Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sydney Open - the dome of the QVB


With much appreciation to Greg Lake for the use of his photographs.


Every two years, the Historic Houses Trust runs a Sydney Open, where upwards of 60 architectural icons are opened to the public. There is a 'general' section where you work out how many locations you can fit into your day, and knock them off one by one. Then, there are the 'Focus Tours' where you pay $30 per person, per tour. These sell out very quickly and places are limited. Getting in early, I secured tickets for the dome of the Queen Victoria Building, the tunnels beneath Central Station, and the Tank Stream beneath Australia Square.


The previous time the QVB dome was opened was in 2006, and one can appreciate why. There was a lot of steep climbing of rickety steps involved, and much dust and pigeon poop. However, the view from the top was exhilarating. This used to be the highest vantage point in the city. If there was a fire on the horizon, this is where it would be seen from first. Nowadays, we were engulfed by glass.


I am indebted to Greg Lake for the majority of photographs in this post, excepting the two immediately above this note of appreciation. Greg and his wife were on the Focus Tour with me, and graciously agreed to email me photographs. Silly me, had taken the organisers at their word when the blurb said 'No photography allowed'. The tour guides gave no such admonition, and camera phones popped up from everywhere. Silly me, left mine at home. Thank you, Greg. I appreciate being in touch with you.

13 comments:

Dina said...

Oh how exciting! Look where you were! And look what we get to see!

$30? Jerusalem just had a similar "Houses from Within" weekend, with over a hundred places open, but for free.
We must never take "No photography" seriously. :)

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

great what can I say more???

Kay L. Davies said...

Isn't it nice when the people who offer to send pictures are actually good photographers? Fabulous for you.
Wonderful tour.
And Dina is right. Never take it seriously, at least slide a point-and-shoot into your pocket in case it turns out to be like this.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Amanda said...

julie,

what a remarkable vantage point that must have been and worth the climb up to the top --

am off now to indulge in the jacaranda binge/earlier post....

and btw big congrats on your win over at 10th dom!!!

amanda

Andrew said...

The iron stair case looks nice, but pretty hard to climb. I think Central Station would be pretty interesting to climb up.

Julie said...

The clock tower, Andrew? No, it is swathed in bandages at the moment, and undergoing surgery. We went down the tunnels beneath the station. It is a rabbit warren down there and quite raw. We walked along the tracks beside two unused platforms (never used). However, when the folk from Central Station (or any station) say 'No photographs' you better believe them! However, I have a work-a-round ...

Ann said...

One day I'm going to get on one of those Focus Tours. I thought I booked early but they were already gone (damn HHT members :)) Looks brilliant.

J Bar said...

That looks like a tour I'd enjoy. Some great views and perspectives in these shots.

Kevin said...

Absorbing post.

Joan Elizabeth said...

What an adventure.

Peter said...

Keep forgetting about this - looks a great event - amazing areas to explore.

Nieves said...

You got really beautiful pics Julie, hugs from Spain!

Baino said...

Well I'll be buggered! I never knew you could climb up there and I've lived in Sydney for 25 years. *smacks back of hand*