January 14th – The Grace Hotel

The Grace Building

The Grace Building on the corner of York and Kings streets has always caught my eye.

I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s the compact neo-gothic art deco design style, which would be well suited to any modern-day superhero movie remake. It might be because  it’s a structure that reaches for the sky in a block of scrawny micro-towers that makes it stand out.

Either way, it looked terrific set against the superb blue sky today.

The Grace Building has a checkered history beyond its opening in 1930. Initially designed as a Grace Bros department store, it also had capacity for offices which were inhabited by various import traders.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Vanderlay Industries.

In 1940 a portion of the building was sub-let to the Australian government, and was soon the Sydney headquarters for the Australian and US Armed Forces in the Pacific during WWII. In 1945 the Grace Building was compulsorily acquired by the Australian Government.

In 1995 the building was sold to a private firm, and by 1997 had be reopened as the boutique Grace Hotel.

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