Sydney Architecture Images- Sydney University

JD Stewart Building


Walter Liberty Vernon (NSWGA)
Gov. Architect 1910-12 & 1939-40, Moore Walker & Croaker 1957, Uni. Office of Works 1961-63,71


Science Road




Federation Arts and Crafts Gothic


red brick with sandstone trim


Originally teaching rooms with lecture theatre.
The first purpose-built building for the newly established Veterinary Science, in continuous use for that purpose since 1912 and one of a diminishing number of buildings still used for its original purpose. One of the subjects introduced into the curriculum in the early 20th century in recognition of the need for a high standard of training and research in areas of major significance to agricultural and pastoral growth and hence to the national economy. One of the unusual and carefully detailed Federation Arts and Crafts style Science faculties to be constructed along Science Road, designed by the NSW Government Architects branch under Walter Liberty Vernon.

In 1908 the government increased the University's endowment to provide Chairs of Veterinary Science and Agriculture and James Stewart took up appointment as first professor of Veterinary Science in May 1909. Plans for a new building drawn up by the Government Architect were approved by Senate in February 1910, the first year of student enrolments and was largely completed in 1912. The site, the former Orphan School Creek, was swampy and needed infilling and deep foundations. Foundations for other permanent buildings were laid on the west side but WWI caused a postponement of building and the veterinary hospital and other associated structures were for many years temporary weatherboard buildings. An addition was constructed at the south end of the original building in 1939-1940 by the Government Architect and in 1957 a common room was added on the north side. Further additions were made in 1961-1963 and 1971 to the west side of the building. A lodge (B03) and observation box (B11) were added to the precinct by Leslie Wilkinson in 1920-1921. The Veterinary School was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon c. 1910. The original drawings show that it was intended to contain a museum, theatre, laboratory and post mortem facilities on the ground floor with a common room, library, theatres, offices and a dissecting room above. The building was one of a number of buildings designed for Sydney University by the Government Architect's branch prior to World War I, including the Union Building, the schools of Engineering and Agriculture, the former Fisher Library (Maclaurin Hall) and the northern extensions to the Medical School. Subsequent additions have been made to the building.

A two storey Federation Arts and Crafts style building which retains many of its original features including the sandstone piers to the entrance, the carving and lettering (Veterinary Science) over the doorway, the brickwork with sandstone trim to windows, coping and crenellated parapet to the semicircular room over the entrance (originally part of the library). Other features such as the main doors including the Art Nouveau style door, furniture and small pane windows also survive. The roof is slate with lead ridging and finials.