Downing Centre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Downing Centre
The Downing Centre.JPG
Downing Centre, Sydney, as view from Hyde Park.
Former names Mark Foy's Piazza Store
Etymology Reg Downing, Attorney General and Minister for Justice[1]
General information
Status Complete
Architectural style Interwar Stripped Classical
Address 302 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Country Australia
Coordinates 33°52′39″S 151°12′33″E / 33.8774°S 151.2091°E / -33.8774; 151.2091Coordinates: 33°52′39″S 151°12′33″E / 33.8774°S 151.2091°E / -33.8774; 151.2091
Construction started 1901
Opened 1908
Renovated 1924, 1985
Client Mark Foy's
Design and construction
Architect Arthur Anderson
Architecture firm McCredie & Anderson
Main contractor Douzans Bros
Designations NSW State Heritage Register
Renovating team
  • Spain & Cosh & Epslin
  • Ross & Rowe

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

Originally called the Mark Foy's Piazza Store, the building was renamed as the Downing Centre in 1991 in honour of Reg Downing, a former NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice.[1]


Initially a two-storey building designed by Arthur Anderson of the architectural firm McCredie & Anderson,[2] the Downing Centre was built in 1908 in the Australian Interwar Stripped Classical architectural style as a retail emporium for Mark Foy's.[3] 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.[2]

The building was converted for use as Courts in 1985 and was listed on the now defunct Register of the National Estate;[4] and is now listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Death Of Robert Reginald Downing, A Former Minister Of The Crown". Hansard, New South Wales Legislative Council. Parliament of New South Wales. 13 September 1994. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sydney Downing Centre". NSW State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage, Government of New South Wales. 31 January 2002. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "The Downing Centre Awning Project". Wunderlite Reproduction Panels. 
  4. ^ Australian Heritage Commission (1981), The Heritage of Australia: the illustrated register of the National Estate, 2, South Melbourne: The Macmillan Company of Australia in association with the Australian Heritage Commission, p. 104, ISBN 978-0-333-33750-9