Wednesday, 31 December 2008

From the Archive

School holidays, and the kids were out earning money in the run up to Christmas. These guys were really good.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

From the Archive

It didn't take long for the new fixtures at Cook and Phillip Park to be damaged (or should that be vandalised?).

Monday, 29 December 2008

From the Archive

What with running to and from hospitals, then Christmas, I haven't had the time or inclination to take photos this past week. Here are some taken over the past few months, but never used.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Friday, 26 December 2008

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

I wish each and every one of you, your families and friends, peace and happiness.

Merry Christmas

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sky Watch Friday/A walk in the Gardens (5)

In all my wanders through the Gardens, I have never before seen this pond covered in waterlillies.

For more Sky Watch from around the world drop in to the home of Sky Watch Friday.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A walk in the Gardens

Despite the recent heavy rain, Sydney is still subject to water restrictions.

I am extremely lucky to be able to walk in the Botanic Gardens at lunchtime. Although I follow the same paths, it is an ever changing vista.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Sky Watch Friday/Its starting to look a lot like Christmas (11)

I have no idea what this tree is but its covered in red berries and obviously fruits just before Christmas. If anyone knows what it is, please tell me.
For more Sky Watch from around the world drop in to the home of Sky Watch Friday.

Update - We think its a species of cotoneaster (thanks mum). Its also an invasive weed. Isn't that sad.

NO ITS NOT - they aren't berries, they are flowers, which I think means its a brachychiton aceifolius or Illawarra Flame Tree (which makes a lot more sense, given its location).

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Its starting to look a lot like Christmas (3)

Its a Christmas tradition for David Jones, one of the city's remaining department stores, to decorate its windows in a Christmas theme. Its loved by kids and adults alike. This year however, you can tell that times are tough - only half the windows are decorated. This year's theme is Santa's workshop.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Monday, 1 December 2008

Theme Day - Circles/Spheres

National Mutual Building

The National Mutual Building was built between 1891 and 1895. Originally the head office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the USA, this building was designed by the Society's chief architect, Edward Raht, in the early Romanesque style. On completion the building was said to have surpassed anything that had ever been attempted in the Australian colonies. Raht designed the building around a central light well containing a grant staircase with a balustrade of Belgian marble. The light well area is roofed by a magnificent stained glass ceiling and once housed two open cage lifts. during world War II the ceiling was temporarily dismantled and stored in the building's basement. At this time, part of the basement was converted for use as an air raid shelter. A handsome vestibule, with walls faced in Italian marble, provides stair access to the upper floors. On the fifth level there is a grandly decorated room that was once a banqueting hall. The building was extensively restored during the 1980s.

This is the last of the Sydney Open posts. Hope you enjoyed them.

Click here to see how the theme was interpreted by participants around the world.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Forgotten Sydney

Not part of Sydney Open as such, just a couple of things that caught my eye while I was wandering from site to site.

An old building still survives amongst the new in Kent Street.

A sandstone laneway in Sussex Street.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Old Kent House

Old Kent House is one of the few remaining "cart and courtyard" warehouses, common in the city's western precinct during the late 19th century.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sky Watch

I have no idea what this building is. Its next to Wynyard Park and the photo above is taken from the base of the tower on the AWA building.
For more Sky Watch from around the world drop in to the home of Sky Watch Friday.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Sydney Hospital

Sydney Hospital is a complex of buildings on the site of the central wing of Governor Macquarie's Rum Hospital. three sandstone buildings and two gatehouses along Macquarie Street emerged from an architectural competition held in 1880 and won by Thomas Tower.
The Chapel of St Luke, part of the main building, was designed in an Arts and Crafts style and contains many of its original fittings such as stained glass windows and a tiled mural of the Goof Shepherd (F Tarrant, 1913) behind the altar.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Westpac Bank

During the first half of the 20th century banks became increasingly competitive, particularly in their claims about which had the most impressive and up to the minute banking chambers. For banks in particular, the building itself had become a sign of prestige and monumentalism, thinking which was only rejected in the 1960s as being stolid and inflexible.
The former Bank of New South Wales headquarters is an important landmark in defining Martin Place. with obvious well-mannered Beaux-Arts stylism, it reflects the wave of commercial confidence during the 1920s following World War I. Recently re-opened following an extensive refurbishment, the ground floor banking chambers retain their magnificent history, while now offering large customer waiting areas, private meeting spaces and up to date technology. The interior is notable for the range of marbles and use of scagliola (marble effect) and has been enhanced with the incorporation of Westpac's new brand elements. the building is steel framed, exhibiting the usual rusticated base, decorative balconies and cornices, and is clad with grey granite and sandstone. It complements the General Post Office, although the conception of design is different.
The stunning Westpac Bank also opened its security vault to the public, an absolutely fascinating area complete with massive security door. Naturally no photos were allowed of this area and with security guards everywhere I couldn't sneak any.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Grace Hotel

Built in the style of the Chicago Tribune building and opened in 1930, the Grace Building was originally the headquarters of the department store Grace Brothers. An ambitious but successful design resulted in the combined Gothic and Art Deco style building with a central tower. The 213 foot (70 metre) tower was designed to attract the eye along the city's streets.

Under national security regulations during world War II, the building was requisitioned for use as headquarters for General Macarthur's pacific operations. Following the war, the building was compulsorily acquistioned by the Commonwealth of Australia. It housed several government departments including the Postmaster General's Department and the War Services Homes Commission. Grace Bros eventually received a financial settlement in 1953 after issuing a writ in the High Court declaring the acquisition invalid.
The Low Yat Group bought the building in 1995 and restored its Art Deco features - the grand corner tower, fan-vaulted ceilings, decorative ironwork balustratdes and stonework, polished veined marble and majestically lit atrium - and other original features such as the mosaic tiling and the six brass and wood panelled lifts.