Sometimes we observe parts of a city that most folk cant see. I have privilege of exploring inside of the Department of Lands building on Bridge Street. I work on the top floor. I've balanced on wooden stairs and listened to the traffic echoing inside the copper dome.
The Lands Building is one of the most significant public buildings in Sydney as it was established during Australia’s colonial history and has been used continuously as the administrative centre for land use records and planning Sydney’s growth since that time. It was designed by colonial architect James Barnet and built in stages between 1876 – 1892. The above photograph was taken eight years after its completion.
A newspaper article in 1876 announces a ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone for what was to be a building of around 100 rooms in the style of “Italian Renaissance, somewhat of the Venetian type”.
The article suggests that in the cavity of the foundation stone is a glass vase containing the coins of the realm, copies of newspapers and a formal document drawn up for the occasion.
A man identifying himself only as “A POOR TAXPAYER” grumbles at the expense of the function.
Plaster ceiling nearing the top flight.
Cast iron flight of stairs and chequered floor I run up most mornings.
View from two of the oval windows on the top level, where I have my lunch sometimes.