Queen Victoria Building

Sunday 6 November

455 George Street, Sydney

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Built

1898

Architect

George McRae

Additional architects

1934–38 – Architect’s Branch, City Engineering and Building Surveyors Department, City of Sydney – remodelling

Awards

1987 Public Architecture Award, Restoration Award – AIA (NSW)

200 years of the NSW Government Architect's Office

Conceived in the boom years of the 1880s and built in a recession, the Queen Victoria Building was designed to replace the scrappy George Street Markets with a grand European-style fresh produce market. When completed in 1898, it was named the Queen Victoria Markets in honour of the reigning monarch.

Covering an entire city block bounded by George, Market, York and Druitt streets, the ornate sandstone building was designed by City Architect, George McRae in the American Romanesque style. McRae aspired to create not merely a produce market, but a grand shopping emporium of arcades and galleries lined with specialty shops.

High Victorian flourishes in its architecture include the stained-glass lunette windows facing George and York streets, the delightful cage lifts at both north and south entrances, and the allegorical statuary groups above the cornice representing Australia and Sydney.

Signature elements are the glass roof over the central arcade and its many domes – one large and twenty smaller. The large central dome is 20 metres in diameter, with an inner glass dome, an exterior copper dome and cupola.

The QVB failed in its original purpose as a market, but over the years it has housed shopping galleries, a concert hall, city library and offices. It has faced numerous threats of demolition, and three brutal alterations that destroyed many original features.

The 2008–09 restoration brought the QVB to its current state, modernising services and faithfully restoring its arches, pillars, domes and balustrades, intricately tiled floors, grand central dome and the sculptures symbolising industry and prosperity. It also brought the dominating seated statue of Queen Victoria from Leinster House in Dublin to the southern plaza.

On Sunday 6 November


What’s open?

Lower ground to level 3 shopping areas


Opening hours

Sunday 6 November
11am – 4pm

Last entry
3.30pm


Talks, tours & more

11am

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

11.30am

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

12pm

Historical tours of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

12.30pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

1pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

1.30pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

2pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

2.30pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

3pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

3.30pm

Historical tour of the building. Line up at Druitt Street entrance next to the escalators.

30 mins

QVB is open all year round and trading hours are until 5pm on Sunday.


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Need
to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Lines expected

  • Toilets available

  • Food & drink available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible

  • Additional information
    Please note, the Queen Victoria Building is open all year round and trading hours are until 5pm on Sunday.


Address

455 George Street, Sydney

Entry via

Druitt Street


Acknowledgements

Find out more about Queen Victoria Building.