Demolished Sydney

Demolished Sydney explores the buildings that once shaped the city’s skyline, from the convict built Commissariat Stores to the city's last island of industry, the Kent Brewery.

Curated by Dr Nicola Teffer, the exhibition examines the histories of 13 sites and asks, what are the forces that have shaped our changing city and how do we value and preserve the heritage of the city we inherit?

Like its counterparts across the world, Sydney has been in a constant state of building, unbuilding and rebuilding as it has grown into the metropolis of today. The mix of Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and modernist buildings that have formed the character of Sydney also tell the story of its changing fortunes, attitudes and needs.

Demolished Sydney reveals this process of urban evolution through key buildings that have been demolished and replaced. Through fragments salvaged from theatres, hotels and office blocks, alongside stunning photography, artworks and film, Demolished Sydney brings back to life the heritage of a Sydney that is gone but not forgotten.

Past exhibition

  • 19 November 2016 – 17 April 2017

State Office Block from AMP building

Demolished: State Office Block

Constructed as part of the 1960s renewal and modernisation of Sydney, the State Office Block was an innovative and eye-catching addition to the city’s skyline

Painting of first Government House created by Jacob Janssen, 1850.

Demolished: first Government House

Built on a prominent rise overlooking Sydney Cove, first Government House served as the official residence and administrative office for the first nine governors of New South Wales

Painting Pyrmont

When artist Jane Bennett began capturing Pyrmont’s steel and concrete structures during the late 1980s, many considered them industrial eyesores rather than part of Sydney’s heritage landscape