Stained Salvage

Described as ‘splendid’ and ‘imposing,’ the Narrabri Town Hall was a two-story brick building erected on Doyle Street in 1892. Built at a cost of 3,500 pounds (including furniture), it was officially opened the following year by the Governor, Sir Robert Duff, who used a ceremonial golden key presented to him for the occasion. Stained […]

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‘The Handsomest Structure of its Kind’

Newspapers raved about Bathurst Station when it first opened in 1876, calling it ‘the handsomest structure of its kind on any of the lines out of Sydney.’ However, the engineer in charge of building the station, John Whitton, had cut a few corners to save costs. As he had less capital than he wanted, the […]

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On the Drawing Board

Architectural drawing, coloured with greens and oranges, depicting a cross-section of the building.

Next time you park at your local shopping mall, consider how the site might have once looked before concrete, glass, and steel conquered the landscape. It’s curious to think about how such urban spaces have been transformed over time, and what might have influenced the design vision of the architect. In the 1950s and early […]

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Jobs for the Boys

It was a careful hand, using a fine-tipped paint brush, that expertly filled in the blocks of pastel watercolour paint on these architectural drawings in early 1933. It might have been the young architect Edward Boyd Scobie (1904-1988) who copied and coloured them at his drafting desk, in the offices of his father’s architectural firm at […]

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A Troublesome Echo

In 1863, the people of Morpeth enthusiastically found good uses for their newly finished courthouse. Not only were legal cases heard there, but they also held concerts, public meetings, vaccinations, a fundraising bazaar, voting, and a death inquest – all before the furniture had even been installed. But it was quickly recognised that there was […]

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Air of Authority

‘… there was no air – can you imagine five people locked in a cell with no air?…’ – former prisoner Allan James remembered his experience at Maitland Gaol in 1961. Established in 1848, Maitland was the oldest intact gaol in NSW and had become notorious as one of Australia’s toughest prisons. Ventilation grills like […]

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