This is one of my favourite buildings in Newcastle, the Newcastle Customs House. It’s a beautiful masonry building designed by James Barnet, who as the New South Wales Colonial Architect also designed many of NSW’s most distinctive buildings, like the General Post Office in Sydney’s CBD.
I particularly love the tower; it’s 32 metres high and the clock, lantern and time ball are still intact, one of only three such examples in Australia. It must have been quite a sight in its heyday.
The building is heritage listed and known as the Customs House Hotel now and run as a popular restaurant and bar. You can still really feel the history though and they’ve done a great job of preserving the old while welcoming the new too.
I’ve tried taking photos of the building before but I’ve never been very happy with the results. It’s quite a tricky building to photograph, particularly at night. I’m happy with this one though. It feels bold and dramatic, which I think it needed to be to do the building justice.
I also like it in black and white. It feels a little more timeless and I think that suits the building too, in a different way.
Photos © CJ Levinson 2018