The Quadrangle

Building the Quadrangle

Stage 3: 1913 - c1920

The main phases of the Quadrangle's construction were between 1854 and 1966. This webpage covers stage 3 - the period 1913 to c1920:

The images below are courtesy of the University Archives unless otherwise indicated. Click on images for enlargement.

The South range: linking Fisher Library to the East range, 1913 - c1920

Architect: George McRae, Government Architect
Style: Tudor Gothic, influenced by the Picaresque style

The next stage was between 1913 and c1920 when the South range (now the Professorial Board Room) was constructed. It linked the East range and Fisher Library and included the Nicholson Gateway and Vestibule, and cloisters.

Features included the following:

  • the South range was cut into the original East range.
  • cloisters ran from the eastern Tower and round the South range joining the cloisters which reached the north end of the book stack.
  • the new Library periodicals room (now the Professorial Board Room) continued the style of the main reading room, in simpler form.
  • carvings and other decorations were a memorial of World War I and the contribution of the University to the fighting forces.
  • the south face of the Nicholson Gateway, at the time the only main entrance to the Quadrangle other than that in the East range, was elaborately decorated.

Find out more about the Nicholson Gateway and Vestibule.
Find out more about the Professorial Board Room.
Find out more about the cloisters.

stage 3  

South Range and cloister c.1917   1916

Construction of the South range and cloister
to link the Main Building
and the new Fisher Library c.1915.

 View of a fete in aid of the War Chest held on
13 September 1916, with construction of the
South range visible in the background,
photo, courtesy of the Macleay Museum,
University of Sydney.

 The original East range joining the completed South Range in 1920,
photo, The Australasian, 8 May 1920,
National Library of Australia.

The completed Nicholson Gateway, with landscaping in progress.  
The completed Nicholson Gateway and Vestibule
from outside the Quadrangle, with landscaping yet to be done,
photo, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW,
Digital order no.: Album ID: 1003161.
The completed South range   

 The completed South range and cloister
linking the Main Building and the Fisher Library in the early 1920s.


Organic Chemistry building, 1915-1917

Architect: George McRae, Government Architect
Style: Gothic, influenced by the Picaresque style

A building of two main floors with attic to provide laboratories for Organic and Applied Chemistry was designed by the Government Architect and constructed between 1915 and 1917 on Science Road, to the north-east of the Chemistry laboratory (now Pharmacy) which had been built in the 1890s.

The building had a temporary timber access stair at the western end which was enclosed by a timber stud wall. This was because it was to be extended along Science Road as part of a master plan for a new science complex in Gothic style which had been drawn up by the Government Architect earlier.

However the Organic Chemistry building was the only part of the Government Architect's master plan to be built before the plan was abandoned following the appointment of Leslie Wilkinson.

Organic Chemistry 
 Organic Chemistry Drawing of the front

Side view of the Organic Chemistry building,
from the Government Architect's 1913 drawings.

Front view of the Organic Chemistry building,
from the Government Architect's 1913 drawings.

View the other stages

View Stage 1: 1854 - 1862
View Stage 2: 1901 - 1909
View Stage 4: 1920s
View Stage 5: 1950s
View Stage 6: 1960s