Demolished Sydney main list Sydney's Top Twenty Demolished Buildings  
  retail  
1 Anthony Hordern’s Palace Emporium

architect

No info available.

location

George Street (current site of World Square)

date

Built 1905 Demolished 1985

style

Victorian Italianate

construction

stucco on brick

type

Shop
notes This building always struck me as a counterweight to the QVB sitting up the road, another block-sized Victorian super-store. I felt at the time that I was alone in mourning its passing. I still wish they could have kept the facade. It would be famous.
To celebrate their centenary they gave out oak seedlings specially imported from England (their slogan was "While I live I'll grow". Vaguely prophetic. This was set, along with an oak tree, in the terrazzo at the entry doors). Oaks from this are still living all over Sydney, one being at the Oaks Hotel in Cremorne.

 
     
2 Royal Arcade  

architect

Thomas Rowe

location

Pitt and George Streets (demolished to make way for the Hilton Hotel)

date

1881

style

Victorian Free Classical

construction

rendered brick, steel and glass

type

Shop Arcade.
notes The demolished arcades- Royal Arcade, Sydney Arcade, Victoria Arcade, Imperial Arcade. The Royal Arcade was one of five grand arcades built in the city in the late 1800s, the only survivor today being The Strand.
 
     

  banks  
3 Colonial Mutual Life Association Building, George Street

architect

No info available.

location

George Street (opposite Martin Place)

date

Built-  1889  Demolished- 1970

style

Victorian Italianate

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Office
notes Site- George Street (opposite Martin Place) This one was a loss. The Colonial Mutual Life Association Building. It was Sydney's first to use the "skyscraper technique" and was completed in 1889. At the time it had the highest roof in Sydney at 102ft! or 31m with 6 storeys equipped with fastest lifts!

 
     
4 Temperance & General Society (T&G) Building  

architect

No info available.

location

201 Elizabeth Street.

date

Built- first 5 floors built 1889, top 3 floors added in 1913. Demolished- 1975

style

Inter-War Art Deco

construction

Rendered brick. Sydney's tallest building from 1930-39.

type

Office
notes The T & G Mutual Life Assurance Society was an insurance company that operated in Australia and New Zealand. The 'T & G' stood for 'Temperance & General'. The company was founded in Victoria in 1876, emerging from the Assurance branch of the Independent Order of Rechabites. The branch was severed from the I.O.R Rechabite Lodge after six years of operations.
In 1983 the T&G Society amalgamated with the National Mutual Life Association. Replaced by 201 Elizabeth Street.
 
     

  commercial  
5 Sydney Exchange, Bridge St.

architect

J F Hilly

location

Bridge St., between Pitt & Gresham Sts.

date

Built- 1857  Demolished- 1964

style

Victorian Mannerist Victorian Free Classical

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Wool exchange- place of meeting for the commercial community.
notes -the most prominent activity that people associate with the Royal Exchange is wool auctioning (from 1864 to 1964).
-The Royal Exchange met with enthusiastic support and the membership roll included many of the leading citizens of Sydney such as Thomas Holt Jnr, John Fairfax, David Jones, T S Mort, Robert Tooth and W C Wentworth.
-first telegraphic message sent in 1857 and within a week a telegraphic line was installed linking the Exchange with the South Head Signal Station.
-first telephone system in New South Wales was established by the Royal Exchange in 1880 with the connection of the Darling Harbour Woolsheds with the Exchange. Within weeks a number of wharves were connected and many businesses became interested in the new system culminating in 300 subscribers by 1882.
-first public demonstration of electric lighting in the dining room on the 6th December 1882.

 
     
6 Henry Bull & Co. Building  

architect

No info available.

location

Cnr Market & York Streets

date

Construction 1904 Renovation 1913 Demolition 1973

style

COMMERCIAL PALAZZO Victorian Romanesque

construction

Rendered brick Stone cladding. Height (architectural) 53m (roof) 42m Floors 10.timber framed

type

Office
notes Here is the 175ft / 53m HENRY BULL BUILDING of 1904.
Its corner cupola complimented the nearby dome of QVB. It was one of the tallest for its time with a beautifully crafted stone base with Edwardian style facade. checkout the twin statues of kangaroos over the entrance. the copper cupola was the water tower. Only the 56m Hotel Australia was taller.
Like many warehouses back in early 20C, it was timber framed. It was pulled down in 1973 for St Martins.
 
