We at GSA are lucky to work in a heritage protected building in one of Sydney’s most historic suburbs, The Rocks.
Much of our building’s history is connected closely to our neighbour, St Patrick’s Church. When constructed in 1889, our building served as a presbytery to the church, traditionally the part of the cathedral between the high altar and the choir (or chancel). Our basement and cellars were designed to hold equipment and miscellaneous deliveries to be sent to Marist missionary stations in the South Pacific. It remained home to the Marists until 2000.
In 1913, applications to establish the old presbytery as the St Patrick’s Parish Hall and Girl’s School were put in to Sydney City council, and were approved in 1915.
According to the application plans for a new elevator above (1913), our first two floors were originally one large hall with a stage set up and gallery seating, and the newly established top floor housed three classrooms and the principal’s office.
By 1944, a year before the end of World War 2, the construction of our third floor had been completed, and 137 Harrington was still being used as a school house. As detailed in the inspection records above, we had a Scouts club room in our building’s basement, along with a laundry.
GSA moved to 137 Harrington from our North Sydney offices in 2000. We have protected and maintained our site through regular maintenance and restoration over the years, ensuring the original architecture is maintained. With the addition of our impressive collection of Martin Sharp works, we embrace our building's heritage while bringing a modern touch. Our restoration protects the history of 137 Harrington, and ensures that our use of the building respects the history that it holds.