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I would say that overall Melbourne has a higher quality and greater variety of historical buildings. But there are a couple of masterpieces in Sydney, like QVB and GPO, that Melbourne can't match.
And don't discount Brisbane, while it has a relatively small number of historical buildings, they are quality.
Melb might have a lot of neo-gothic and Victorian but Sydney has a very impressive collection of perfectly preserved and massive public buildings and olde pile banks from early to mid 20th cent that are unsurpassed in Aust...very, very grand. And there are lots of Sullivan-esq commercial bldgs of large proportions too.
 

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The lack of Georgian and neo-Gothic architecture in Australia is depressing. I think the only city in our country with a good selection of beautiful historical buildings is Melbourne.
Georgian is a time period that ended in 1840 ... Melbourne for the most part didn't exist then. Really only NSW & Tasmania have decent examples of Georgian architecture in Australia which is not surprising considering the European settlement timeline of Australasia. Also there is plenty of neo-Gothic examples that can be found around the country.
 

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^^ Yes, but most of that Georgian in NSW is "restrained Georgian", and not even true Georgian architecture in the sense of the word.
 

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The lack of Georgian and neo-Gothic architecture in Australia is depressing. I think the only city in our country with a good selection of beautiful historical buildings is Melbourne.
I disagree - for a start, almost all of Australia's limited examples of Georgian architecture is found in two cities: Sydney and Hobart. Melbourne has next to none. (Not surprising, because Georgian architecture generally comes from the period 1720-1840; Sydney was founded in 1788, Hobart in 1804, Melbourne in 1835.) Sydney and Melbourne are probably equal in terms of neo-Gothic but I would say Sydney just edges out over Melbourne, retaining some of Australia's best and most prominent examples: Sydney University, St Mary's Cathedral, Government House, etc. Sydney definitely has a better selection of Federation architectural styles than Melbourne; there's absolutely no argument there. It also has a better selection of Art Deco, IMO. Where Melbourne truly shines is Victorian architecture. I would say it wins out over Sydney in both quality and sheer numbers, but not by a huge margin.
 

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Umm. Hmmm. I would say Chifley Tower seeing as it's neo-art deco and a tribute to New York's 1930s skyscrapers, but you said no modernist architecture.


IMG_5028 - Version 2 by mornnb, on Flickr


I would say the Sydney Morning Herald Building.

http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-056.htm


And the State Saving Bank building, reminds a little bit of the New York stock exchange building.

IMG_5133 by mornnb, on Flickr

The Trust Building is also rather similar to typical 19th century New York.

http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com/cbd/cbd4-049.htm

And the Dymocks building.

http://www.thedymocksbuilding.com.au/sitefiles/information.asp?idarticle=1
None of these buildings are distinctly NYC imho. Chifley tower in particular speaks more of London's Canary Wharf than anything in NYC.

I would say that overall Melbourne has a higher quality and greater variety of historical buildings. But there are a couple of masterpieces in Sydney, like QVB and GPO, that Melbourne can't match.
And don't discount Brisbane, while it has a relatively small number of historical buildings, they are quality.
This is highly debatable. What about Adelaide? It has a great selection of historical buildings, arguably greater than Brisbane.

The lack of Georgian and neo-Gothic architecture in Australia is depressing. I think the only city in our country with a good selection of beautiful historical buildings is Melbourne.
Are you serious? Firstly, there are great examples of neo-gothic right round Australia, cathedrals especially, but also many commercial and educational buildings. There also exists many beautiful historical buildings beyond Melbourne in all the big cities and in smaller ones too, think Ballarat, Bendigo, Fremantle etc, even if the style is not predominantly neo-gothic or Georgian, but grand Victorian and Federation which encompasses the classical style amongst others. And don't expect too much Georgian as (colonial) Australia was too young for that style to have taken off.

Me thinks people need to actually go to NYC. Overall Sydney is nothing like Manhattan. Sydney art deco is more comparable in size and style to the Shanghai Bund. NYC veers more toward neo-Gothic.

Besides, the label that art deco=NYC is so simplistic. Art deco is universal.
I tend to agree with all this.
 

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I know it's supposed to be most NYC style buildings in Sydney, but I have a very NYC building from Brisbane, mainly because it was modelled off a building in NYC.

Finney Isles & Co's 1909 department store has a Queen Street facade which is, literally, a scaled down, less ornate clone of the Louis Sullivan's 1899 Bayard-Condict Building.

Finney Isles & Co.

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Vs.

Bayard-Condict Building


Louis Sullivan, Bayard-Condict Building, New York, 1897-99 by rpa2101, on Flickr


And I've always felt the Anzac Arcade complex have a very "New York feel" in my personal opinion, but I couldn't be completely mistaken. What does everyone else think?


P5080524 by Nathan Murray, on Flickr
 

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Don't really agree about the Anzac Arcade bldgs - they've always reminded me of Boer/South African colonial buildings. One building in Brisbane that I think looks *very* NYC (the only one) is the Manor Apartments. In fact, it stood in for a New York skyscraper in the 1996 film "Phantom" starring Billy Zand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which was largely filmed at Warner Bros Movieworld and in/around Brisbane.





 

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^yes you can thanks architects HENNESY AND HENNESY for all the Colonial Mutual life bldgs in Australian cities in 1930s.
most were among the tallest for the persepctive city.
very had gothic details with central tower

adelaides CML before its extension. /almost identical to brissys


after its widening


perths CML bldg from 1936
 

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None of these buildings are distinctly NYC imho. Chifley tower in particular speaks more of London's Canary Wharf than anything in NYC.
Er....Canary Wharf was largely developed as a sister project to Cesar Pelli's Battery Park City in NYC and Chifley tower is by the New York architect Kohn Pederson Fox. It is a direct transplant of their NYC style.

The other buildings might be equally at home in Chicago as well as NYC, but are clearly American-influenced. The last one pictured is more or less a direct copy of the department store style created by Starrett & van Vleck. The Sydney Morning Herald building clearly takes its cues from similar flatiron structures such as the Cocoa Exchange:

 

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^yes you can thanks architects HENNESY AND HENNESY for all the Colonial Mutual life bldgs in Australian cities in 1930s.
most were among the tallest for the persepctive city.
very had gothic details with central tower

adelaides CML before its extension. /almost identical to brissys


after its widening


perths CML bldg from 1936
Personally, I think the Perth one was the closest one to Brisbane's in overall design, more so than Adelaide's. It's a building Brisbane is very lucky to still have, seeing how many of them have since been pulled down, and even Adelaide's has been mutilated, with the twin sets of windows having been merged together at some point. They just don't suit the building design.


CML building, Adelaide by ryan.reynolds001, on Flickr
 
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