13 million items, billions of stories
The Colonial Mutual Life (CML) building is a heritage listed Sydney landmark on the corner of Pitt Street and Martin Place, and sits opposite the GPO. It was designed by well-known Sydney architect John Kirkpatrick and built in 1892-93 in the Victorian Free Classical style.
In the early 1970s, there were plans to modernise the building. This sketch is a vision of a possible future for the CML building. It was submitted to the State Planning Authority with several other sketches for preliminary approval in 1972 by architects Joseland & Gilling.
It appears that the State Planning Authority did not share in this new vision of an ultra-modern glass, steel and concrete office block. Eventually, in 1976, the CML building was gutted and a 20-storey office block constructed, but the trachyte and sandstone façade remained in place. It was the first major example in Sydney of façade retention and repurposing of the inner space.
We love the details in this plan - you can see the reflection of the GPO clock tower in the windows and there is a definite 1970s vibe with the cars, the mini-skirts and flares!
Digital ID: NRS 13429 Plans 10543-55