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Historic Macquarie Street Buildings Are Set Be Transformed Into a Multimillion-Dollar Cultural Hub

The revamp will include a public plaza between the CBD and The Domain.
By Ben Hansen
June 22, 2021
By Ben Hansen
June 22, 2021

The Sydney CBD's historic Macquarie Street is set for a landmark revamp as the NSW Government has announced it will dedicate $119 million towards revitalising the precinct. The multimillion-dollar investment in the area is part of the NSW Government's 2021-22 budget which was handed down on Tuesday, June 22 and also includes funding for cultural institutions statewide and for a seven-day New Year's Eve festival on the Cahill Expressway.

Stage one of the redevelopment will include creating a public plaza in Macquarie Street situated between the CBD and The Domain. The plaza will create a gateway to The Domain and will restore the original heritage architecture of the Registrar General's Building that was covered by a modern annex in the 1960s.

"The revamped precinct will create a vibrant destination for people to enjoy during the day and well into the evening at the southern end of Macquarie Street, allowing the city to showcase some of its historic treasures such as The Mint, Hyde Park Barracks and The Domain," NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

Artist render supplied by Committee for Sydney.

The revamp comes after a NSW Government-commissioned precinct review led by Paul Keating and Lucy Turnbull made recommendations to revitalise the area into a space that could cultivate culture and showcase Sydney's history. "This funding is a great step forward to begin the work of breathing new life and energy in to one our city's most precious historic and architecturally significant precincts," Turnbull said.

The cultural revitalisation of Macquarie Street has slowly begun over the past six months with the NSW government supporting nighttime music, art and cultural events at the Hyde Park Barracks, St Mary's Cathedral and the Sydney Living Museums. Under the government's arts funding, cultural institutions in and around Macquarie Street including the Australian Museum, Sydney Living Museums and Hyde Park Barracks will also receive financial incentives to provide free general admission.

The plan has been met with positive feedback from key Sydney stakeholders. "This decision will open up the quiet treasure that is Sydney's Macquarie Street to all of Sydney," Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney said. "The government's announcement of a major injection of funds into cultural institutions, including free entry to the Australian Museum and others in the Macquarie Street precinct over the next 12 months, is an incredible opportunity for Sydney as we look to attract people back into the city - from around the world and across the city."

Australian Museum

For more information about NSW's newly announced cultural funding, head to the NSW Treasury website. The NSW State Budget was handed down on Tuesday, June 22.

Published on June 22, 2021 by Ben Hansen


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