Queen Victoria Building
The Queen Victoria Building is located at 455 George Street in Sydney, New South Wales. It is a beautiful historical landmark that is situated right at the heart of Sydney, and today, it is mostly known as one of the best destination shopping Centre in the city. The building is a major attraction for all sorts of tourists, including those who are fascinated by its architecture, those who enjoy its rich history, and those who want to experience the best that Sydney has to offer in terms of high-end shopping.
History of the Queen Victoria Building
The Queen Victoria Building was originally meant to be a municipal market. It was constructed between 1893 and 1898, and it was officially opened to the public in July of 1898. At the time, it was a business Centre where mercers, tailors, hairdressers, showmen, and florists could offer their goods and services to the residents of Sydney. Starting from the early twentieth century, the building has been altered and renovated a number of different times so that it could be better suited to the changing needs of the public.
Over the years, the warehouses, shops and concert halls in the building were converted into libraries and offices, and even at one point, the building housed Sydney's city council. In the 1950s, the building was poorly managed to the point that it was earmarked for demolition. Fortunately, the city of Sydney saw its value, and instead choose to restore it.
The building was restored in the 1980s and converted to a shopping centre, and it has remained so until today. The restoration project cost over $48 million, and it went on for about 6 years. The idea was to fix everything in the building in a way that reflects its original design. Although some modern fixtures and fittings were added to the building, all of its structural components, including the pillars, the arches, the sculptures, the central dome, and the façade were made to look like the original ones.
Important features and facts
The building has 21 spectacular domes with stained glass windows. The floors of the building are tiled in the style of an original Victorian building. The building still has its original lift. The vintage lift is still operational after more than 120 years of service. The building has a high tea room that used to be a grand ballroom back in the early 20th century.
The building has a display of Queen Victoria and some of her jewels. Although they are all replicas, the displays are historically accurate. The building also houses Queen Elizabeth II's secret letter. Back in 1986, the Queen wrote a sealed letter to the Lord Mayor of Sydney. The letter is supposed to be opened and read to the people of Sydney 100 years after the time of its writing. The Queen's letter is currently being kept at the top level of the Queen Victoria Building, and it won't be opened until 2085. The building is also home to the Great Australian Clock. This clock has lots of artistic representations of Australia's history, and as a whole, it's an art piece that represents the unending passage of time. The building also houses the royal clock, which contains a diorama of England's royal history. Another historical and significant site in Sydney is Saint Mary's Cathedral.