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Four etched glass windows from the Seabreeze Hotel

  • 1939
The windows are a surviving element of the Seabreeze hotel, one of the best products of the brief Australian marriage of pubs and architectural modernism. Samuel Lipson, the architect of the Seabreeze, was a leading architect of the period.

Built at the height of the 1930s pub-building boom. the Seabreeze's contemporary structures included Ancher and Prevost's Civic Hotel, Sidney Warden's Clare Hotel and John M Hellyer's Hotel Hollywood. However these were brewery-owned buildings and came …


Object No.


Object Statement

Windows (4), etched glass, Seabreeze Hotel, Tom Ugly's Point, designed by Samuel Lipson, made by Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd, Australia, 1939

Physical Description

Windows (4), etched glass, Seabreeze Hotel, Tom Ugly's Point, designed by Samuel Lipson, made by Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd, Australia, 1939

Four glass window panels, two translucent, two clear. All feature a stylised seagull motif engraved at top; a wave motif decorates the lower part of the glass.

The windows are of differing sizes and from photographic evidence were most likely used in the exterior doors of the bars and other public spaces. According to the review of the Seabreeze in the journal Decoration and Glass (August 1939), 'The door of the bars are fumed oak, with large panels of glass. These are enriched with gravé [engraved], the design incorporating a conventional seagull, which is the motif maintained in the decorative scheme throughout the hotel'.



1630 mm


445 mm



  • 1939


Samuel Lipson (1901-1996) was born in Glasgow of Lithuanian Jewish parents. After completing his architectural education at the Glasgow School of Arts, Lipson migrated to Sydney in 1925. He initially worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works before establishing his own practice with Australian architect Peter Kaad.

During the 1930s Lipson and Kaad designed some of Sydney's most innovative buildings, including the Hastings Deering (now City Ford) car showroom and workshop, Darlinghurst and the Hoffnung office and warehouse, Clarence Street. These buildings were pioneering - for Sydney - applications of European functionalism to established building genres.

Lipson worked primarily for commercial clients, designing offices, milk bars, restaurants and showrooms. However he also designed the Israeli Embassy in Canberra and his largest project was the John Northcott public housing development in Surry Hills, Sydney.

According to the journal Decoration and Glass, the contractor for glass bricks, windows etc was Australian Window Glass Pty Ltd.



The Seabreeze Hotel was built in 1939 by the Princes Highway at Tom Ugly's Point, Blakehurst overlooking the George's River. An unusually large hotel for a suburban location, distant from any town centre of note, the Seabreeze was built partly due to a peculiarity of the NSW licensing laws: Tom Ugly's was just far enough away from the city to allow patrons to call themselves 'bona fide travellers' and hence be served alcohol after normal trading hours.

This legislative incentive to drink-driving saw Tom Ugly's become something of a pleasure precinct during the 1930s and 1940s, featuring as well as the Seabreeze Hotel a group of restaurants offering late-night wining and dining. These included Sam's, the Riverview, the Stork Club and the Colony Club, which featured a swimming pool and a cabaret show called the Aqua Follies.

Unlike most hotels of the era, the Seabreeze was designed to accommodate motorists, featuring a prominent driveway and a parking area behind the hotel.

Glass etching is a process using acid compounds and/or abrasive sandblasting to etch designs and patterns in glass.

The Seabreeze Hotel was demolished during the 1990s. The windows were among a small number of artefacts rescued from the site by Peter Notaras, who had lead a campaign to save the Seabreeze.


Credit Line

Gift of Graeme Vardill and Peter Notaras, 2011

Acquisition Date

17 March 2011

Cite this Object


Four etched glass windows from the Seabreeze Hotel 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 September 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Four etched glass windows from the Seabreeze Hotel |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 September 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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