Sydney Lace – Unique And Charming Record Of Australian Colonial Heritage

Sydney Lace is a recognizable feature of Sydney’s residential architecture and can be found scattered throughout many of the cities suburbs. Sydney lace is an ornamental cast iron that was first seen on houses during the Victorian era of homes. But it seems that what is today known as Sydney lace had much earlier beginnings.

It has been discovered that only a few decades after the arrival of the first fleet colonial Australia began its obsession with domestic cast iron lace. By the 1860’s Australia’s population had reached 1.1million and their love affair with Sydney lace was well and truly solidified in Australia’s architectural landscape. By this era Sydney’s local manufacturers were supplying the bulk of the Sydney lace demand.

Today original Sydney lace can still be see its original form on Victorian terraces that are mostly found in the cities surrounding suburbs- Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, Paddington, Redfern, Surry Hills, Newtown, and Glebe. Other features to look out for when searching for authentic Victorian terraces today are the rendered walls, verandahs and of course the Sydney lace. Internally they display an efficient use of space but are often dark.

Unfortunately Sydney lace did not maintain its popularity and it was during the 1920’s that Sydney lace nearly became extinct as people began tearing down their lace or leaving it to rust through neglect. A new wave of residential designs became popular in Sydney, one of which was the Californian bungalow, and overtook Sydney’s love affair with the Victorian era of housing.

By the 1960’s Sydney and its residential architecture had endured World War II, the influx of the fibro home, and over bearing brick-veneer homes, which could be mistaken for mansions. But the 1960’s also saw a revived interest in traditional Australian architecture and heritage and so began Sydney’s love affair once again with Sydney lace. This resurgence has continued to this day as people further embrace Sydney’s history and realise that Sydney lace is a unique and charming record of our colonial heritage.

If you are looking to return your home to its originality and are looking for authentic Sydney lace then you need to contact Heritage Building Centre who stock a large range of original decorative Sydney lace from the Victorian, Edwardian and Federation periods. If you find that Heritage Building Centre do not have what you need then they are also able to manufacture a complete range of accurately proportioned aluminium and cast iron reproductions based on your requirements. Give them a call or visit their showroom at: Address: Rear 432b West Botany Street, Rockdale (opposite Fitness First, behind Retravision) Ph: 02 9567 1322 Website:

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