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Federation Free Classical c. 1890—c. 1915 "Exuberant Edwardian"

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  10 The Harbour View Hotel 06 Former Registry Office 09 The Archibald Fountain
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  5 Martin Place
004 Commonwealth Bank Building
14 Martin Place
005  Colonial Mutual

001 Education Dept.

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  001 Former Parcels Post Office 003 Central Railway Station  012 Sydney Tech Marcus Clarke Building
  Rivendell from Parramatta River    
  005 Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital,Concord.    
By the end of the nineteenth century, architecture derived from classical sources—ranging from the refined simplicity of the Greek to the extravagance of the Baroque—had been the most common parlance in parts of Europe for more than four hundred years. It is therefore hardly surprising to find that many buildings were being designed which, while they continued to acknowledge the idea of classicism, broke away from strict observance of some of its ‘inviolable’ rules. The Federation Free Classical style is thus a continuation of the trend evident in the VICTORIAN FREE CLASSICAL style.
In Britain at the turn of the century, Charles Holden and John Burnet were moving towards a simplified, stripped version of classicism, while John Belcher and Sir Aston Webb were evolving an Edwardian Baroque style which played fast and loose with many classical conventions. In Britain, Europe and America, the designers of a large volume of day-to-day commercial architecture made use of classical motifs without showing any particular concern for academic correctness.
The category of Federation Free Classical includes—as any ‘free’ style must—a considerable variety of architectural expressions and consequently a range of attitudes and aims on the part of the designers of buildings in this style. In some cases attempts were made to maintain a classical sense of repose and harmonious balance while seeking to attain a modern simplicity by the omission of the full panoply of columns, pilasters, entablatures and pediments normally associated with classical architecture. In other cases, classical elements and proportions were distorted or used in unfamiliar ways, either in a deliberate search for originality or else simply through ignorance of long-established classical precedents. The style is most frequently evident in commercial and institutional buildings.
It is hardly surprising that some elements of the VICTORIAN MANNERIST style arc discernible in Free Classical buildings of the Federation period, but this flow-on from the Victorian period was insufficiently widespread or intense to constitute a ‘Federation Mannerist’ style.
Free Classical was a style well suited to express the confidence that accompanied the dynamic growth of settlements in Western Australia following the discovery of gold at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. Buildings in this idiom erected in the I89os and early 19005 in Perth, Fremantle and the goldfield towns convey the ebullient confidence of these boom years at a time when the eastern states were suffering from depression, drought and industrial unrest. Many architects from the eastern states moved to Western Australia at this time and played an important part in the establishment and development of its towns, cities and suburbs.

CB Private Hotel and shops, 405 —27 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW. Architect unknown, 1908. The articulated bays are stepped to follow the street incline.

Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, Hospital Road, Concord, NSW. John Sulman, architect, 1891—93. Symmetrical pavilions with broad eaves, in a splendid setting.
   
  Quoted from:
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.
 
  Flinders Street Station, Melbourne. Completed 1910.
 
  Former Read's Emporium. Prahran, Victoria. Free Classical. Completed 1914
 
  Old Royal Hotel. Williamstown, Victoria. Free classical with arts and crafts influences.
 
  Sydney Central Station. Surry Hills, New South Wales. Completed 1906.
 
  Sacred Heart Church. St Kilda, Victoria. Completed 1891.
 
  Former Queensland Lands Administration Building. Brisbane. Completed 1905.
 
  Sydney Hospital. Completed 1894.
 
  Queen Victoria Hospital. Completed 1912.

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