Sydney sketching : sketching Sydney. The Rocks NSW 2000

August 29, 2011

Staedtler Fineliner pen 01. Drawn from a photograph taken in the early 1990s.

Changes since the 1990s

Replica historical lamp posts have been replaced by standard modern ones, as seen elsewhere in Sydney. The upstairs windows of the former hotel, 28 Harrington Street, now known as the Fine Food & Wine Bar,  have been replaced and remodelled. The jade green tiles below the ground floor windows remain intact; the paint colour scheme also remains the same: salmon pink and mud brown, with ochre, some pale blue and white has been introduced into the mix.

I know that currently the far left (Playfair Street) is occupied by a busy street market most of the time. This is of course Harrington Street, looking south from Argyle Street. It’s almost impossible to overlook the fact when sketching Sydney’s old 19th-century buildings that 20th-century skyscrapers loom large in the background – in this case, Goldfields House and Australia Square. While the hotel on the corner is in the limelight, the NSW Royal Society of Arts & Crafts used to occupy the building further up the road with the four large roof pediments – now the Harbour Rocks Hotel (34 Harrington Street).

1901 photographs

For a 1901 photograph of this view, coincidentally from this vantage point (but excluding the hotel on the corner), see – the photo is held by the NSW State Records Office, Digital ID 4481_a026_000192. The buildings are virtually unchanged; there were no trees in the distance in 1901 and the contemporary replica lightposts are modelled on gas lights, the originals of which can be seen in the 1901 photo. Another photo in the same series, Digital ID 4481_a026_000195 which shows the western side of Harrington Street (not in my drawing at all), shows that the hotel building was in existence in 1901.




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