Top Ten Essential Architecture Top Ten Sydney Architecture  
     
  For a more complete list, see Sydney Architecture  
1 Sydney Opera House  
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architect

1957-63 Joern Utzon (Stage 1) 
1963-73 (NSWGA), Hall Todd & Littlemore 
(Stage 2) - interiors and glass walls) 
Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners 

location

Bennelong Point (on the site previously)

date

1957-73

style

Late 20th-Century Structuralist

construction

reinforced concrete, white tiles 65 m 213 ft 

type

Theater
 
     
2 Sydney Harbour Bridge   
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architect

John Job Crew Bradfield (E) (bridges) 
Construction by Dorman & Long, Ralph Freeman Consulting Engineer 
Sir John Burnett & partners Consulting Architects

location

Sydney Harbour, between Miller's Point and Milson's Point

date

Design 1922-24: construction from 1923 (approaches) 
1929-32

style

Inter-War Art Deco

construction

Steel, granite

type

Bridge
 
     
3 Queen Victoria Building   
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architect

George McRae

location

block bound by George, Market York and Druitt Streets. 

date

1893-8

style

Federation Romanesque combination of American and Venetian Romanesque.

construction

Sandstone

type

Shop

notes

There have been markets on this site since 1810. The Queen Victoria Markets replaced the old George Street markets in
1898. They were designed for the Council by the City Architect, George McRae, and aspired to be the grand shopping arcade of Sydney rather than produce markets. The imposing Romanesque building was never successful as markets until it was refurbished in 1986.
 
     
4 Sydney Town Hall   
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architect

John Henry Wilson, Albert Bond and others

location

483 George and Druitt Streets, Sydney 

date

1868 John Henry Wilson (original design facing George Street)
1873-77 Albert Bond (mansard roof and vestibule interiors)
1875-77 Thomas and Edward Bradridge (clock tower)
1883-89 Thomas Sapsford (Centennial Hall)
1886-88 George McRae with John Hennessy
1934 Entrance portico replaced

style

Victorian Second Empire

construction

Sandstone 57 m 187 ft 

type

Government

notes

Town Hall, the seat of local government of the City of Sydney. This building was built in stages between 1869 and 1889 on the site of what was known as the Old Burial Ground. Between 1792 and its closure in 1820, about 2,000 people were buried here.Many of the burials were shallow and people used to complain about the stench. According to the official records, the Burial Ground was closed because it was offensive to the inhabitants. Before the Town Hall was built the bodies were supposedly exhumed, but even today whenever there is digging in the area a stray skeleton is likely to turn up. The Town Hall’s high Victorian architectural style and decorative excesses earnt it the nick-name ‘the wedding cake building’. In the 1960s some people even thought it should be pulled down. Today, the Town Hall steps are a favourite Sydney meeting place.
 
     
5 Anzac War Memorial   

architect

C.Bruce Dellit, sculptur Rayner Hoff

location

Hyde Park South

date

1929-34

style

Inter-War Art Deco

construction

stone

type

Monument
notes This is one of Sydney’s most interesting Art Deco buildings. Designed by Bruce Dellit, it was opened in 1934. It contains sculptures by an English-born migrant, Raynor Hoff. His beautiful interior statue called ‘Sacrifice’ depicts a group of three women supporting a dead soldier - the givers of life, weighed down by death. This is often interpreted as a powerful peace symbol, and at the time of building this memorial generated a lot of debate. The memorial contains no names, but 120,000 stars in the ceiling dome represent those from NSW who served.
 
     
6 General Post Office   
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architect

James Barnet  

location

1 Martin Place (and George Street).

date

1864-91

style

Victorian Free Classical

construction

stone

type

Government Post Office
  The General Post Office was constructed in stages from 1866-91. It is the most notable work in the city by colonial architect James Barnet. The realistic carvings facing Pitt Street and Martin Place, carved by sculptor Thomas Sani, caused a public scandal. They were viciously attacked by the press and Parliament as being “hideous in form and expression” and attempts were made to force Barnet to remove them.
 
     
7 Hyde Park Barracks   
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architect

Francis Greenway 

location

Macquarie Street (opposite Queens Square) Sydney

date

1817-19
1990-92 Tonkin Zulaikha Harford (conversion to museum) and Clive Lucas (restoration)

style

Old Colonial Georgian

construction

brick

type

Government barracks
 
     
8 St. James Church   

architect

Francis Greenway

location

173 King Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 (off Macquarie Street)

date

1820-22

style

Old Colonial Regency

construction

brick, stone

type

Church
  Sydney's oldest surviving colonial church, begun in 1822, was designed by the government architect, and former convict, Francis Greenway. At one time the church's spire served as a landmark for ships coming up the harbor, but today it looks totally lost amid the skyscrapers. It's well worth seeking out, though, especially for the plaques on the wall, which pay testament to the hard early days of the colony when people were lost at sea, were "speared by blacks," and died while serving the British Empire overseas.
 
     
9 The Great Synagogue  

architect

Thomas Rowe, Aaron Loveridge (stonework) Partly supervised by Walter Liberty Vernon
1973 Orwell Phillips and Kevin Gallagher (facade cleaned, gates restored)

location

187a Elizabeth Street, Sydney

date

1878. 

style

Moorish Revival  Victorian Free Gothic

construction

Sandstone

type

Synagogue

notes

A composite building of Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish Revival and Byzantine motifs.
  The Great Synagogue was designed in the 'Transitional French Gothic' style by Thomas Rowe, one of Sydney's leading architects in the second half of the 19th Century. It was opened in 1878. It is a splendid building with magnificent cast iron gates and elaborate stone carving. It was called the 'Great Synagogue' because it followed the principles and rituals of the historic Great Synagogue in London, and combined two smaller Jewish congregations. One group of Jews had previously met at the Egyptian-style synagogue in York Street and the other at an old Baptist church in Macquarie Street.

There had been at least 16 Jews among the 751 convicts on the First Fleet, but the early governors refused to allow them to meet together and, as convicts, they were forced to attend services conducted by the Church of England chaplain. The first Jewish congregation in Sydney was not officially formed until November 1831.
 
     
10 The Quadrangle  
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architect

Edmund Blacket 1854-9 Walter Liberty Vernon  1907

location

University Place

date

1855 - 1966
1902-1909 - Maclaurin Hall 1913-1918 - South Range 1920s - North-West Range 1966 - West Tower

style

Victorian Academic Gothic

construction

Sandstone

type

Education Offices, lecture theatres, ceremonial hall. Landmark.