Unlock Living History

Set within the beautifully restored Treasury Building of 1851, InterContinental Sydney is a heritage delight where you will uncover tales of the past at every turn. Discover a rich tapestry of Georgian elevations, neo-classical architecture and 19th century fittings throughout the building, each with a unique story to tell. Immerse yourself in the vibrant history of Sydney from within one the city’s most important structures.  

Cadi Country

The Cadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of Cadi, the land on which our hotel stands. Their unique connections to land, sea and community are of paramount importance as part of the oldest living culture on earth.

Contemporary Sydney was constructed on land and waterways extensively occupied by Aboriginal people, including a significant flowing waterway near the site of InterContinental Sydney known now as the Tank Stream. Opposite the hotel, the Royal Botanic Gardens occupies a site known to the Aboriginal people as Wuganmagulya – a place where ceremonies and initiations were conducted.

Guests are invited to explore the gardens’ Cadi Jam Ora (‘I Am In Cadi’) display, which explores indigenous life and relationships with the land.

Colonisation & Government House

The arrival of the British in 1788 heralded a period of European subversion of Indigenous beliefs and an imposition of a new social order. Indeed, the land around Sydney Cove (Warrang) was extensively transformed after this time. The land upon which the hotel stands became the site of the first colonial vineyard, which was able to be viewed from the location of the first Governor’s House. The first Governor’s House is still preserved adjacent to the hotel on Bridge Street, as a part of the Museum of Sydney.

The Evolution of The Treasury Building

In 1851, the grand Treasury Building was constructed under the auspices of Colonial Architect Mortimer William Lewis. It was the first purpose-built government office in Sydney. From its construction, the building welcomed a plethora of government officials and held the state’s riches whilst the first gold rush was underway.

In 1896, a separate fireproofed ‘Strong Room’ building was added (now The Treasury Room), and in 1901, this was connected to the original building by a bridging structure and completion of the grand staircase. This bridging building saw the installation of a new office for the state Treasurer and Premier (now the Premier’s Room). During WWI, between 1916 and 1919, an Edwardian Baroque-style domed extension was planned to extend along Bridge and Phillip Streets and enclose the building around a beautiful courtyard. Only the original Bridge Street extension was completed. The courtyard was instead later enclosed over 60 years later with the construction of the hotel, forming The Cortile – where modernity meets history.
Over time the estate was repurposed, utilised by the Ministry for Transport and Police Department until 1967, when it was finally left abandoned.

Transformation into InterContinental Sydney

Reimagined as a new luxury travel destination, in 1985 the InterContinental Sydney opened its doors. Much of the original heritage building was restored, with luxurious comforts and contemporary guest spaces throughout. We are proud to now share the significant history of The Treasury Building and its role within Sydney with guests and visitors.