The 1879 Sydney International Exhibition

The Sydney International Exhibition opened the doors of its main building the ‘Garden Palace’ on 17 September 1879 and closed them seven months later. Many figures in colonial Sydney talked of the success of the huge project and the Commissioners of the Sydney International Exhibition certainly felt it had “undoubtedly emphasized a new era in the history of the Colony, and projected the value of Australia on the minds of the inhabitants of those older countries”. But the 1,045,898 visitors that passed through its gates were perhaps the most eloquent testimony to its triumph.

The main feature of the Sydney exhibition, like the international ones that preceded it, was an ornate building, the ‘Garden Palace’, which was over 244 metres long and had a floor space of over 112,000 metres. Designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet the building included 4.5 million feet of timber, 2.5 million bricks and 243 tone of galvanised corrugated iron.  Continue reading