Former Darlinghurst Police Station Including Interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Former Darlinghurst Police Station Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Former Darlinghurst Police Station Including Interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Police station
Primary address: 301 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
301 Forbes StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address
Forbes Street (Corner)DarlinghurstSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Darlinghurst Police Station is a fine example of Edwardian style and provides and important visual feature on its corner site. The original 1899 structure is basically intact with the later additions being sympathetic. The building with its padded cell, original cells and former Prison Tram Yard is important to the history of the Police Force in New South Wales.
Date significance updated: 30 Apr 01
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.


Designer/Maker: W.L. Vernon
Physical description: Two storey Edwardian police station of brick with sandstone footings, string courses and detailing of windows and doorway. Corner drum towers has conical slate roof and metal caps with carved royal coat of arms above central window. Interior has 'V' shaped plan with offices, padded cell, exercise yard and cells with white glazed brick walls. Former prison Tram yard is now a Prison Van enclosure.
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Former use: Police Station


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.

The nucleus of the present building was constructed in 1899, by Government Architect W.L Vernon, at a cost of 3000 pounds. It was built on the site of the 1850's Darlinghurst watch house. A court for centralising lunacy cases was established in the building. Two additional cells were built in 1930 and in 1935 an upper floor was added to the former single storey side wings. Major remodelling was made to the station in 1955-56

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes (none)-

Recommended management:

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. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the fa├žade of the building other than to reinstate 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. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney Local Environmental Plan 2012I31614 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

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

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2420332

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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