Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

The People's Palace Sydney Natatorium




408 Pitt Street


Built- 1888  Demolished- 1988. Facade retained.


Victorian Italianate


Rendered brick Stone


Summary Hotel with an amazing (and important) indoor pool (water was pumped from the harbour for it- see below).
Above- in the late eighties. Below- today. the facade was retained for a block of flats.
Black and white photograph showing the People's Palace in Pitt St, Sydney with passing tram, circa 1940s.
The Salvation Army ran a number of these People's Palace establishments around Australia; the Pitt Street Palace opened in January 1899.
They provided affordable accommodation for single people and families.
Above- an image, amazingly, of the public pool with in the PP.

Sydney Natatorium in Pitt Street, Sydney
Indoor swimming pool showing dress cubicles and flags

"...By the early 1880s, besides the Woolloomooloo Bay
establishments, there were fenced-in enclosures on Sydney’s harbours
and rivers at Watson’s Bay, Lavender Bay, Balmain and Parramatta.
There was also a pile baths constructed at Lavender Bay, and sea baths
in existence at Coogee and Bronte. In 1883 the Balmain council
constructed a 30-yard tidal pool at “White Horse Point”.

1886 saw a bathing complex opened at Lady Robinson’s Beach in the St George
area, and in 1888 Sydney’s first non-tidal pool, the Natatorium in Pitt
Street, was constructed by the Sydney Municipal Authority.

The Natatorium, tilled with salt water pumped up from the Harbour almost
two miles away, would later become the administrative centre for
Sydney’s swimming fraternity. By 1900, most harbour and coastal
suburbs had their own pools - indicative of the boom swimming was
enjoying in the conducive social and physical climate of late 19th century
Australia..." (extract Australian Society for Sports History Incorporated)