History of the Lloyd Rees Bandstand

The Lloyd Rees Bandstand or Rotunda is a Lane Cove icon. You may or may not be aware that the heritage status and location with the Lane Cove Plaza has been hotly debated over the years. It is not listed on the Lane Cove Heritage List. Lloyd Rees was an important Lane Cove resident and he has been honoured in several ways.  There is, of course, the bandstand but there is also Lloyd Rees park, Lloyd Rees Drive (the entrance to Blackman Park). Every two years Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios holds the Lloyd Rees Youth Art Awards (entry are now open for the 2019 awards – details here).


The bandstand was built in 1983. It’s one of the last bandstands/rotundas to be built in NSW. One of Australia’s most notable artists Lloyd Rees lived in Northwood for many years and prompted its design. He also made a financial contribution towards the construction of the bandstand. It was designed by Harry Howard a noted Sydney Architect.

Lloyd Rees - sourceGarry Stanley Jane Rothschild Dr. Edward Higginbotham
Lloyd Rees – source Garry Stanley Jane Rothschild
Dr. Edward Higginbotham Heritage Report June 2009

When the bandstand was constructed it was applauded for its use of tensioned stainless steel and modern polyester fabrics.

The Bandstand is the focal point of the Lane Cove Plaza. How many times have you met people on or near the bandstand? It has been the location of numerous local music concerts, speeches, gathering and events since its construction (most recently the Lane Cove Australian Day Citizenship Ceremony).


It has been modified since its construction and its location slightly moved, but the core feature of the bandstand remains the same – the stainless steel and the material covering.  In 2018 the roof was replaced.

Lloyd Rees and Northwood

If you’ve ever driven along Cliff Road Northwood and seen a house that looks like it should be located on the Riviera – you are correct. Famous Australian and former Northwood Resident Lloyd Rees built this home in 1934 as a tribute to his love of the Riviera. Lloyd Rees and his wife Marjory lived in their Northwood home until 1986. In 1986 Lloyd Rees moved to Tasmania to be with family. Lloyd passed away in 1988 and left the house to his son Alan.

For 30 years Lloyd’s studio remained untouched as a homage to Lloyd and his talent. The contents of Lloyd’s studio were removed by the Art Gallery of NSW.

The house is of historical importance and is listed on the NSW Heritage Register by the Lane Cove Council. When a house is listed by a local council on the Heritage Register, owners need to seek approval from the local council if they wish to make major changes which may affect the heritage significance of the place.

Rees was a member of the famous Northwood group of artists. The Northwood artists tended towards landscape painting and would regularly go on painting excursions around Sydney Harbour.

Why is the Band Stand Not on the Lane Cove Heritage List?

This leads to the question – why is the bandstand not on the Lane Cove Heritage List? Over the years the matter has come before the Lane Cove Council. In 2008 there was an outcry when the bandstand was not included in the Lane Cove Plaza redevelopment plans. In 2009 the Lane Cove Council tabled a Heritage Report prepared by Dickson Rothschild Heritage Report (May 2009) which noted that the bandstand is regarded as historically, aesthetically and socially significant for Lane Cove.

So what do you think?  Should the Lloyd Rees Bandstand be on the Heritage Register?

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