The Dymocks Building

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Expect the Unexpected

Budding baristas, bridal fashionistas, bespoke jewelers and custom tailors reside side by side with health, beauty and wellness as well as the curious, the collectible and the professional layered upon layer in a remarkable mix.

A hidden gem that’s easy to miss.

You won’t discover the secrets until you venture above where every floor is different.

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Expect the Unexpected

Introduction

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The Dymocks Story

Located on the ground floor of The Dymocks Building, the Dymocks Main George Street bookstore is Sydney's greatest, and quite probably the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. But there is so much more to The Dymocks Building than the book and stationery stores on the ground floor.

Our story begins in 1879 when William Dymock commenced business as a bookseller in a rented room on Market Street. As his business grew, he moved to larger and grander premises until, in the 1890's he could claim to have a million books in stock.

William Dymock died in his thirty-ninth year, unmarried and childless, and left the business to his sister Marjory, who was married to John Forsyth. From that time onwards, the Forsyth family has managed Dymocks.

1922 was a "landmark" year for Dymocks, when the family purchased the old Royal Hotel in George Street – and on that site was built the present Dymocks Building, completed in 1932.

Get to know

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The Dymocks Building

The Dymocks Building (or "The Block") as it was known, was conceived by architect F.H.B. Wilton in the "Interwar Commercial Palazzo Style". It was to house the "less elite" or "bazaar" style of retailing, with specialty businesses offering a wide range of more unusual goods and services. At street-level it was of course the home for the bookshop which has developed into the store you see today.

Throughout World War II and for many years after, the building provided office space for government departments, and it was not until the 1980's that The Dymocks Building was restored, again to specialise in the unusual businesses for which it had been designed decades earlier.

Today it is home to over 120 specialty stores and businesses specialising in fashion, weddings, jewellery, health and well being and personal & professional services. Commenting on the design, the magazine "Building" in 1929 stated, "…the facilities would appeal to those who object to the noise and bustle of the traffic in the crowded city streets". This is still true today, more than 80 years later.

Visit us today to enjoy a quality shopping experience while seeking that unique gift, item or service in the many specialty businesses located in a Sydney heritage building on George Street - The Dymocks Building!

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Upgrade of The Goods Lift

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The Dymocks Building, built between 1928 and 1930, is the headquarters of Australia's foremost book store and vertical shopping arcade. Generations of shoppers have passed by the modest Goods Lift in the Dymocks Building, possibly unaware of its role and regularly resupplying stock to the upper floors. Goods Lifts 5 and 6 symbolise the enormous commercial activity the building facilitates.

The Dymocks’ Goods Lifts were designed to carry heavy loads and had a rugged, timber-panelled interior finish to prevent damage while loading and unloading. Metal scissor opening doors provided additional protection. Located on each arcade level of the Dymocks Building, the Good Lifts are the back-of-house, concealed behind a showcase and adjoining the WCs.

In 2016, Goods Lift 5 and 6 were replaced to comply with current building standards. Original Otis plant room lift equipment, now decommissioned, has been retained on the roof level. Some lift elements, including lift call buttons and level indicators, have been retained and displayed near the Goods Lifts.

For further information regarding the upgrade to the Goods Lift 5 and 6 please review the PDF: Goods Lifts Goods Lifts