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Apart from the car park and Monorail Station, the first substantial structures at World Square were Hordern Towers and the adjoining Avillion Hotel (now known as Rydges Hotel).

Completed in 1999, these two buildings were built by OSW Properties Pty Ltd on the north-east quadrant.  This had a different history from the rest of the block, most of which had been previously occupied by the Hordern emporium.

The Avillion (later Rydges Hotel World Square) was not the first hotel to occupy the site.  In 1880, Brown’s Royal Exchange stood on this corner of Liverpool and Pitt Streets.  By 1990 the proprietor was Minnie Davis and the hotel had been renamed the Ancient Briton.  Just down the road at 393 Pitt Street, the future site of Hordern Towers was the Concordia German Club.  The Metropolitan Hotel at 399 Pitt Street adjoined the Anthony Hordern Building. 

By 1926, Libby’s shoe shop (385-391) Pitt Street was on the corner.  It was about to be resumed from the construction of Sydney’s underground railway which would run right underneath the north-east corner.  From 1919, the shopping arcade known as The Hub was located at 393-397 Pitt Street, where Hordern Towers stands today, just out of reach of the railway resumptions.