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Post Office & Court House, Bathurst, about 1892-1900.

Post Office & Court House, Bathurst, about 1892-1900. Image: State Library of NSW

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Pennant Hills High School in 1967.

Pennant Hills High School in 1967. Image: State Library of NSW/Max Dupain & Associates

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The State Library of NSW’s exhibition, Imagine a city, challenges visitors to picture cities, suburbs or towns without public buildings. It also aims to refresh people’s memories of public architecture from their time at school, work or recreation.

Throughout its 200-year history, the NSW Government Architect’s Office has played a role in the formulation of many of the state’s most celebrated buildings, as well as some of its most controversial.

The exhibition will feature a rich and rarely seen collection of original drawings, photographs, plans, paintings and models from both historic and contemporary times. It includes works by iconic artists and photographers such as Max Dupain, Lloyd Rees and Harold Cazneaux.

The story of the NSW Government Architect’s Office began with Francis Greenway, the first government architect appointed in 1816 by NSW governor Lachlan Macquarie. Since then, 23 government architects and hundreds more working within the office have designed many thousands of buildings – courthouses, post offices, schools, police stations, goals, libraries, galleries and parks. Peter Poulet is the twenty-third and current NSW Government Architect.

The exhibition will run from 20 February to 8 May 2016. Entry will be free.


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