Sydney Open Day 2019: Royal Naval House

Royal Naval House was built in 1889–90, designed by architect Varney Parkes, and added to by NSW Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon in 1907.

Address32-34 Grosvenor Street, Sydney
Built1889
Architect  Varney Parkes and G.W. Landers

It served as a Royal Australian Navy amenities and accommodation building for 82 years, providing meals and housing for thousands of seamen. Besides sleeping facilities, the building in 1897 also housed reading rooms, dining rooms, billiard rooms and a gymnasium. The premises was referred to as ‘Johnny’s’, the name used by seamen until it closed in 1970. In 1987, work commenced on the $12.5 million reconstruction and renovation of Royal Naval House and Federation Hall in Grosvenor Street to enable the buildings to house the Sydney Futures Exchange. The work involved the reinstatement of the original verandah and courtyard in a new location, and the restoration of the street facades.

The original facade is from the Federation period and the building features stained-glass windows, a stunning glass atrium, and a distinguished stair hall.

On Sydney Open Day, I saw the lobby, stair hall, and atrium.

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Posted by Chris Tham

Chris Tham is a co-founder of Visual Voyager Pty Ltd, the Principal Voigtländer Ambassador for Mainline Photographics and a Workshop Instructor for Mainline Photo Academy. She brings over 35 years of experience as a photographer to her role, starting with a Yashica rangefinder belonging to her dad, joining the Photography Club in school, and developing her own photos. More recently, Chris has been taking photos during her travels, and as a result has experienced some of the most interesting places in the world. Chris focuses on nature, street, and urban architecture subjects in her photography.