photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
This photograph, from our Tyrrell photographic collection, was taken some time after the completion of the new Scots Church and Presbyterian Assembly Halls building at 44 Margaret Street, Sydney, in 1930. The original Scots church was demolished to widen York Street and allow for tunnelling when work began on construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the 1920s.
In 1928, an architectural competition for the design of a new building was won by Mr Oscar Beattie of Mssrs. Rosenthal, Rutledge & Beattie, Architects. Work commenced in July the following year and the foundation stone was laid on November 30, 1929, coinciding with the stock market crash on Wall Street and the beginning of the Great Depression. As a consequence of the economic climate, the building was completed to only five levels instead extending upwards to the 150 foot height limit of the day as originally planned.
The architectural style is representative of the neo-Gothic style. Other examples include the Grace building in King and York streets, designed by Morrow & Gordon and built in 1930, and The GIO Building in Elizabeth Street, designed by J.A. Kethel and built in 1929.
Today the building carries an addition of contemporary apartments by architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.
Unattributed studio, Sydney, Australia, c. 1930
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