Former Warehouse "Msb Stores" Including Interior | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Former Warehouse "Msb Stores" Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Former Warehouse "Msb Stores" Including Interior
Other name/s: Bond Store 1; Australian Gas Light Company Stores and Offices
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Warehouse/storage area
Location: Lat: -33.8641307659804 Long: 151.20215816372
Primary address: 36 Hickson Road, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
36 Hickson RoadMillers PointSydney  Primary Address
2-4 Jenkins StreetMillers PointSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The MSB Stores building 1 is a good example of a Victorian Georgian warehouse building. It is historically significant as part of Sydney's first gas-manufacturing plant and illustrates the early development and subsequent growth of the organisation. The building has significance for its association with the port facilities and maritime activities of Darling Harbour and its role in the historical, social and physical development of Sydney. The building has strong associations with prominent persons and organisations such as the Australian Gas Light Company, Sydney Harbour Trust and Maritime Services Board. It has scientific significance as the oldest remaining above ground structure from Sydney's first gas manufacturing plants and is a rare example of a Harbourside stone warehouse of the early Victorian period using traditional construction materials and techniques. It is the largest and finest remaining example of the five remaining sandstone warehouse buildings located in the city.

The MSB store building 2 is a purpose built brick structure constructed by the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) to house specialist equipment and has historic significance for its role in what was Sydney's first gas-manufacturing plant and gasworks. It represents the development of AGL and gas technology and provides evidence of the way in which the structures were altered to suit various uses and occupants. It also has historic significance for its association with the port facilities and maritime activities of Darling Harbour its long association with organisations such as the Australian Gas Light Company, Sydney Harbour Trust and Maritime Services Board. The building is one of the four warehouse buildings in this style in the city and remains largely intact externally but due to the modification of the facades and poorly designed addition which adjoins it on the western side, this building holds the least aesthetic significance of the four. The building retains little of the original fabric internally and none of the original equipment and therefore holds little historic or aesthetic significance for the interiors.
Date significance updated: 31 Oct 08
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: Henry Ginn (MSB Store 1)
Builder/Maker: John Morris (MSB Store 1)
Construction years: 1844-1899
Physical description: The Jenkins Street building 1 is a five storey sandstone building built in 1844-1845 as an office and warehouse for the Australian Gaslight Company. It is constructed on a cliff presenting a single (top) storey to Jenkins Street and incorporates a former stone cottage built at the same time and a later addition which make up the two storey section of the building to the south. The facades feature smooth tooled ashlar sandstone with an oversized dentilled frieze, sandstone stepped parapet, parapeted gables and timber framed windows. The slate roof has four chimneys, two covered skylights and three roof ventilators. Internally a timber post and beam structure supports timber floors. The upper floor has partitioned office and WC areas. Timber stairs and a lift connect all levels. The ground floor has three large openings each with a pair of timber doors fronting an open area and carpark accessed from Hickson Road. The MSB building 2 is located immediately west.
Category:Group of buildings; Individual building.
Style:Victorian Georgian.
Storeys:5 (store); 2 (cottage).
Facade:Sandstone.
Side/Rear Walls:Sandstone.
Internal Walls:Sandstone.
Roof Cladding:Slate tile.
Internal Structure:Timber post & beam.
Floor:Timber joists & boards.
Roof:Timber trusses, timber framing.
Ceilings:Exposed floor framing, pressed metal, susp. acoustic tiles, timber boarding.
Stairs:Timber construction.
Lifts:1.

