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A sepia photograph of the Garden Palace taken from the north side of Sydney Harbour looking back across the harbour with tall ships in Circular Quay

The Garden Palace

Sydney's Garden Palace captivated society from its opening in 1879.

Laying the foundation stone

A month after building had commenced, on 13 February 1879, the foundation stone was laid by Lady Robinson, wife of Governor Hercules Robinson. A glass time capsule filled with newspapers, an official program of the exhibition and a document detailing attendees of the ceremony was placed in a cavity of the foundation stone. When the Fallick family presented the capsule to the Library in 1954, the donor reported that his grandfather, Edward C Fallick, had removed it while contractors were demolishing the ruins of the building after the fire. He believed the intention had been to fill the bottle with coins, but this had not happened due to a delay in getting them from the Mint. It was reported that on visiting Mr Fallick’s private museum, Sir Henry Parkes remarked that the jar was government property.

Laying the foundation stone