The Quadrangle

The Western Tower

Modelled on the tower of Jesus College, Cambridge, the Western Tower was constructed in 1926, but only the west face was completed due to insufficient funds. The Tower was not completed until 1966 when the east face was finished.

The Western Tower

The east face of the Western Tower -
enlargementphoto, copyright David White.



Stage 1, 1926

While work was proceeding on the north-west corner of the Quadrangle, approval was given in November 1923 to Wilkinson’s proposal to extend the 1902-1909 book stack and to construct the adjoining western tower. Work proceeded in 1926 to provide, in the extension, three floors for book stacks and accommodation in the attic level for the Faculty of Architecture.

Only the west face of the Western Tower, which bears a resemblance to Jesus College, Cambridge, was completed at this time due to insufficient funds.

The east face of the Western Tower was left clad in fibre-cement sheeting in mock Tudor style and the Tower lacked its upper floors and turret staircase.

Western face of the Western Tower The eastern face of the Western Tower 1952

The completed western face
of the Western Tower,
photo, copyright
David White
-
enlargement

The incomplete eastern face of the
Western Tower in 1952, Sydney
Morning Herald photo, copies held
by the University Archives
-
enlargement.



Completion of the Western Tower, 1966

In 1963 work began on completion of the eastern face of the Western Tower of the Quadrangle, including its upper floors and turret staircase, and the extension of the cloisters from the bookstack to the Tower. This section of the building was faced with sandstone and five bays of cloisters were added between the Western Tower and south-west corner to complete the Quadrangle.

This work was completed in 1966.


Decorative features

Decorative features on the Western Tower include:

  • bosses - stone carvings on horizontal string lines around the Tower which include three heads, designed by Leslie Wilkinson, representing western art and literature, on the rear of the Tower - view images.
  • coats of arms on the east and west faces of the Tower - view images and information.
  • decorations designed by Joseph Fowell on the Quadrangle face of the Tower representing the first three faculties to be established in the University: Arts, Law and Medicine - see below.
  • gargoyles - unusual, fantastic, mythical or eerie carved creatures on the east face of the Tower - see below.
Decorations Gargoyle on the Western Tower

Decorations representing Arts, Law and Medicine
on the front of the Tower -
enlargement,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

A gargoyle on the front
of the Tower -
enlargement,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.



LB