was crossing Park Street on the way into Hyde Park, I couldn’t help but stop and photograph the amazing view.
You’ll never know what you might see on the streets of Sydney. The Pyramid Tower (left) located at CNR Pitt and Spring Street, an abstract public sculpture created by Bert Flugelman in the 1970’s, it met with controversy and was even dubbed the “Silver Shish Kebab.” Perhaps you’re thirsty while taking a walk. Stop at one of the original eight cast iron canopy drinking fountains in Sydney imported from Glasgow in 1870.
Perhaps the bronze Queen Victoria monument in Queens Square is more your style. A copy of the original and quite large one in Windsor, it was unveiled in 1888 to an estimated 50,000 people. She stands high on a granite pedestal holding her Sovereign’s Orb and the Royal Sceptre.
One of my favorites was Archibald Fountain or the J.F. Archibald Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. Named after J.F. Archibald who bequeathed the funds to have the fountain built, his main stipulation was that it had to be designed by a French artist due to his love of French culture, the association of Australia and France in World War II, but also because wished for Sydney to become more like Paris in civic design and ornamentation. French artist François-Léon Sicard completed the fountain in 1926, but it wasn’t installed in Sydney and unveiled until 1932.
Three groups surround the fountain: Apollo, which represents the Arts; Diana, which represents poetry and harmony; and lastly, Theseus and the Minotaur, which represents sacrifice for the public good.
Sydney Tower is the tallest free standing structure in Sydney and stands at 309 meters (1,014 feet) above the Sydney central business district (CBD) and is located on Market Street. Built in 1981 at a total cost of $36 million, it is currently owned by Westfield Group as of 2001. Travel by elevator to one of the four sections open to the public to the observation deck or to one of the dining or entertainment options available.
While walking on Macquarie Street, I noticed the sculpture-like work in the building that turned out to be the State Library of New South Wales. The oldest library in Australia, it was first known as the Australian Subscription Library in 1826.
I can’t seem to escape the ever ubiquitous Subway shops that I seem to find in my travels. Granted, I definitely could’ve gotten a veggie sub or salad in there, but I always seem to spot them wherever I go.
Tripped across Beanbah Espresso at 1/235 Macquarie Street and laughed out loud! As a New Yorker living in Boston, I love the Boston accent and this sounded so much like a Boston store. It was wicked awesome or perhaps, a wicked pissa!
Do you slow down enough in your travels to notice the architecture and sculptures?
Sydney is an exciting, expanding place with construction and development constantly on the go. For construction project management services in Sydney, be sure to visit projeco.com.au.