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This photograph, from the David Mist archive, shows the elegant Marble Bar in the Adams Hotel in Pitt Street, Sydney. In the late 1960s the times were changing rapidly, but 77 years after it had first opened, the Marble Bar, like many other Australian bars and hotels, was still an almost exclusively male domain. The only woman in view in this photograph is the one serving the drinks.
In his book, Sydney: a book of photographs, David Mist juxtaposed this photograph with another image of a younger, mixed gender crowd drinking outside the Windsor Castle hotel in Paddington, on of the more ‘in’ establishments of the time.
Not long after this photograph was taken, the Adams hotel was demolished. The Marble Bar, however, was classified by the National Trust. The bar was carefully dismantled and later reassembled as part of the new Hilton Hotel. Shortly before the it re-opened, The Australian Women’s Weekly reported on the conservation work done some of the Julian Ashton paintings that decorated the walls.
When the new Marble Bar opened in 1973, it welcomed women and by the mid 1970s a mixed gender crowd of drinkers was the norm.
An earlier photograph of the Marble Bar, c.1900 was posted recently on Photo of the Day.
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by David Mist
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