Monday, September 13, 2010

Oxford Art Supplies, Darlinghurst

Oxford Art Supplies, Darlinghurst

I don't know what is more impressive about the 225 Oxford St half of Oxford Art Supplies. The amazing geometric pattern on the facade or the amazing collection of air conditioners on top of the verandah.

And I don't know what is less impressive. The appalling remodelled shopfront at street level or the appalling collection of air conditioners on top of the verandah.

I do know that the business which started as a hardware store in 1964 run by Alf and Bessie Altshuler morphed into an art store in the 1970's under their son David and their grandson, Marc, is associated with the store today. That, at least, is a good thing.

Oxford Art Supplies website


  1. Should one ask what they are trying to chill in the upstairs room...?!

  2. Does canvas stretching require very cool conditions?

  3. Hi David, my name is Marc Altshuler, of Oxford Art Supplies (a family run business since 1964)
    While I appreciate you featuring our building on your website and Flickr page, and encourage all comments (whether positive or negative) I would at least like the comments to be accurate.

    As for the asthetics of the buildings, I agree that the plain white is rather ugly, but I would like to give you some history as to why they are that way.

    My family have had shops at 221, 223, and now 225 Oxford street since 1964, and are one of the last remaining non-renovated non-restaurants in the block.

    In 2004 we acquired 225 Oxford St and last year closed 221 Oxford St and now our business resides in 223-225, as you see in your photo.
    The buildings were painted white because we had an intention of repainting our iconic "splahes of paint" mural back on the building, however my father became ill and it was never completed (I refer you to a photo of the building in 2003 on our Facebook page-, as you'll notice from the photo the restaurant that was here before us made the ghastly changes to the facade of the building, not us. There was also several old air conditioners that remain there today.

    I am pleased to report that are currently in the planning stages of a competition for hte Sydney Art community to redesign the front of our building, which should be completed in May this year.

    This will restore the building to it's former glory and hopefully be a relief to many people, as I agree, it's current appearance is wanting.

    Once again, thank you for your comments and I hope you can find our building design competition interesting.
    Marc Altshuler
    Oxford Art Supplies.

  4. Thank you very much Marc. It is lovely to get the true story and I was fascinated when I read about your family history and their association with these shops when I was writing the original post. It is a great story and you are obviously, rightfully, proud of it.

    The competition sounds exciting. Hopefully it will bring out the deco features of 225 while allowing it to work with its older neighbour.

    When the details of the competition are confirmed please come back and post a link. I'd be very interested to see how it pans out.

  5. Thanks David.
    I'll be sure to keep you in the loop when the design comp kicks off.

    We have been asked when the murals are going back for many years, so it's great to see this finally starting to ake shape again.

    Once again, thank you for your interest in our architecture and keep up the good work.