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Macquarie Street East Precinct

Registrar General’s Building

Registrar General’s Building

About the project

The Registrar General’s Building is one of NSW’s most well-loved and important heritage buildings.

It is part of a collection of heritage buildings and significant institutions that form part of the Macquarie Street East (MSE) Precinct, situated between the Sydney CBD and The Domain.

This iconic historical and culturally significant heritage precinct is being transformed into a vibrant, connected and people-friendly arts, cultural and civic destination.

As part of this transformation, a new public square on the northern side of the Registrar General’s Building will be created, providing a gateway to The Domain, and named in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

To create the square, the original 1913 footprint of the Registrar General’s Building will be reinstated. The building’s facade will also be restored, and other minor internal upgrades undertaken.

What’s happening now?

Site establishment works started in December 2022 to prepare for the removal of the Registrar General Building’s modern extensions – the Records Annexe, built in the 1960s, and the North Wing, built in the 1950s. This will reveal the original footprint of the building.

These early site establishment works include the installation of hoarding around the perimeter of the site and the internal strip-out of un-tenanted areas within the building.

The RGB will continue its use as a temporary creative hub for some of the state’s brightest arts, screen, and creative talents until early 2023. The temporary conservation laboratory established to restore flood-damaged artworks from the Lismore Art Gallery will also remain until this important work is completed in February 2023.

Next steps

Demolition is scheduled to begin in March 2023.

Once the demolition work is completed, restoration of the Registrar General’s Building façade will begin, along with the minor internal upgrades and the creation of the new public domain.

These works are expected to be completed in 2024.

During this period, planning for the Registrar General’s Building to be reimagined as part of a new campus-style museum precinct will continue.


A NSW Government-commissioned precinct review of Macquarie Street East, led by former Prime Minister Paul Keating and former Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner, Lucy Turnbull, made recommendations for the heritage buildings and spaces in Macquarie Street East, including the Registrar General’s Building, to showcase the city’s cultural and social history.

The review found the precinct currently has unrealised potential and is not welcoming to either visitors or Sydneysiders. It lacks vibrancy and connectivity and is difficult to navigate.

In April 2022, the NSW Government approved funding to kick-off the first phase of permanent precinct transformation.

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