Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building is a retail centre that fills an entire city block, bounded by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. It was named after the ruling monarch Queen Victoria and features Romanesque Revival architecture. When the building was completed in 1898 it had showrooms, coffee shops and a concert hall. The concert hall later became the municipal library and the building was used for offices of the Sydney City Council. The building steadily deteriorated and by 1959 was threatened with demolition. It was meticulously restored between 1984 and 1986 using heritage fittings, tiles and colour schemes which helped the building become a prime retail centre in Sydney. A controversial refurbishment began in 2008 that saw changes including modern features and new colour schemes that critics believe have lowered the heritage significance of the building. The unaltered heritage colours and signs can be still seen on the northern part of the building (top) while the new colour scheme and glass signage, lights, handrails, carpets and shopfronts can be seen on the southern part of the building (bottom).

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