     

  hotels  
7 Australia Hotel

architect

No info available.

location

Castlereagh Street at Martin Place, Sydney

date

1889-1971

style

Victorian Second Empire, with later Inter-War Art Deco make-over

construction

The hotel had a large entrance onto the street in polished granite, the stairs grey, the Doric columns red. The squared columns in the entrance foyer were imported Italian marble, and the magnificent neo-classical staircase which led from the main foyer to the first floor was completely in Carrara marble in several colours. From that floor to the 10th a massive carved and highly polished mahogany Victorian grand staircase led to their rooms those guests, who, in the early days of lifts, still preferred to walk.

type

Hotel
notes The Australia Hotel in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, was until its closure on June 30, 1971, the premier hotel in Sydney, describing itself as "The Hotel of the Commonwealth".

 
     
8 Hotel Metropole  

architect

Hennessy and Sheerin

location

frontages on Young, Bent and Phillip streets

date

Built- 1890  Demolished- 1970

style

Victorian Second Empire

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Hotel
notes Hotel Metropole, site later used for the CAGA Centre.
The Hotel Metropole, with frontages on Young, Bent and Phillip streets, was built by the Australian Coffee Palace Company at a cost of 150,000 pounds and opened on the 14th of January, 1890. At the opening ceremony, Mr McBean, chairman of the company, declared it ‘a splendid establishment’ and Mayor Burdekin described the architecture, by Hennessy and Sheerin, as magnificent.
 
     

  worship / eternity  
9 Devonshire Street Cemetery

architect

n/a

location

Elizabeth St.

date

Built- 1819  Demolished- 1901

style

n/a

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Church cemetary
notes Bounded by the Devonshire Street Subway, Barlow (then called Gibbs), Elizabeth and Pitt Streets on the site now occupied by Central Railway Station, the Sandhills Cemetery or Old Devonshire Street Burial Ground was used from 1819 to bury Sydney’s dead. This Cemetery served for nearly fifty years between 1819 and 1868. In 1901 to facilitate the building of Sydney’s Central Railway Station, the whole of the Sandhills Cemetery was resumed by the State Government.

 
     
10 Original St. Mary's Cathedral  

architect

James Dempsey

location

On Hyde Park- College and Cathedral Streets

date

Built- 1843  Demolished- (burnt down) 1865

style

Victorian Free Gothic

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Church
notes Few people realise that the present St Mary's Cathedral, an ornate Gothic building designed by William Wilkinson Wardell, is the second cathedral to occupy the site on the eastern side of Sydney's Hyde Park. The first St Mary's, which was burnt to the ground in 1865, may not have been as grand as its successor, but was nevertheless a remarkable example of ecclesiastical architecture. Its Gothic bulk, facing the Anglican respectability of St. James' Church across Hyde Park, also demonstrated by its very existence the resilience of the colony's Roman Catholic population.
 
     

  institutions  
11 Garden Palace, Royal Botanic Gardens

architect

James Barnet  

location

Royal Botanic Gardens

date

Built 1879, destroyed by fire 1882.

style

Victorian Italianate

construction

The Garden Palace was built from oregon timber shipped in from USA.
It took 8 months to build with 200 men working the first round the clock shifts ,even by arc light at night.
The cruciform shaped building stretched 800ft (north/south) & 500ft (east/west).intersected by a huge 31m (100ft) diameter dome reaching 64m (210ft) high.

type

Gallery
notes The Garden Palace was a large purpose-built exhibition building constructed to house the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879. It was designed by James Barnet and was constructed at a cost of 191,800 Pounds in only eight months - largely due to the special importation from England of electric lighting which enabled work to be carried out around-the-clock.

Visually similar in many respects to the later Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, the Sydney building consisted of three turreted wings meeting beneath a central dome. The building was sited at what is today the southwestern end of the Royal Botanical Gardens (although at the time it was built it occupied land that was outside the Gardens), and was of primarily timber construction - a fact that was to assure its complete destruction when engulfed by fire in the early morning of September 22, 1882.

 
     
12 Exhibition Building Prince Alfred Park  

architect

No info available.

location

Prince Alfred Park, bounded by Chalmers Street, Cleveland Street and Central Railway, Surry Hills.

date

Built- 1870  Demolished- 1954

style

Victorian Mannerist

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Utility
notes The Exhibition Building in Prince Alfred Park, built in 1870, was once the pride and joy of the City Council. It was used for the annual Agricultural Show and for various exhibitions and public gatherings. By the 1940s there were suggestions that it be used as an indoor swimming pool, but when this option proved too difficult it was demolished in 1954 to make way for an Olympic pool.
 
