Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Dymocks is one of the remaining bookshop chains. Its flagship Sydney store is located on the ground floor of this beautiful building.
Located on the ground floor of The Dymocks Building, the Dymocks Main George Street bookstore is Sydney's greatest, and quite probably the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. But there is so much more to The Dymocks Building than the book and stationery stores on the ground floor.
Our story begins in 1879 when William Dymock commenced business as a bookseller in a rented room in Market Street. As his business grew, he moved to larger and grander premises until, in the 1890's he could claim to have a million books in stock.
William Dymock died in his thirty-ninth year, unmarried and childless, and left the business to his sister Marjory, who was married to John Forsyth. From that time onwards, the Forsyth family has managed Dymocks.
1922 was a “landmark” year for Dymocks, when the family purchased the old Royal Hotel in George Street – and on that site was built the present Dymocks Building, completed in 1932.
The Dymocks Building (or “The Block”) as it was known, was conceived by architect F.H.B. Wilton in the “Interwar Commercial Palazzo Style”.
It was to house the “less elite” or “bazaar” style of retailing, with specialty businesses offering a wide range of more unusual goods and services. At street-level it was of course the home for the bookshop which has developed into the store you see today.
Throughout World War II and for many years after, the building provided office space for government departments, and it was not until the 1980’s that The Dymocks Building was restored, again to specialise in the unusual businesses for which it had been designed decades earlier.Today it is home to over 100 specialty stores and businesses specialising is bridal, jewellery, health and well being and business & personal services.
Commenting on the design, the magazine “Building” in 1929 stated, “…the facilities would appeal to those who object to the noise and bustle of the traffic in the crowded city streets”. This is still true today, more than 80 years later.