This is the lift lobby of the Dymocks Building located on George Street in the heart of the city. Otherwise known as “The Block”, I particularly like the lobby because of the clock in the background and the tiles which are said to be largely original.
This building is significant not only for its architecture but also because of its continuous occupation by Dymocks since 1890. Prior to that the site was occupied by the old Royal Hotel (early 1800s). In 1833 the hotel was turned into the 900 seat Theatre Royal, however 5 years later the theatre closed and became the Royal Hotel once again. In 1840 the hotel was destroyed by fire before being rebuilt in grand style with 5 storeys and 72 feet of street frontage.
It was in the hotel that in 1890 William Dymock opened his first store at the site which was advertised as “the largest Book Shop in the world” holding over a million books. This wasn’t his first store though, that was opened in 1879 on Market Street. Sadly William Dymock died at only 39 years old, after which the business was inherited by his sister Marjory Forsyth. Dymocks has remained under Forsyth family management ever since.
In the early 1900s the building was owned by the NSW Government Savings Bank. It was a Soldiers Club during WWI before the Forsyths purchased it in 1922 and began construction of the new building in 1926. While the Great Depression caused some delays, the building we see today was completed in 1932.
The Dymocks building is 11 storeys tall and of “Inter war Commercial Palazzo Style”. Dymocks occupies the ground floor, but the floors above were designed to house stores offering unusual products or services (i.e. “bazaar” style retail). Today it houses over 100 speciality stores which are accessed by the lift lobby in the photo above.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.
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