Art Deco Buildings and Architecture – Sydney CBD

Fast Facts

Duration: 2-3 hours
Price Guide: $0
Last Reviewed:
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Art Deco Buildings and Architecture – Sydney CBD

This tour is great if you’re interested in Art Deco architecture. Some buildings only retain some of their former glory, but the few hours walk is worth the effort. Most of the walk is under street awnings, but it might be worth taking an umbrella if the weather looks unsettled.

Starting the tour

Catch a train, bus, or ferry to Circular Quay. The tour starts and finishes at the Circular Quay passenger terminus.

Section 1:
Directions:

Cross the plaza outside Circular Quay Station and head up Young Street.

Stopover:

44 Bridge Street – Built in 1938. Architects: Brewster Manderson. A red brick multi-storey building on the corner of Bridge and Young Streets, with a street-level cafe. The main entrance gives the building away as art deco.

Section 2:
Directions:

Follow Bridge Street one block east and cross the open area into Macquarie Place.

Stopover:

Kyle House – 27-31 Macquarie Place. Built in 1931. Architect: Bruce Dellitt. An impressive granite entrance and stairways. The central clock is a feature.

Section 3:
Directions:

Head back west along Bridge Street and turn left into Pitt Street.

Stopover:

Royal Exchange Assurance Building – 75-77 Pitt Street. Built in 1937. Architects: Seabrook Fildes. Now home to an airline, the street frontage has lost much of its original character. Wander down the side laneway and you can get a better feel for the art deco origins.

Section 4:
Directions:

Cross the road on Pitt Street and walk south for two and a half blocks.

Stopover:

Bryant House – 80 Pitt Street. Built in 1940. Architects: Emil Sodersten in association with T.W.Hodgson Sons. Now the QBE Building, it’s a great example of brick construction.

Section 5:
Directions:

Back track to the corner of Pitt and O’Connell and turn right then cross the road into O’Connell Street. Walk halfway along the street.

Stopover:

Manufacturers House – 12 O’Connell Street. Built in 1935. Architect: S.H.Buchanan Cowper. Another brick bulding with a granite entrance.

Delfin House – 16 O’Connell Street. Built in 1940. Architect: Bruce Dellitt. Possibly the most imposing building so far. An impressive granite archway entrance.

Section 6:
Directions:

Retrace your steps to the corner and turn left down Hunter Street and then, at the crossroads with Blight Street, cross the road to the corner.

Stopover:

The City Mutual Life (CML) Building – 66 Hunter Street. Built in 1936. Architect: Emil Sodersten.

Section 7:
Directions:

Continue along Hunter Street and turn right into Elizabeth Street.

Stopover:

The Sun Newspaper Building – 60-70 Elizabeth Street. Built in 1929. Architect: J.A.Kethel.

Section 8:
Directions:

Return to the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street. The next section takes you along the length of Martin Place.

Stopover:

Challis House – 4-10 Martin Place. Built in 1938. Architects: Hennessy, Hennessy Co.

The Cenotaph – Martin Place. Built in 1929. Sculptor: Sir Bertram MacKennal.

Section 9:
Directions:

Continue to the western end of Martin Place and turn right into George Street. Turn left into Margaret Street and continue until you reach the corner of York Street.

Stopover:

Scots Kirk and Assembly Hall – 44 Margaret Street. Built in 1930. Architect: Oscar Beattie.

Section 10:
Directions:

The next stopovers are as you progress up York Street (away from the Harbour).

Stopover:

Charles Plaza – 58-68 King Street. Built in 1936. Architects: Hennessy, Hennessy Co. Formerly the Australasian Catholic Assurance Building.

Section 11:
Directions:

Continue down King Street and turn right into George Street.

Stopover:

Dymocks Book Arcade – 424 George Street. Built in 1930. Architects: Unknown.

Section 12:
Directions:

Turn left into Market Street.

Stopover:

The State Theatre – 49 Market Street. Built in 1929. Architects: Henry E.White, John Eberson (New York).

Section 13:
Directions:

Continue east along Market Street and turn right into Pitt Street. The next stopovers will take you about four blocks to the corner of Goulburn and Pitt Streets.

Stopover:

The Criterion Hotel – 19 Park Street (on the corner of Pitt Street). Built in 1936. Architects: Copeman, Lemont Keesing.

Civic Hotel – 386-388 Pitt Street. Built in 1940. Architect: Unknown.

Section 14:
Directions:

Continue left on to Goulburn Street and walk east to the corner of Elizabeth Street then left, walk north and go into Hyde Park, near the Museum Station entrance. Follow the path to the Anzac War Memorial, then to the northern end of the park, crossing Park Street.

Stopover:

The Anzac War Memorial – Hyde Park (southern end). Constructed in 1934. Sculptor: Rayner Hoff Architect: Bruce Dellitt.

The Archibald Fountain – Hyde Park (northern end). Constructed in 1932. Sculptor: Francois Sicard Architect: B.J.Waterhouse.

Section 15:
Directions:

Continue north on Macquarie Street. The following stopovers will take you right down to Albert Street, where you turn left and arrive back at Circular Quay.

Stopover:

The Royal Automobile Club – 89 Macquarie Street. Built in 1928. Architects: Ross Rowe.

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