photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
St Andrew’s Cathedral is one of the more magnificent Gothic renaissance buildings still to be found in Sydney. In this photo taken around 1900 you can see how the rear of the building faces George Street while the main door and dominant spires front onto Sydney Square.
The second photo is one of the earliest surviving photographs of the cathedral. It was taken by one of Sydney’s earliest professional outdoor photographers, William Hetzer sometime between 1859 and 1863. When this picture was taken the cathedral was a smaller but no less important feature of the expanding Sydney metropolis of the 1860s. The original portion of the nave had been designed by James Hume and Bishop Broughton and was partially completed in 1842. Note the wooden fence which lines what is now George Street and the sandy path worn in the grass to the main entrance.
In this photograph the nave was not yet completed by the architect who was making major renovations to the building, Edmund Blacket. It was not until 1868, when the cathedral was officially opened the the building as it is most commonly seen in the rest of these pictures was completed. The scale of these changes is one of the reasons Blacket is often credited as being the architect of the building. More changes were made in 1938 when the architect Robert A Pinckney made alterations to the interior of the building and redesigned some of the outward features to make the building more imposing from George Street.
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