Heritage Highlights

A significant modernist building

The Reader’s Digest Building in Surry Hills by architect John James. Photo: Matt Stone.

The former Reader’s Digest Building in Surry Hills is associated with three prominent and  respected professionals. These were architect and scholar John James; designer and sculptor Douglas Annand; and landscape architect Bruce Mackenzie. The highly accomplished result combines architecture, sculpture and landscaping.

The Law Courts: a very Sydney story

The Sydney Law Courts building by architects McConnel Smith and Johnson. Photo: David Moore.

Architect Graham Swann believes the authenticity of the Law Courts building has been severely compromised. His fervent hope is that if it survives another 50 years, then the architects’ original design will finally be appreciated.

The Paragon: modern and sumptuous

The Paragon restaurant in Katoomba. Photo: © Effy Alexakis.

Since the 1930s, the Paragon has been a special place – and meant much to many generations. The restaurant’s contribution to the rich heritage of the Blue Mountains and the state was at last recognised when it was included in the Heritage Council of NSW’s State Heritage Register. Although sadly, it was closed indefinitely in 2018.

Textile printing in the 1930s​

Design by H J Bull for Allan Walton Textiles, London UK c.1932.

By the early 1930s, there was a trend away from the  profuse ornamentation and stylistic excesses of Art Deco. Influenced by the Bauhaus, interior decorators were increasingly turning to textural effects, rather than surface decoration, in their choice of furnishing fabrics.

Temora Time Warp

Preparing a 1930s Ryan STM S2 military trainer for flight. Photo: Matt Stone.

The town of Temora, a few hours’ drive west of Sydney, is a mecca for aviation enthusiasts. Cricket tragics too – the town is home to the original two-room cottage where Sir Donald Bradman was born. And the 1920s and 30s architecture along the main streets is beautiful and generally well-preserved.



Elizabeth Bay & Potts Point walk

This self-guided walk booklet introduces
you to a fascinating area just east of
Sydney CBD.

Recommended books

GREEK CAFES & MILK BARS OF AUSTRALIA by Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski
A LIFE OF PURPOSE. A biography of John Sulman by Zeny Edwards
SYDNEY ART DECO by Peter Sheridan

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