The History of 238 Castlereagh

The foundation stone for this historic building was laid in 1875, by Dr Barker, the Anglican bishop of Sydney. Prior to this, the site was the location of small residences shoos and businesses.


This building was opened as a Protestant Hall. Designed I the Victorian free classical style, the building was originally threestores. The fourth storey was designed by the architect, John Burcham Clamp, and added between 1924-27.


Just over a year later on 30 November 1878, Advance Australia Fair enjoyed its first public airing in the building during the NSW Highland Society concert.


William McNamara ran a radical bookshop until he was forced to move the following year to number 221 due to police harassment.


Mark Twain lectured here four times in 1895 and is still today known as the greatest humorist in US history and written the greatest novel of all time - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


In 1924 a group of Greek shopkeepers in the inner-city area of Sydney decided to lease some floor space so that they could meet during their leisure hours. These meetings brought about the formation of a club which they named the Hellenic club.

The building was renamed Empire House.


The Australian Workers union operated and printed their journal, 'The Worker', from these premises.


In 1940 the Hellenic began to grow and purchased the property where the club stands today on 251 Elizabeth Street.


1959 The Hellenic Club was officially opened by the then Premier M JJ Cahill.


In 1978 The Hellenic club purchased the adjoining building for $260,000.00- 238 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.


In 2013, the use of the building was reactivated with the opening of Alpha Restaurant.


In 2016, the Club opened "Beta Bar & Gallery on the first floor and in 2021 activated the remainder of the
building with an additional floor for events.


In 2021, the Club went under renovation to build another event space and minor refurbishments throughout.


In 2022, the Club opened a new event space called The Grand.