Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Imperial Arcade


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Fronting Pitt and Castlereagh Streets (part of the Grand Central Coffee Palace, Pitt Street).
83-85 Castlereagh St. and 164-174 Pitt Street, Sydney.


Victorian building- Built-  c.1890  Demolished- 1961
Modernist building- Built-  1962  Demolished- 2010 (site incorporated into Westfield Sydney)


Victorian Italianate


Rendered brick


Shop Arcade.
The demolished arcades- Royal Arcade, Sydney Arcade, Victoria Arcade, Imperial Arcade
Summary The birthplace of Woolworth's, was rebuilt in 1962 and continued on until around 2008 (demolished for the new Westfield Sydney development). The original concept was similar to the Strand Arcade.
Above- the Pitt Street facade in c. 1900 and looking down Pitt Street (visible at end on left).
Above- the original Woolworth's, situated in the basement.
Above- the Castlereagh Street facade in c. 2010.
Above- the Castlereagh Street facade in c. 2015 (site incorporated into Westfield Sydney).
Above- the view from the bridge of the 1962 replacement of the Victorian building and the view today (site incorporated into Westfield Sydney).
December 5, 1924
1924: Woolworths was founded

On Friday, 5 December 1924, Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement opened for business in Sydney's Imperial Arcade. The opening advertisement said: 'Every city needs a Woolworths: Sydney has it now. Every man, woman and child needs a handy place where good things are cheap’.

1927: Woolworths becomes a Chain

No thought had been given to a 'chain' of stores until the offer of inexpensive premises in Queen Street, Brisbane resulted in Woolworths opening a second store on 6 August 1927. While the depression years wrought havoc elsewhere, Woolworths continued to grow and 1929 opened a store in New Zealand. By 1930 there were sixteen stores across New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand.