Our Story

Design and Construction, 1891

When The Strand was established in 1891, it was the fifth and last of the arcades built in Victorian Sydney. Today, it is the only one remaining in its original form.

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A Browser's Paradise, early 1900s

As Sydney grew around the arcade, it changed very little inside and soon became a refuge from increasingly crowded, noisy streets. The early 1900s are remembered by people who travelled to the city from the suburbs by tram especially to see the electric lights in the Strand Arcade – one of the first places in the city to be lit by electricity.

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The Ambassadors Café, 1920s

An "indiscretion" in the Wentworth Hotel between a "lady in a low cut dress" and a "slightly drunk" party-goer swung the Strand Arcade into the 20s.

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The Depression, 1930s

The depression brought everything back down to earth in the early thirties. One regular visitor to the Strand, Barbera Preece, remembered the spirit of friendliness and resourcefulness in the arcade that lasted throughout the war.

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Chequers Night Club, 1950s

Most of the action in the Strand during the fifties seemed to take place in the basement. The scene was Chequers Night Club, owned by the infamous Wong family who lent a touch of the Orient to the arcade and came complete with a fierce six foot tall Chinese manageress.

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Devastating Fire, 1976

Since the war and during the fifties the arcade had become quite run down. In 1974 it was given an "A" classification by the National trust and bought by the Prudential who begun restoration work.

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The Strand Arcade remains a majestic beauty in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sydney's CBD. Many retailers including The Nut Shop, Elie's leather Repair and Strand Hatters have traded for decades, becoming well known Sydney institutions. Today the centre is a unique mix of Australian designer fashion and specialty stores catering for a discerning, sophisticated clientele.

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