The refurbishment of Sydney’s sandstone buildings will ensure they are cared for and have public uses

The announcement by the NSW Government that a long term lease to make the Bridge Street sandstone buildings into a luxury hotel will ensure that these important buildings will be looked after into the future, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The Lands Department building designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet in the 1870s is one of Sydney’s most important heritage buildings,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “The building is from the era when buildings presented a ‘civic decorum’ to the community through the rich façade with its multiple sculptures of explorers.”

“As Barnet’s design was all about explorers and travellers it is highly appropriate that it is now becoming a hotel to house travellers and world explorers.”

“The current use as a government office does not celebrate the building at all and the adaption into a luxury hotel can ensure that the lofty ceilings, cedar timberwork and the sandstone balconies can become part of a more appropriate use.”

“Clearly there will be some logistic issues with having a hotel spread across two buildings with the Education Department building also being involved in the project.”

“It is good news for Sydney that an international company like the Pontiac Land Group from Singapore is undertaking this important project that will add 240 new hotel rooms with a very special character to the city.”

“It will be important that the NSW Government carefully manages the refurbishment so that heritage issues are respected.”

“The conditions of lease must ensure that the Sydney public can visit the refurbished buildings to appreciate the legacy handed down by the NSW Government nearly 150 years ago.”

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