The MSB Store building on Hickson Road is a brick two storey building designed in the Federation Warehouse style and built in 1899 against a cliff on the south west side of the MSB Store building 1. Building 2 has been extensively altered with a western addition extending to Hickson Road forming a two storey wing and creating an "L" shape plan. This building features timber frame windows, brick parapeted gables and a corrugated steel pitched roof. The base of the original section of the building has been cement rendered and it appears that the thickened zone of the external wall is unexcavated sandstone bedrock. The upper storey of the western wing cantilevers out beyond the lower floor and loading bay and is supported by two steel columns. To the north of the building is an open yard and carpark which is accessible from Hickson Road.
Category:Group of Buildings;
Individual Building.
St yle:Federation Warehouse.
Storeys:2. Facade:Face brick.
Side/Rear Walls:Face brick.
Internal Walls:Loadbearing brick.
Roof Cladding:Corrugated steel sheeting.
Internal Structure:Loadbearing walls & steel beams, steel columns.
Floor:Reinf. conc. slab.
Roof:Steel trusses, timber trusses.
Ceilings:Susp. plasterbd..
Stairs:Steel stairs.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
MSB 1:
Generally the exterior sandstone is in poor condition. Some sandstone restoration work has occurred however there is still significant damage to the parapets and copings. Some of the coping stones are missing others are severely weathered and have lost their dressed finish. Some cracking of internal walls is evident as are the effects of rising damp. Poor drainage is causing water damage both internally and externally and to the eastern wall which is built against a rock face. Timbers are generally in good condition. The roof is in fair condition although some of the slate tiles are missing..Intrusive Elements:Security bars attached to external openings. Street signs attached to the Jenkins Street sandstone facade. Steel I beam gantry on the lower level. Steel framed and clad awning on the lower level.

MSB 2:
Generally the building is in good condition. The corrugated steel roof on the eastern side of the 1899 building is corroding and may require replacing. The sandstone coping stones on the top of the parapets are badly weathered. The east wall of the 1899 building acts as a retaining wall and is showing signs of dampness. The ground floor concrete slab is in poor condition. Intrusive Elements:Brick infill to original arched openings, all non-original (post 1920) internal building fabric including stair and amenities. Brick and reinf. conc. addition which abuts the western wall.
Date condition updated:04 Jan 06
Modifications and dates: MSB 1: 1844-1845

MSB 2:1899-1900, 1960s (additional floor)
Further information: MSB 1:
High Significance:Overall form, original and early external fabric including sandstone walls, parapets and chimneys, slate roofing, windows and doors. Internal timber post and beam structure. Brick paving of lower southern section. Medium Significance:Internal timber staircase; cellular compartments under Jenkins Street; reconstructed southern gable at southern end, lift and lift mechanism. Low Significance:Skylight structures in roof, fixed timber shelving, office and wc partitioning on the upper level, suspended acoustic ceiling and other modern finishes. Was a heritage item in 1989, and has remained so since that time.

MSB 2:
High Significance:External form of the building not including the western addition. Medium Significance:External building fabric of the original building, including brick walls, roof and windows. Original steel beams supporting upper floor slab. Low Significance:Internal slabs, fixtures and fittings including the three fluted cast iron columns within the structure at the lower level.
Current use: Warehouse
Former use: Warehouse

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

MSB 1:
The Australian Gaslight Company purchased land for the Gasworks in July 1839. Construction commenced soon after with the works including the construction of a retort room, purifying room, forge, wharf and gasboilers. In 1844 AGL decided to build a store and cottage on the site. The buildings were designed by Henry Ginn and John Morris was the chosen builder. The stone used for the construction of the buildings was quarried on site by Morris after the quarrymen refused to supply the material. During the construction an old retaining wall collapsed revealing a ledge of rock approximately 13 feet high and nearly vertical. It was recommended that the east wall of the warehouse be erected on this ledge. The AGL Secretary received the keys to the new buildings on 5 April 1845. John Morris leased the cottage and one of the floors of the new warehouse building. By the end of 1845 , the five storey warehouse building, a workshop (constructed by Morris) and the cottage stood above the Gasworks in Jenkins Street. In 1851 a timber cantilevered balcony was constructed along the western wall of the top storey of the building. In 1968 improvements were made to the front entrance of the building at wharf level. By the end of 1868 the building existed in its present form, incorporating the cottage and infill structure and also included a one storey section at the southern end which was later demolished. The additional building at Hickson Road level was probably constructed in 1899 -1900 to house the Carburetted Water Gas Plant. The Gasworks continued to operate until September 1921 when the Sydney Harbour Trust took over. The Trust used the building as a store and renovated the top floor to include offices in 1923 and again in 1950s. The building is currently used by MSB as a storage and warehouse facility.

