Most historic and interesting buildings open to the public for one day
The rare access is for Sydney Open, a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s most historic and interesting architecture.
Dr Sophie Lieberman from Sydney Living Museums said the day will be “like Christmas for architecture nuts”.
“These buildings are usually places people walk past every day,” Dr Lieberman said.
“They might look up and wonder ‘what goes on in there?’ or ‘that looks interesting’, so it’s an opportunity to walk through the front door … and get to see the really extraordinary interiors of our heritage sights and also the best of modern architectural design in Sydney.”
Some of the historic buildings that Sydneysiders can buy a ticket to enter include the Lands Department Building, Hong Kong House, Legion House, the Great Synagogue and Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay.
Some of the more modern spaces that will be open are Barangaroo, the rooftop of the AMP building which was Sydney’s first skyscraper, Deutsche Bank Place and the EY building.
“Unless you work in those buildings you’re getting to see something you would never see,” Dr Lieberman said.
“At Barangaroo people will be able to go in and not just see the lobby, which in itself is a really interesting design resolution, but actually go up into some of the different tenancies.
“We are also opening an untenanted floor on level 41, so there is an opportunity to go up and get an extraordinary 360 degree view uninterrupted because no one has built in there yet.”
On Saturday, 1,500 people paid to take part in exclusive tours of some of the city’s more elusive sites.
Disused platforms 26 and 27 at Central Station, the Central Station clock tower, Mortuary Station where the dead were once transported from the city to Rookwood Cemetery, the tunnels under St James Station, Westpac Bank’s office at Barangaroo, and the five cascading gardens on the rooftop of 333 George Street were some of the locations.
Murray Gosling from Surry Hills heard about the disused platforms under Central Station a couple of years ago and wondered what lay beneath.
“I had always wanted to come here so it’s quite exciting and I also heard that it’s haunted so that was a bit of a drawcard,” Mr Gosling said.
“I think it’s quite amazing, I can’t believe it’s not being used.”
Sydney Trains staff have reported hearing voices and the sounds of children’s laughter over the years.
“It’s very exciting to be here but it also feels a bit creepy,” Mr Gosling said.
Mary and John O’Byrne from Epping joined a tour of the Central Station clock tower.
After taking 302 steps up the 85 metre, sandstone tower they loved what they saw at the top.
“It’s great, really good to see the innards of something I have been visiting for years because I use the trains all the time,” Mrs O’Byrne said.
“The clock’s amazing and it’s interesting that it’s an electrical driven clock,” Mr O’Byrne added.
“Back in the 1920s [it would have been] one of the early electrical driven clocks — still running today, pretty impressive.”