Mr Stokes announced that more than 50 sites, ranging from much-loved heritage buildings to award-winning contemporary masterpieces, would throw open their doors on Sunday 2 November 2014.
“Sydney Open is a celebration of this city’s history, and an opportunity for the public to engage with its amazing architecture, heritage and design,” Mr Stokes said.
“Visitors will be able to explore many sites across the city not usually open to the public, such as the coveted belfry of St Mary’s Cathedral.”
The historic bell tower contains 14 bells that ring across the city every Sunday. Ranging in weight from 281 kilograms to a massive 1741 kilograms, they are the heaviest change-ringing bells in New South Wales.
Another location is the National Art School, once Darlinghurst Gaol, one of Sydney’s oldest and best preserved examples of colonial sandstone architecture.
“This will be a popular site as it is rumoured to be haunted and once housed some of the most notorious criminals in Australia’s history, including bushrangers Captain Moonlite, Captain Starlight and Aboriginal outlaw Jimmy Governor,” Mr Stokes said.
Other Sydney Open highlights include the colonial architecture lining Macquarie Street – Greenway’s Hyde Park Barracks and St James’ Church, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Government House. Or visit behind the scenes of the State Theatre, Sydney Town Hall, and The Great Synagogue, amongst many others.
Mark Goggin, Director of the Historic Houses Trust, said this is the 10th edition of Sydney Open and, since its launch in 1997, more than 360 public buildings and private residencies have opened their doors to receive over 30,000 people.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the city’s historic and contemporary buildings and spaces, and learn more about their many stories,” Mr Goggin said.