“Art Deco manifested itself emotionally with great zest, colour and playfulness in an age that was all about prospering,” wrote cultural and social historian Carolyn McDowall for The Culture Concept Circle. “It was also about fulfilling a deeply felt need for a style that would not be threatened by change, because as it turned out it was adaptable for almost every culture on the planet. In many world cities you will still find marvellous examples of the Art Deco style lurking gloriously. It was definitely all about a hunger for life and a desire for feeling good about self. The clientele were all wealthy, fashionable art-lovers, who enjoyed living in a luxurious environment and, for the moment.”
Art Deco took off around the world and was soon evident in skyscrapers, cinemas, apartment buildings and even the humble suburban milk bar. The architecture of Sydney was no exception – the city was transformed by buildings like the AWA Tower on York St, David Jones Market St store (which was in stark contrast to its original store across the road and hinted at the modern offerings that lay within), Randwick’s Ritz cinema and apartment buildings such as Birtley Towers and Macleay Regis.