     

  theatre  
13 Regent Theatre

architect

Cedric Ballantyne and built by James Porter & Sons.

location

George Street

date

Built- 1928 Demolished- 1988 (site remained a vast hole in the ground until 2004)

style

Inter-War Free Classical

construction

stucco

type

Theater
notes This was a fantastic building with a wonderful interior. The roof was removed  in the eighties, thus allowing the interior to deteriorate to the point that demolition was allowed. The lot then sat empty for over 20 years.
The beautiful 1928 Regent Theatre was yoinked down in 1989 during the middle of the night amidst protests from the general public. Since that particular case, the SCC changed the ruling so that now you have to apply for a demolition certificate. The Regent was owned by The Fink Family (aptly named) and stood where Foster & Assoc.'s Regent Place now stands.

 
     
14 The Trocadero  

architect

No info available.

location

515 George St. (current site of Hoyts Event Cinemas)

date

Built- 1936 Demolished- 1970

style

Inter-War Art Deco

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Theater
notes 'The Troc' as it was popularly known was Australia's biggest and many say, best dancing and banqueting centre. In its heyday it attracted 5000 couples a week. to its public dances and could accommodate 2000 for banquets.
It was well known for the quality of its dance bands and as a dance restaurant (not just a 'dance hall'!) was one of the best establishments of its type.
 
     

  infrastructure  
15 Fort Macquarie

architect

Lieutenant Watts, of H.M. 46th Regiment, under the supervision of Major Druitt

location

Bennelong Point, Circular Quay (Opera House site)

date

1819

style

Victorian Mannerist

construction

sandstone

type

Government
notes The building of the old fort dated back to the days, of Lachlan Macquarie, who was “also responsible for the erection of many other, fortifications for the defence of Sydney Cove. The redoubt “was a most’ conspicuous landmark in pictures of “Old Sydney” and was commenced at Bennelong Point in on December 17, 1817.
By November, 1819, the fort was completed, and it mounted 15 guns, ten of which were 24-pounders, and five were six-pounders. When originally constructed, the fort was built on an isolated reef, separated from the mainland by a channel of water, across which was a bridge. The latter remained, in position till the redoubt was demolished, but the channel was long ago filled in, and a road constructed over it.
In 1903 it was knocked down and converted into a tram depot which was in turn demolished in 1958 to make way for the Sydney Opera House.
On this site:
-Fort Macquarie , Bennelong Point
-The Fort Macquarie Tram Depot
-Sydney Opera House

 
     
16 Bridge Street Bridge  

architect

James Dempsey

location

Bridge St., cnr. Pitt St.

date

Built- 1804   Demolished- 1840’s

style

Old Colonial Georgian

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

Government bridge
notes It was initially a simple log bridge which had to be replaced on numerous occasions with more substantial timber structures. In 1803 Gov. King asked the semi- retired Augustus Alt to have the log bridge replaced by a more sturdy stone arch tall enough for small sea- going vessels to pass under it. King laid the corner stone for the new 9m long bridge at this spot. Its construction proved to be somewhat of a chore. Continual rock hewing activities by convicts for government buildings and public works had sapped the strength of the few able bodied men capable of carrying out this task. This led Gov. King to appeal to the colony’s free settlers to help in the bridge’s construction. Struggling to survive a drought, colonists refused point-blank to labour on the bridge under the hot sun and the job was left to five convicts supervised by stone-mason Isaac Peyton. It was demolished in the 1840’s when the Tank Stream was channelled underground and the area beyond the bridge reclaimed and remodelled as part of the construction of Circular Quay.
 
     

  residential  
17 Lyons Terrace

architect

No info available.

location

Liverpool St. city (opposite Hyde Park). Site of Remmington centre today.

date

Built-1841   Demolished- 1900

style

Old Colonial Georgian

construction

Rendered brick Stone

type

House  Australia's first high-rise flats?
notes Sydney has some of Australia’s oldest terraced housing and terraced houses were a feature of the city from around the 1830s.
Lyon’s Terrace overlooking Sydney’s Hyde Park is probably the grandaddy of all Australian terraces, at least according to historian Brian Turner. The now long demolished three storey terrace was designed in 1837 and completed in 1841 features the distinctive double storey verandah which has become the hallmark of the Australian terrace. Lyon’s Terrace became a prototype for the local vernacular was quickly formed in response to Australia climate and taste and evolved over time.

 
     
18 Burdekin House  

architect

James Hume

location

Macquarie Street.

date

Built- 1841  Demolished- 1933

style

Old Colonial Georgian

construction

Rendered brick

type

House
notes The most famous of the Macquarie Street residences, Burdekin House, was demolished in 1933. Erected in 1841 for merchant and ironmonger, Thomas Burdekin, it passed on his death in 1844 to his wife and children, two of whom, Marshall and Sydney, built successful political careers in the colony. The house remained in the family until the early 1920s and was later purchased by the trustees of St Stephen's Church as the site for a new church, the old one having been demolished to make way for the extension of Martin Place.
 
     

 
 
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