cbd03-010.jpg (9640 bytes) Sydney Architecture Images- Central Business District

Former Grace Building


Morrow & Gordon 


York Street




Inter-War Skyscraper Gothic


terracotta 64 m 210 ft 


The Grace Building was built in 1930 for Grace Bros as a department store and offices. The Gothic skyscraper design and in particular the spectacular corner tower was modelled on the Chicago Tribune Building (1922). The Grace Building was requisitioned by the Australian Government during the Second World War and used by the US Army Services of Supply and the Royal Navy as a service base for Pacific operations.
The building was extensively refurbished in 1995 and opened as The Grace Hotel in 1997.

- Originally constructed in the style of Chicago's Tribune Tower, the Grace Hotel has a rich and colourful heritage that has established it as one of the city's best-loved landmarks. 
- This beautifully restored art deco hotel is perfectly located at the very heart of Sydney's business district, facing onto York, King and Clarence streets. 
- Headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur in WWII. 

The Grace Brothers purchased a block of land on York Street, Sydney in 1926 imagining it to be the 'Jewel in the Crown' of their retail empire. The Grace Building was subsequently designed by Morrow & Gordon in 1928.

The ambitious design was based on the much publicised Chicago Tribune Building, combining Gothic elements with Art Deco style. The 213 foot central tower was designed to be a prominent and pivotal attraction within the city. 

The Grace Building was officially opened by Lord Mayor, Alderman ES Marks on 3 July 1930. Subsequently it has gone through many changes of use, from retail premises, to being Headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of allied forces in the south west Pacific during World War II, and finally to its current standing as The Grace Hotel under Federal Hotels International.

Grace Brothers mistakenly thought that York Street, leading to the Harbour Bridge, would become Sydney's main shopping street. No such thing occurred and the shopping district remained on the more pedestrian-friendly George Street.

  Below- the building's twin in Melbourne.
  Below- the original, the Chicago Tribune Building