Statue of The Queen Victoria Building - QVB Shopping Centre

 

The Queen Victoria Building, known to Sydneysiders as the QVB, is a shopping centre situated in 455 George Street Sydney, New South Wales. Designed by George McRae in

the Romanesque style, the Queen Victoria Building was inaugurated in 1898. Built during Sydney’s hardest years of recession, the QVB was erected in honor of Great Britain’s

reigning monarch, Queen Victoria.

 

The grand design of the building was made in such a way as to create employment for out of work artisans such as stoneworkers, plasterers, and stained-glass makers. It was a difficult time to be out of work and this project created jobs for nearly everyone.The Queen Victoria Building occupies an entire block and is surrounded by George, Market, York, and Druitt Streets. The QVB has the following features:

  • A very large centre dome with two domes one on top of the other-a glass dome inside and a copper sheathed dome on the outside.

  • Several stained-glass windows throughout the building.

  • An antique 19th century staircase near the dome.

  • Restored pillars, arches, balustrades, and tiled floors.

The Queen Victory Building in History:

  • 1810 – Market stands were prevalent on the site main landing place of the colonial ships. Under Governor Macquarie’s direction, the stands were moved to the location of present day QVB.

Statue of The Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, NWS

     

  • 1820 – A building two floors high called the Greenway’s Market House was built to oversee and manage the market.
  • 1828 – The Greenway’s Market House was converted into a Magistrates Court and Police Station. It later became the Central Police Court.
  • 1829 – The square is officially turned into a market square.

  • 1869 – A roof is installed to cover the entire market.

  • 1887 – The official city architect is George McRae.

  • 1888 – Plans are drafted for the new George Street Market.

  • 1893 – Construction starts with the excavation. McRae presents four designs for the QVB in different styles: Gothic, Queen Anne, Renaissance, and Romanesque. The Committee on the Market select the Romanesque plan and mandates that the building should have the following:

  • 1896 – Design elements for the interior such as the allegorical group of sculpture on the central arch on George Street are commissioned.

  • 1897 – The Committee decides to name the building the Queen Victoria Markets Building in the British Queens honour.

  • July 21, 1898 – The QVB is inaugurated, presided over by Mayor Alderman Matthew Harris.

  • 1918 – The “Markets” is deleted in the original name of the building and it is now called the Queen Victoria Building.

  • 1959 – The QVB is threatened with demolition due to its deteriorated condition.

  • June 1980 – Restoration of the QVB is awarded to Ipoh Ltd.

  • 1998 – The QVB celebrates its 100 years of service.

The most memorable image of the Queen Victoria Building is that of the Queen herself at the southern end of the building. It was done by the Irish sculptor, John Hughes, and was donated by the people of Ireland to the people of Sydney in 1987.