Government House

Address: Macquarie Street, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9931 5222

Tags: history, roots music, alternative, indie, museum, historical, art, craft and design, jazz

Designed in 1834 by William IV’s architect, Edward Blore, the plans for Government House (the official residence of the NSW governor) had to be modified to take account of local conditions, such as the Australian sun being in the north rather than the south. However, the original Gothic Revival concept remained, and today’s visitors can still enjoy the crenellated battlements and detailed interiors. Past governors have dabbled in redecorating and extensions with mixed results, but the marvellously restored State Rooms are now the best example of Victorian pomp in the country. The current governor doesn’t live here, but it’s still used for state and vice-regal functions. Don’t miss the exotic gardens.

In 2007, the house received the most significant refurbishment in 25 years under the To Furnish the Future project.

Five leading Australian artists and designers: Caroline Casey, Cecilia Heffer, Valerie Kirk, Liz Williamson and Charles Wilson were awarded commissions by the HHT. This collaboration marks the first stage of this exciting refurbishment program which seeks to restore Government House’s former role as a showcase for Australian art and design.

The HHT commissioned contemporary designed carpet, furniture, lace, upholstery and other furnishing textiles to complement the historic interiors of the two drawing rooms, with their 1879 surviving original painted ceiling decoration by Lyon, Cottier & Co. and rich collection of original Australian and European furniture, paintings and objects.

The State Rooms contain a remarkable collection of Australian furniture, pictures and decorative arts acquired over the past 150 years reflecting the long and distinguished history of the House. The HHT maintains Government House as a showcase for the best contemporary NSW art, craft and design under the 'To Furnish A Future' policy, commissioning new works and restoration projects by leading artists, craftspeople and designers who are specialists in their field.

The garden of Government House is also place for Garden Music party.

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