Queen Victoria Building (QVB) - A Brief History
The Queen Victoria Building, is now famously known as the QVB was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898. It replaced the original Sydney Markets and was named to honour Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The construction took place in during Sydney's severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was chosen for the grand building and the Government employed many out-of-work craftsman during its contruction.
Originally a concert hall, coffee shops, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople were accomodated. Over many decades, change saw the concert hall become the city library, offices proliferate and more tennants moved in.
Drastic remodelling occurred during the 1930s and the main occupant was Sydney City Council. In 1976, a committee was formed to manage the "QVB Restoration Project" and 55 tenders were received but none were accepted.
In 1982, the council agrees to rent the building to Ipoh Garden Berhad for 99 years and the restoration starts at 1984. The QVB was restored and in 1986 Queen Victoria Building open its doors.
Today the QVB stands in all its glory, testimony to the original vision for the building and the superb craftsmanship of the artisans who put it all back together again.
What will you find at the QVB?
The Queen Victoria Building fills an entire city block bound by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets.
There is so much history to see when you visit this unique building.
429-481 George Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000
The Royal Clock
Here are some attractions you will find as you wander around this beautiful building.
- The Royal Clock- is made in England, the Royal Clock was placed in the building after the renovation in 1986. Located on Level 2 the clock performs on the hour from 9 am to 9 pm showing six scenes fo the Royal English History, representing the close connection between England and Australia.
- Crown Jewels - The Crown Jewels is located on Level 2 , South End, the life size tableau from London shows Queen Victoria on the morning of her coronation, 28 June 1838. The Crown Jewels was crafted after the originals housed in the Tower of London.
- Time Capsule - Located on Level 2 sits a "Time Capsule" containing a letter from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II written in 1986, it is to be opened 99 years later in 2085. A message to the citizens of Sydney, possibly wishing them well and celebrating the longevity of the QVB as a timeless and a place for all to enjoy.
Stained Glass Window
- Stained Glass Windows - Located on Levels 1 and 2, Centre Dome Area, the windows on the York Street side are original. The window on the George Street side was damaged during the Hilton Hotel bombing in February 1978 and a new window was designed to commemorate the restoration of the QVB.
- Queen Victoria Bronze Statue - Located on the Forecourt, this statue was originally located in front of the Irish Parliament House in Dublin until 1947. It was given to the people of Sydney as a gift from the people of Ireland and unveiled in 1987.
- Wishing Well - Located in Bicentennial Plaza, the wishing well was installed in 1987 and features a bronze statue of Queen Victoria's favourite pet her dog Islay. The small stone was a gift from Ireland famous Blarney Castle. All donations are given to the NSW Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.
Shopping at QVB
In QVB, you will authentic Australian products, pearls, fine art and souvenirs. It has the best of Sydney's contemporary ladies and men's fashion, shoes, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs, restaurants and food, art, jewellery and antiques.
You can also indulge, in a light meal, dine in, meat friends and families in the restaurants and cafes which are all located on all levels of the Queen Victoria Building.
Trading hours at Queen Victoria Building varies but it is open 7 days a week.
Get Directions - Queen Victoria Building
If you are planning to visit Sydney, it is a must to see this magnificent edifice and discover an experience of grand proportions where history, culture and shopping converge under one majestic roof. There will no be shortage of place to stay around.
James Alagaratnam on April 02, 2018:
Great renovations- Engineers in charge?? Joe Nalliah??
simeonvisser on January 08, 2011:
I like the building! I walked around the building and it looks really nice with Christmas decorations. You have found some beautiful photos that show the building does not need decorations to look great :)
Rose on June 16, 2010:
some interesting facts but could someone please correct the very bad grammar mistakes in the description?
aquaseaCreative on June 20, 2009:
Oh - QVB is so clean and shiny and gorgeous in these pics. I never appreciate it properly when I'm fighting my way through the crowds. Very nice.
BundleBoy from Atlanta, GA on April 13, 2009:
I lived in Sydney for a few years and used to take a train from the station right underneath this building. Brings back fond memories of Sydney. I would recommend Sydney to anyone who loves to travel to a beautiful, safe, historic place. Lots of beaches and sun! great place for outdoor adventure too. One of the places that is blessed with abundant natural beauty!
carla on February 05, 2009:
this is not how I thought Sydney would look like!!
discover person on June 28, 2008:
i found all queen victoria's secerts
Hovalis on May 16, 2008:
The great thing about the QVB is that it's so easy to get to as well. The underground mall from Town Hall station takes all the hassle out of going up to street level until you get to the QVB itself.
She's a grand old lady. and I'm so glad they restored her. Great hub, thanks. :-)
Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on May 14, 2008:
What a b eautiful building and your photos are wonderful. I'm so pleased this grand old lady has been restored to her former glory and has a new life in the modern era. Deligjhtful hub. Thanks.
Karen Ellis from Central Oregon on May 13, 2008:
Beautiful pictures. Looks like a great place for a vacation.
Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on May 13, 2008:
Get view of what it is like there. Wish our stores looked like that ha ha ...G-Ma :o) hugs