The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was built in 1898 and designed by 28 year old architect George McRae, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, whilst Sydney was in a severe recession.
Glorious stained glass windows and splendid architecture endure throughout the building and an original 19th century staircase sits alongside the dome. Every detail has been faithfully restored, including arches, pillars, balustrades and the intricate tiled floors thus maintaining the integrity of the building.
The visual message of Sydney’s coat of arms, on the cartwheel stained glass window, is that the beehive depicts business, the sailing ship – trade, and the dolphins – the harbour. Panel 1, on the left hand side, represents the Council of the City of Sydney, and symbols of architecture, while the letters I.G.B. on panel 3, on the right, represent Ipoh Gardens Berhad, the Malaysian company who restored the QVB in 2009.
The symbols are of property developers – the builders. The bottom central panel represents the heraldic symbol of a finished building and the joining of two hands denotes the fusing of two cultures.
The building has undergone major renovations over the years, restoring it to a modern retail destination. It is testimony to the original vision for the building and the superb craftsmanship of the artisans who lovingly recrafted every detail that the building stands today as a preserved and cherished design icon of Sydney.
There is a secret letter, kept from Queen Elizabeth II to the Citizens of Sydney to be opened and read by the Lord Mayor of Sydney in the year 2085.
The wishing well where hopefully wishes do come true.
A Piece of the Blarney stone bequeathed by Sir Richard Bathurst.
The talking bear requesting you to put some coins in the well.
The tiles, flooring balustrades and wrought iron railings are so beautifully done. what a wonderful place to while away an hour or two.