MSB 2:
The Australian Gaslight Company purchased land for the Gasworks in July 1839 and construction commenced soon after. The Hickson Road building was probably constructed in 1899 - 1900 to house the Carburetted Water Gas Plant (CWGP). It was sited below the southern section (the former cottage) of the Jenkins Street building. Built of brick with arched windows and doors the original structure appears to have comprised a single open space about 16 feet high with loft area above. The Gasworks continued to operate until September 1921 when the Sydney Harbour Trust took over. By this time all of the plant equipment had been removed. There have been at least two additions to the building and a number of changes to the detailing, the arched windows for example have been replaced with rectinear paned windows and the arched openings bricked up. Approximately thirty years ago, a new concrete slab floor was constructed in the original section to replace the previous flooring. This new slab is supported by the original steel floor beams and ornate cast iron columns which were apparently from another site. Most recently the building has provided amenities and change rooms for MSB employees.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The MSB 1 store building is significant as part of Sydney's first gas-manufacturing plant and gasworks. It is significant for its association with the port facilities and maritime activities of Darling Harbour.

The MSB 2 Hickson Road store building is significant for the part it played in Sydney's first gas-manufacturing plant and gasworks. Specifically constructed to house specialist equipment, it represents the development of AGL. It is significant for its association with the port facilities and maritime activities of Darling Harbour and with organisations such as the Australian Gas Light Company, Sydney Harbour Trust and Maritime Services Board.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
It is associated with architects Ginn, Hilly and Mansfield and with organisations such as the Australian Gas Light Company, Sydney Harbour Trust and Maritime Services Board.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The MSB 1 building is the oldest remaining above ground structure from Sydney's first gas manufacturing plant and is a fine example of a warehouse in the Victorian Georgian style, significant for its use of stone quarried on the site.

The MSB 2 building has lost much of its aesthetic significance due to the heavily modified facades and the two storey addition which abuts the western facade.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The MSB 1 store building is associated with the supply of gas to the community and later with the port and maritime facilities of Darling Harbour which played an important role in the social and physical development of Sydney. Has social significance locally.The store building is a fine example of a warehouse in the Victorian Georgian style, significant for its use of stone quarried on the site.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is a rare example of a Victorian Georgian style Harbourside warehouse of the early Victorian period using traditional construction materials and techniques.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
It is representative of the style as used in a warehouse building.
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.

Recommended management:

MSB 1: The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. General: The form, scale, materials and detail of the external facade should be retained. Future work should be in accordance with the existing conservation plan, updated as necessary prior to any development proposal. Surfaces never intended for painting, notably sandstone, should remain unpainted, while surfaces such as timber which were originally painted should continue to be painted in appropriate colours. Window and door openings should not be enlarged or filled in and replacements should be complementary to the style of the building. There should be no alterations which adversely impact on the external fabric or break through the roofline and parapet. Exterior: Surviving significant fabric of the building such as the sandstone facades and their detailing should be conserved. Significant features such as the gables, detailed frieze and parapet, box gutter, chimneys and slate roofing should be preserved, or repaired or reconstructed where damaged or missing. Damaged sandstone should be repaired as appropriate. The box gutter and downpipe should be reconstructed, and the street signs removed from the Jenkins Street facade. Interior: The internal timber framing and structure should be preserved. Significant elements such as the brick paving in the lower floor of the southern section should also be retained. Whilst the cellular compartments under Jenkins Street have been bricked up, some additional work is necessary to prevent further water damage due to water seeping from the rockface. MSB 2: Generally: Future work should be in accordance with the existing conservation plan, updated as necessary prior to any development proposal. Surfaces never intended for painting, notably brick, should remain unpainted, while surfaces such as timber which were originally painted should continue to be painted in appropriate colours. Exterior: The building fabric has been extensively modified and altered with numerous unsympathetic elements and therefore could be altered. However the overall form of the original section of the building should be conserved. As the building is not now used for its original function, adaptation may be desirable but proposals for new work should consider the demolition of the western two storey addition, which is an intrusive element and does not contribute to the significance of the building. The building has been so heavily modified on the facades that it is probably not possible to return it to its original style, therefore sympathetic alternatives should be considered. Interior: Refurbishment and adaptive reuse of the original building is preferable to demolition. Consideration should be given to proposals which do not impact on the external form and original fabric of the building. Internal alterations should be allowed.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I88014 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Sydney City Council DAs & BAs.
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenRod Howard et. Al.1991Conservation Plan for MSB Stores at 2-4 Jenkins Street, Millers Point
WrittenTrevor Howells1999Heritage Impact Assessment

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: 2423782


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