Art Deco Wollongong – Building Architecture

This page is under construction. I will be adding buildings and photos as I can. Please let me know of any Art Deco buildings I have not mentioned.

Wollongong is not a mecca for Architecture lovers but if you look around you will find quite a few Art Deco buildings.

Many of them have been repurposed and some of them have been painted over, but others still retain their original splendour.

I have always loved Art Deco design, but until recently, I had not started looking for it in my home town architecture.  I searched around but could not find a list of Art Deco buildings in Wollongong, so I decided to make my own. Please let me know if I make any mistakes or miss any beauties.  I am starting in the city with large buildings and will move to the suburbs and residential areas next.  I will  use my own current photos and provide references for older photos and history where I can.

If I sneak in a couple of Functionalist buildings, just forgive me and think of them as Streamlined Art Deco.

Wollongong City Buildings:

Art Deco Wollongong

Wollongong Art Gallery

The Wollongong Art Gallery is located in a 1950’s Art Deco style building at the corner of Kembla & Burelli Streets in the city. This building has been home to the Gallery since 1991 and was formerly the Council Administration Building.

For an earlier photo of the building see

Art Deco Wollongong

North Beach Bather’s Pavilion

North Beach Bather's Pavilion

Lifeguard Station under the Pavilion

The North Beach Bather’s Pavilion and Kiosk at 5 Cliff Rd North Wollongong were first opened in 1938 (Designer Harvey E. Gale).  The buildings are not strictly Art Deco, being a combination of Art & Crafts and nautical Functionalism (ref 3). A sympathetic restoration and beach level extensions to the Pavilion were completed in 2011-12.

For North Beach Precinct History see  Also mentions other Beach buildings in the Illawarra.

North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club was built in 1936 (Designed J. Hugh Brtten) (Interwar Functionalist style) and refurbished in 2022-23 to complement the neighbouring buildings and a seawall added.

For an early photo of the Bathers Pavilion see

Art Deco Pubs

The Illawarra Hotel

Art Deco Pubs

The Illawarra Hotel

The Illawarra Hotel at 160 Kiera St Wollongong was first opened in 1938 as the Hotel Illawarra (architects Copeman, Lemont & Keesing). It was the swankest hotel in town and had a female publican. The façade has remained virtually unchanged since it opened and an early photo and  history of the pub can be found at

The Regent Theatre at 197 Keira St Wollongong was designed in the Art Deco style but was not built until the mid-1950s.,_Wollongong

The Crown Hotel, corner of Crown & Station Streets Wollongong (309 Crown St), built in 1927 (architect Sydney Warden), now painted light green, it is part of a private hospital. For a photo of the hotel in 1927 see

The Grand Hotel, 234 Keira St (corner Burelli St) was built in 1937 to provide accommodation and facilities for the growing workforce at the Steel Works. It has quiet a plain exterior and has undergone extensive renovations inside. For a photo of the hotel in the 1940s see

The Spotlight Store at 281 Crown St Wollongong built in 1921, was Markus Clark’s –> Walton’s –> Spotlight and now slated for redevelopment with the historic façade and clocktower to be retained.

St Andrew’s Uniting Church bell tower built in 1937 (Architects Adam, Wright & Apperly). “The church is a adaptation of Italian Romanesque, with a robust, radical Art Deco bell tower” (ref 3 p71).

Illawarra Migrant Resource Centre on the corner of Kembla & Market streets Wollongong. Built in 1937 (Architect J. Anderson & Sons) was originally the Christian Science Church…

Crown Street Shop Fronts:

Upper Crown St, upper levels shop front façades at 328 ‘Aspley House’, 326, 316, 355 ‘Browns Corner’, 302 brick façade, 282 ‘Caldwell’s Building’ now pink painted brick, 281 ‘Spotlight Store’ (described above), 309 ‘Crown Hotel’ (described above), 303-307 brick façades, 293-297 corner with brick façade, 242 ‘Excelsior Hall” built in 1927 and recently restored,

Crown St Mall, upper levels shop front façades at 30o-302, …  187-189 Total Exp, 135-137, 127 ‘Vinnies?’, #?? ‘Bank Chambers’, 129, 130? ‘Medusa Hair?’, 101 ‘Lang’s Corner’ built in 1933 and recently redeveloped with retained historic façade,

Lower Crown St, upper levels shop front façades at 50 ‘Thai Carnation?’

Brick shop fronts in Keira St c1930 at 133-143

Kawarra Chambers, Crown St Wollongong 1937…

St Therese’s Catholic Church, Princes Highway, West Wollongong built in 1938 (Architect Clement Clancy) has Art Deco features.

What is Art Deco Architecture:

“Art Deco buildings have a sleek, linear appearance with stylized, often geometric ornamentation. The primary façade of Art Deco buildings often feature a series of set backs that create a stepped outline. Low-relief decorative panels can be found at entrances, around windows, along roof edges or as string courses. Art Deco buildings feature distinctive smooth finish building materials such as stucco, concrete block, glazed brick or mosaic tile. Decorative details can incorporate various artistic or exotic motifs to suit the building’s function or the architect’s whim. Chevrons, zigzags, and other geometrical motifs are common forms of ornament on Art Deco style buildings.” (ref 1)

“Art Deco and Functionalism were parallel phenomena that both expressed the modern style. Art deco was the modern style, but also contained retrospective elements. It was a synthesis of the past and futurism, of ancient history and technological utopias.” (ref 2)

Apartment Blocks:

  • ‘Sefton Hall’ 39 Gipps St Wollongong
  • The ?? building at 163 Keira St Wollongong. Retail and residential apartments…
  • Art Deco apartment block at 10 Crown St Wollongong.
  • The ‘California’ building 7-9 Burelli St Wollongong built in 1935 and appears to be in original condition.
  • ‘Braemar’ apartments at 29 Smith St Wollongong.
  • 72 Market St Wollongong (modest)
  • 56B Church St Wollongong ?? art deco ?? interior
  • 90 Corrimal St Wollongong, modest


  • ‘Trelley’ in Kembla St Wollongong built in 1938 in the Functionalist style…
  • 31 Burling Ave Mount Ousley, 18 Strone Ave Mount Ousley,
  • 34 Woodlawn Ave Mangerton
  • ?? Houses in Abercrombie St West Wollongong
  • 2+ grand houses in Mangerton
  • 47 Mangerton Rd, Mangerton,’Hightrees’ was built in 1936 (Architect and origin owner Hugh Britten) in the Functionalist  style
  • 18-20 Norman St Mangerton, built in 1952 ‘Orana’, Functionalist, P&O style, between the wars, streamline modern??  Also 56 St Johns Ave Mangerton, built in 1948


Art Deco Wollongong Suburbs:

  • Port Kembla
    • Wentworth St, Port Kembla has a large number of Art Deco looking shop fronts/tops from Collegians Club at #4 all the way to #163 at the top of the next hill. I counted 34 shop fronts and I am not sure if I got them all (#28, #38, #33-39, #53-67, #71-73, #83, #101, #115-123, #82-84, #110-112, #116, #122,  #161-163) 
    • Dimosons R/E Bldg at 31-33 Wentworth St is particularly grand because it was formerly the Commonwealth Bank. My favorite is it’s left side neighbour with the ‘eyebrow’ over the upper windows.
    • Port Kembla Baths opened in 1937.
    • Breakwater Battery Military Musem, 2 Gloucester Blvd, Port Kembla. Built when??
    • Homes: 17 Wentworth St Port Kembla,
    • Apartments: 66 Darcy Rd Port Kembla.
  • Woonona/Bulli Old Fire Station?, Princes Hwy
  • Bulli Antique Store, Princes Hwy
  • Austinmer Veterinary Hospital on the corner of Grove & Moore Streets was built in 1935 in the Functionalist style (Ocean Liner Style). Started as Argue’s Bakery –> Post Office –> Sheltered Workshop –> Veterinary Hospital


  • Lysaght’s Works Laboratory Block was built in 1939-40 (Architect R.J.Magoffin) in the Functionalist Art Deco style.
  • CRM admin building on Old Port Rd, Port Kembla was built in 1938 (Architect H.S. Conrow) has “Classical and Art Deco elements.” (ref 3 p72)


For information on the earlier history of Wollongong see

For more  information on history of Wollongong see


Lost Art Deco buildings list:

  • 113-115 Keira St – Hughes Whetton and Reilly Vauxhall Dealers and service station –> Market –> original Art Gallery site –> now Youth Centre
  • 93 Kembla St – Civic Theatre (façade) –> Wollongong Town Hall


Ref 1 –

Ref 2 –

Ref 3 – Robert Irving., “Twentieth Century Architecture in Wollongong”, 2001, University of Wollongong press, ISBN. 1875891102. Fabulous book for anyone who loves Wollongong or Architecture.

Ref 4 – Wollongong City Centre Heritage Study see