Rowe Street Archive
From 1891 until the early 1970s Rowe Street, in Sydney's inner city, offered a lively atmosphere of galleries, interior decorating studios, music shops and cafés. This archive, which consists of photographs, letters and interviews, documents the history of the street's commercial occupants.
Rowe Street was the narrow street between Castlereagh and Pitt Streets that is remembered as the centre of Sydney's bohemian life before its buildings were demolished to make way for the MLC centre in the early 1970s. It was first recorded in the 1840s as Brougham Place, before being named after architect Colonel Thomas Rowe, in 1875. With the Hotel Australia at one end from 1891 and the Theatre Royal nearby, Rowe Street's tearooms, cafes, bars and shops were frequented by both famous visitors and regular local habituées. In the years following World War II migrants from Europe opened shops and galleries that brought new cultural experiences of fashion, design, art, music and food. Although all that now remains is a short laneway, Rowe Street is fondly remembered by thousands of people who value what it represented to them and regret its passing.
Some material in this collection may be subject to Copyright
By appointment - Museum Archives (2009/79/1)
A virtual tour of Rowe Street was developed in 2005 - see link above. Further material is held at the museum.
Retailing; Urban life
Rowe Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia