The big factory that made small arms

Photo: Peter Ogden

West of the Blue Mountains and a two-hour drive from Sydney, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory is an intriguing time capsule.

Out in the workshops, the old machinery, some of the original Pratt and Whitney equipment, is emblazoned with beautiful typography.

Form follows function

ACE Four
Photo: Ben Branch / Silodrome

The motorcycle’s form has closely followed its function since the earliest prototypes took to the road. 

And in more than a century, the basic form hasn’t really changed very much. It’s still arguably the purest form of motorised transport.

Roseville Bridge: what lies beneath

Photo: Peter Ogden

The Roseville Bridge was opened in 1966 by the NSW Premier Robert Askin. 

This new structure, an engineering marvel in sheer size alone, replaced the existing bridge, which opened in 1924. 

The bridge’s design reflects the aesthetics of the time and makes the most of the incredible natural surroundings.

Cockatoo Island: a thousand and one stories

Photo: Peter Ogden

From an indigenous fishing base to a naval shipyard, via a penal colony and reform school…Cockatoo Island has seen it all. 

The island sits in the middle of a global city, yet many parts of it remain a relatively untouched treasure trove of history and atmosphere.

Modernist yet distinctively Australian

Russell Jack House, interior. Photo: Tim Linkins
Photo: Tim Linkins

Russell Jack House was inspired by Japanese architecture and the organic work of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

It was designed by Russell Callam Jack and John Allen in association with Pamela Jack. The house won the Sulman Award for domestic architecture in 1957.

More than the work of an architect

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 Law Courts as designed
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

Paragon Cafe, Katoomba, taken over various years
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 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

Temora (1)
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.

The streetscapes of Cowra and Canowindra

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Urban aspects

Elizabeth Bay & Potts Point walk

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

Recommended books

THOROUGHLY MODERN: The life and times of Moir & Sutherland by Peter Freeman
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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