Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for March 2015

Hall's Turkish Baths for Men and Women:
159 Elizabeth Street: Sydney: Australia

Hall's Turkish Bath
< Photo: National Museum of Australia. Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1

John William Hall opened Turkish baths in three of the main cities of New Zealand—Wellington, Christchurch,  and Dunedin before his death in Wellington on 22 May 1900. He was succeeded by his son Robert who moved to Australia in 1905 and opened these baths in Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Robert emphasised the bathers' privacy.   'There will be no promenading through the cooling rooms to the dressing rooms, and patrons who are enjoying the luxury of a shampoo will be equally private.'1  There were separate baths for men and women. Each had their own hot rooms and cooling-rooms, and there were 23 dressing-rooms for women and 28 for men.

There were also roof gardens and, uniquely, pianos in the cooling-rooms—though whether this was an advantage or a disadvantage, one can only hazard a guess.

It is not known when the baths closed, but at some stage the building was demolished and a new building stands on the site today.

This page last updated 01 January 2023

Top of the page

Pictures of the month archive


Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

Home pageSite mapSearch the site

Comments and queries are most welcome and can be sent to:
The right of Malcolm Shifrin to be identified as the author of this work
has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

©  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023

 1. 'Hall's Turkish Baths' Sydney Evening News (17 Nov 1905) [return]