Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Art-deco (2) - The Grace Hotel


Situated on the corner of York, King and Clarence Streets this was a "folly" by the Brothers Grace who gambled that the advent of the Sydney Harbour bridge would see a slight shift in the location of retail trading in the city. There had been much horse-trading in the corridors of power re the location of City Circle underground train stations with the Mark Foy family supporting the Museum location and the Lloyd Jones family supporting the St James location. Grace Brothers opened their new York Street store in July 1930. The entire ground floor was given over to retail.


Based on the design features of the Chicago Tribune building, the Grace Building was one of the first in Sydney to be clad in glazed terra cotta and marked the high point of the Commercial Gothic style, the immediate precursor of art-deco. Within the Gothic style, there are extensive art-deco elements.

The building has a distinct vertical emphasis with a Gothic corner tower, with flying buttresses, pointed windows and quatrefoils, with details picked out in green. It was designed by the architectural firm of Morrow & Gordon and constructed by Kell & Rigby. The building was extensively refurbished in 1995 and opened as The Grace Hotel in 1997. Although of immense beauty, the exterior of the building (up high) shows much chipping and damage to the tiling.

25 comments:

TheChieftess said...

What a fabulous building!!! And love your top shot and all the detail shots, especially!!! This is my favorite era for architecture, clothes, music, movies...just about everything!!! I think I must've lived another life in this time period!!!

Tulsa Gentleman said...

As you may know, Tulsa has a great deal of Art Deco from the 1930;s. Some of it is in my Historic Tulsa blog. The downtown treasures will be added soon. I love your Grace Hotel. The light fixtures have a Frank Lloyd Wright look about them.

Nancy C said...

That sky is remarkable and the Art Deco is a treasure!

Woody said...

The building is stunning, the details amazing. Thank you very much for sharing these!

JM said...

Julie, this is GORGEOUS! This building just tells me why I'm a big fan of Deco! :-)

brattcat said...

Magnificent, Julie!

Lachezar said...

Fantastic building and collection of images! Fantastic work Julie!

Rinkly Rimes said...

Every year we spend three or four days in Sydney just browsing. (A day trip from Newcastle is too tiring). I'll be looking out for some of the places you mention, though I expect we'll be flitting round on the ferries mostly!

James said...

What a great building. I like the outside but I'm very happy that you gave us a peak inside as well.

J Bar said...

It's a remarkable building and you've captured it beautifully Julie. It looks quite amazing with that light against the blue sky.
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Virginia said...

Good golly Miss Molly that is a gorgeous building. Thanks for the lovely tour. I'm glad I got to see it ALL!
V

Marka said...

That's quite a building. Kinda reminds me of an old cathedral.

Bruce Caspersonn said...

Beautiful and interesting Julie. You have set yourself a very high standard for the blog.Keep going.

Vicki said...

I love the Grace. It's a wonderful building and your photos bring it life. Beautiful.

Ann said...

Well done. I had real trouble getting good shots in there last Sydney Open. The top shot is magic.

Paula said...

Oh, I love it when a treasure like this is saved. Glazed terra cotta, what a statement, I'll bet replacing the damaged tiles, besides having trouble making a color match, would be prohibitive, financially speaking. It's a grand tour, Julie.

Piyush said...

Very interesting shots. I like the way you have presented them. Blogger does not allow side by side pictures. Did you manually write the HTML table for this?

Julie said...

Yes, Piyush, I manually code tables for my shots to keep the layout just the way I want it.

Jilly said...

Oh how utterly glorious. Fabulous shots of this amazing place. Love the internal shots - oh those lamps! Yes please.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Beauooootiful. I have been inside this building on numerous occasions and loved the interior. What I have never noticed is the exterior. Thank you for opening my eyes.

Janet said...

My! What a beautiful building!

diane said...

Lovely building. Like the way they have kept the style inside too.

Tash said...

Superb photography! Ready made for an art/architecture book.

Nishant said...

That sky is remarkable and the Art Deco is a treasure
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Marla said...

So beautiful. Art Deco always makes me FEEL it.