Heritage

Rockdale Town Hall

Item details

Name of item: Rockdale Town Hall
Other name/s: Rockdale Town Hall
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Government and Administration
Category: Council Chambers
Primary address: 448 Princes Highway, Rockdale, NSW 2216
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
448 Princes HighwayRockdaleRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Rockdale Town Hall is historically significant as evidence of local government in Rockdale and southern Sydney. The building is aesthetically significant as a local landmark building on the Princes Highway in Rockdale.The building is a fine representative example of a late inter-war stripped classical building with functionalist influences.
Date significance updated: 28 Sep 10
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Branch intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: Architect D.B. Gardiner
Builder/Maker: Paynter and Dixon Pty. Ltd.
Construction years: 1940-1940
Physical description: Two storey red brick building with parapets to the street frontages of Princes Highway and Bryant Street. Vertical recessed panels housing winws on two levels emphasising the vertical on the facades. Addressing the corner is a stepped brick clock tower and flag pole. Addressing the Princes Highway is a sandstone portico with balcony and access to the interior. The building behind the two storey front is lower and houses a hall on one level. The walls of the hall are articulated by brick buttresses once again emphasising the vertical. The brick detailing is high quality.

The interior of the hall is previously recorded to have elaborate art deco style plaster details to walls and ceiling.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is in reasonable condition. There is a conifer planted in the corner of the front elevation next to the portico which obscures the view of the building and may lead to structural damage. It is an inappropriate planting in this location.
Date condition updated:24 Jun 10
Modifications and dates: BA-1993/812: ADDITION TO COUNCIL BUILDING BRIDGE LINK CLASS 5
DA-2004/1086 : RELOCATION AND RENOVATION OF ROCKDALE JUNIOR LIBRARY
DA-2004/362 : REFURBISHMENT OF EXISTING FIRST FLOOR LUNCH ROOM IN TOWN HALL BUILDING
DA-2009/408 : Upgrade the allowable loading for the Town Hall stage
Current use: Town Hall
Former use: Town Hall

History

Historical notes: The land on which the Town Hall is constructed was first auctioned to Thomas Holt the Younger on the 21 November 1853.
Early settlers in the district had an intensifying interest in their own future. A meeting was held in the " Tempe Family Hotel " on the 7th of June 1870. A committee was appointed to define the boundary of the proposed municipality. The Municipality of West Botany was duly incorporated on the 13 th January 1871.
In 1872 during the mayoralty of James Beehag it occupied its first official council chambers. The simple building on the western side of Rocky Point Road, Arncliffe on land purchased for the purpose for 20 pounds from Mrs. David Hannam. It had a single door and fireplace and louvered windows. It was built of stone by Christopher Bush of St Peters At a cost of 104 pounds. It continued its municipal services until 1888, when new council chambers were erected on the site of the present Town Hall. Mr William Kenwood, architect supervised the old town hall, and in later years he carried out extensive renovations to it.
The present Hall was built in 1940 replacing the original hall on this site as part of a general road widening scheme for the Princes Highway.
The Hall has since been the site of many important public occasions such as the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 when thousands gathered in and around the building and the building was festooned in banners.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Rockdale-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Village community to commuter suburb - Facilities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Rockdale Town Hall is historically significant as evidence of local government in Rockdale and southern Sydney
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building is associated with Rockdale Municipal (City) Council. The building is associated with public events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is aesthetically significant as a local landmark building on the Princes Highway in Rockdale.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
It is likely the community of Rockdale and the Council have a special association with the place.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building is a fine representative example of a late inter-war stripped classical building with functionalist influences.
Integrity/Intactness: The building is substantially intact
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  25 Aug 00 109 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Study1991421Meredith Walker and Terry Kass  No
Rockdale Heritage Inventory Review2010 Louise Thom  Yes

References, internet links & images

None

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2330157


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