Downing Centre

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Downing Centre, Sydney, as view from Hyde Park.

The Downing Centre is a major courthouse complex in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It features state government courts; Local Courts, the District Court of New South Wales, and a law library known as the Downing Centre Library. The Downing Centre forms part of the Department of Attorney General and Justice and, as such, houses court services and Sheriffs offices.

The Downing Centre is located in the Sydney central business district, on Liverpool Street, between Elizabeth Street and Castlereagh Street. It sits opposite the south-west corner of Hyde Park and Museum railway station. A subway links the Downing Centre directly to Museum Station from an entrance on Castlereagh Street.


The Downing Centre was originally constructed in 1908 as retail premises for Mark Foy's.[1] It was originally a two-storey building designed by Arthur Anderson of the architectural firm McCredie & Anderson.

In 1924, Spain Cosh & Epslin Architects, in consultation with Ross & Rowe Architects, were paid to design eight alterations and additions. The building was originally intended to cover the whole block but was not completed. It is now an eight-storey building with portions of the original building remaining intact. The façade employs the classical orders using white bricks with yellow faience work to the sills and cornices. Two corner towers with yellow pinnacles surmount the building. Art Nouveau influences are evident in the external detailing. Mark Foy's closed in 1980 and was taken over by Grace Bros. who traded there until 1983.

The building was converted for use as Courts in 1985 and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[2] In 1991, it was named the "Downing Centre" after the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Reg Downing.[3]


  1. ^ "The Downing Centre Awning Project". Wunderlite Reproduction Panels. 
  2. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/104
  3. ^ Hansard (13 September 1994). "Death Of Robert Reginald Downing, A Former Minister Of The Crown". Hansard -NSWLC. NSW Parliament. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 

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Coordinates: 33°52′39″S 151°12′33″E / 33.8774°S 151.2091°E / -33.8774; 151.2091