State Library of South Australia logo Foundation documents 1852-1883
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Government offices on Victoria Square, Adelaide
Title : Government offices on Victoria Square, Adelaide Government offices on Victoria Square, Adelaide
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Sweet, Samuel White, 1825-1886, photographer
Source : B 58005/9
Date of creation : ca. 1880
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

The Government offices on the east side corner of Victoria Square with Wakefield Street, erected in 1879-1881 for the Public Works and Registrar-General's departments. The complex is now known at the Torrens Building. The octagonal tower of the Unitarian Church can be seen at right.

This image is from an album of 50 photographs of Adelaide and country subjects, taken by Samuel White Sweet.

Sweet is well known as a photographer but he was also a ship's captain and a surveyor. After retiring from the sea in the 1870s, he became the colony's foremost documentary photographer, concentrating mainly on landscape.

The Torrens Building was designed by Melbourne architect, Michael Egan and has been in continuous use by government since it opened. In recognition of its cultural significance, the Torrens Building has been included on the South Australian State Heritage Register.

Major refurbishment was undertaken between 1991 and 1995 as the result of a government initiative to assist community groups. In 2005 the State Government approved partial use of the building by the American Carnegie Meillon University. As part of this initiative, rooms in the building's northern wing were refurbished and adapted. The successful refurbishment resulted in a Commendation Award in the Heritage category of the 2007 Royal Australian Institute of Architects awards. In 2008, government approval was given for the creation of a branch campus of University College London to be housed in the Torrens building along with Carnegie Meillon University.

Related names :

Sweet, Samuel White, 1825-1886


Coverage year : 1880
Period : 1852-1883
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

[Adelaide] : Public Buildings Dept. Corporation of the City of Adelaide : Torrens Building, Victoria Square East, Adelaide 5000, 1982 

Cato, J The Story of the Camera in Australia Melbourne: Georgian House, 1955

State Library of South Australia, Archival collection Papers of S.W. Sweet (PRG 742)

Internet links :

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition, search Sweet, Samuel White

Torrens Building, street view



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on