William Wilkins Building - Fort Street High School, including interiors | NSW Environment & Heritage

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William Wilkins Building - Fort Street High School, including interiors

Item details

Name of item: William Wilkins Building - Fort Street High School, including interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Education
Category: School - State (public)
Primary address: 620 Parramatta Road, Petersham, NSW 2049
Local govt. area: Marrickville
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
620 Parramatta RoadPetershamMarrickville  Primary Address
Palace StreetPetershamMarrickville  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Fort Street High School is a descendant of the Fort Street Normal School, Observatory Hill. This was the oldest state-directed school in Sydney and the centre of the state educational structure in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was also the teacher training institution for the state system until 1910 and was the largest school in the state in the later nineteenth century. The William Wilkins Building, constructed in 1916 at the new Petersham site of Fort Street High School, commemorates this history in its name, after the 1851 Fort Street headmaster William Wilkins, a pioneer administrator of the NSW Colonial education system. The building is of aesthetic significance as a substantial, finely detailed Inter-war Romanesque style building on a prominent site, and which retains much of its original setting to Parramatta Road.The building is of social significance as a site of public education since 1916. Representative of the Inter-war Romanesque style.
Date significance updated: 12 Jan 12
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Physical description: The William Wilkins Building is a 3-storey brick and sandstone Inter-war Romanesque style building facing Parramatta Road, on sandstone foundations with a gabled concrete tiled roof, brick chimneys with hooded terracotta chimney pots. The building features a central 3-storey colonnade to the Parramatta Road façade with sandstone columns to the ground floor, arched brick openings to the 1st floor and pairs of timber posts to the 2nd floor. The ground floor colonnade is accessed via two sets of sandstone steps. The building faces Parramatta Road and features multipaned timber framed double hung windows and timber glazed doors. The buiding's landscaped setting to Parramatta Road appears relatively intact, retaining canariensis palm trees.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:03 Aug 99
Modifications and dates: Additions and security features. Ohterwise, minor modifications.
Further information: Draft
Current use: School

History

Historical notes: Fort Street High School was originally established in 1849 as a Model School at Observatory Hill. The school was split into Boy’s and Girl’s Fort Street High Schools, with the Boy’s Fort Street Highschool established on this site at Taverner’s Hill Petersham in 1916, and the old Fort Street High School building on Observatory Hill becoming a Girl’s High School. In 1975 the two Fort Street High Schools were reunited at Petersham, so that Fort Street High School Petersham was thereafter again a co-educational school. Fort Street High School is one of the top NSW selective highschools.
The William Wilkins building is named for William Wilkins (1827-1892), a pioneer administrator of the NSW Colonial education system, who was headmaster of the Fort Street School from 3 January 1851 (see www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060433b.htm?hilite=william%3Bwilkins for biographical details
Fort Street High School was the teacher training institution for the state system until 1910 and was the largest school in the state in the later nineteenth century which combined the functions of infants, primary and secondary schools. Fort Street became a formal high school for boys and girls in 1911. In 1916 Fort Street Boys moved to Petersham on the site of Wardell's Sara Dell. The building, built by the Education Department, had an impressive site and good views. The Girls High School moved to Petersham (where new buildings were added to the 1916 school) in 1974. The National Trust occupied the Observatory Hill site, which had originally been the Military Hospital.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Fort Street High School is a descendant of the Fort Street Normal School, Observatory Hill. This was the oldest state-directed school in Sydney and the centre of the state educational structure in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was also the teacher training institution for the state system until 1910 and was the largest school in the state in the later nineteenth century. The William Wilkins Building, constructed in 1916 at the new Petersham site of Fort Street High School, commemorates this history in its name, after the 1851 Fort Street headmaster William Wilkins, a pioneer administrator of the NSW Colonial education system.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is of aesthetic significance as a substantial, finely detailed Inter-war Romanesque style building on a prominent site, and which retains much of its original setting to Parramatta Road.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building is of social significance as a site of public education since 1916.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative of institutional Inter-war Romanesque style architecture.
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:

The building shall be retained and conserved. A Conservation Management Plan is recommended to accompany any development application for major works to the building. There shall be no alterations to the façade of the building other than repairs or reinstatement of original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved where present. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visually prominent or overwhelm the existing building, and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.Interpretation of the building's history and historical associations should be encouraged.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanMarrickville LEP 2011I21112 Dec 11 2011/645 
Within a conservation area on an LEPwithin draft cons. area Marrickville LEP 2001    
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Marrickville Heritage Study Review19972030373Tropman & Tropman Architects2000 Yes
Review of Potential Heritage Items for Marrickville Council2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAustralian Dictionary of Biography online William Wilkins biography
WrittenFort Street High School website - history http://www.fortstreet-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/

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: 2030373


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