Terrace Group Including Interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Terrace Group Including Interiors

Item details

Name of item: Terrace Group Including Interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 9-11 Bourke Street, Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
9-11 Bourke StreetWoolloomoolooSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

9-11 Bourke Street is a representative example of a Victorian terrace pair, which as part of row of terraces from 9-21 Bourke Street makes a positive contribution to the streetscape.
Date significance updated: 04 Sep 06
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.


Physical description: 9-11 Bourke Street is a two storey terrace pair, with attic, in a row of terraces, 9-21 Bourke Street. It is a narrow infill site with no side setbacks and a 1 metre front setback. It has a corrugated iron, gable roof with a dormer above a parapeted brick façade which features an appropriate 4 panelled door. The windows are obscured by timber shutters. The balcony at No 11 has a cast iron balsutrade whilst the balcony at No 9 is infilled. The verandah features sandstone flagging and the fence is an appropriate open palisade, 1.2mm high.

There is a two storey rear skillion rear wing with an end gable and a chimney straddling the boundary between No 9 amd No 11.
Date condition updated:31 Mar 05
Modifications and dates: Render has been stripped off the façade except on the parpapet and fin walls.

Front Balcony has been enclosed at 9.

Much significant internal fabric has been removed at No 11 including the fireplaces and most ceilings.
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.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


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 European invasion of the Sydney region from 1788, the Cadigal and Wangal people were largely decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

In the 1840s the name 'Woolloomooloo' was applied fairly indiscriminately to parts of East Sydney and Darlinghurst, as well as to the valley and the heights beyond. Part of the Woolloomooloo valley was originally granted to the Commissary General John Palmer in 1793 by Governor Grose. To the east, smaller parcels of land were granted to politically powerful men in the colony to build homes.

Palmer built Woolloomooloo House on his 100 acres in about 1801, and developed a reputation for entertaining. During the Rum Rebellion in 1808, Palmer aligned himself with Governor Bligh and consequently suffered commercial loss returning to England for a period to clear his name. While abroad, Palmer leased his land to Alexander Riley. Upon his return, in order to meet his debts, Palmer sold his Woolloomooloo Estate to Ann Riley, Edward Riley’s wife, in 1822. When Edward suicided in 1825, the Estate was tied up with two conflicting wills. The first division of the estate occurred in 1835. The seven beneficiaries of Riley’s Estate subdivided their properties from the 1840s. The first subdivision in the Woolloomooloo Basin occurred in 1842.

Development intensified with the gold rushes of the 1850- 1860s. The area was significantly settled by the 1850’s with a mixture of shops and residences, interspersed with fenced paddocks.

East of Forbes Street lay several estates that extended down the escarpment from Potts Point including E. Hallam’s grant, Judge Stephen’s grant and the Tusculum Estate. Judge James Dowling received an 8 acre land grant in 1831 bounded by William Street, Dowling Street and Victoria Street and built Brougham Lodge on his property. He allocated some of his grant for the formation of streets such as Victoria Street, Duke Street and McElhone Street. His estate was subdivided in 1846. Subdivision of A. Campbell’s Estate occurred in 1849 and included lots in Macleay, Victoria, Brougham and Forbes Street. Brougham Lodge was located on Victoria Street and was subdivided into 22 allotments.

Land north of Griffiths Street and thereabouts was reclaimed and subdivided by the Crown and offered for sale in 1865.

The 1867 Sands Directory indicates that the area between Cowper Wharf Road and Nicholson Road was vacant with No 25 developed by 1868. Nos 15-21 is first shown as being occupied in 1875. No 13 is shown as unfinished in 1877 and Nos 9-13 are each shown as vacant in 1884 which may mean that they had all been built by then. In 1886 No 9 is occupied by John E. Chant, No 11 Ernest Beckers and No 13, Henry Ireland, boat proprietor

By 1882, Woolloomooloo was one of the most popular and distinct divisions within the city. The streets were highly packed with modest worker’s cottages interspersed with a few earlier mansions. Social decline of the area was evident by the 1890s and continued through the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1968, a decision to prepare a comprehensive planning scheme for the whole of Sydney was made. An ‘intensive, integrated, multi-level development’ was proposed for Woolloomooloo. The road system was to be totally reorganised by removing lesser roads and amalgamating sites for large scale development. The port was to be redeveloped and residential buildings were to be restricted to the edge of the domain and on Victoria Street. The Woolloomooloo Redevelopment Central Plan was adopted in 1969.

Dissent in the local community grew and in 1972 the Woolloomooloo Resident Action Group was formed. This group suggested the acquisition of land in Woolloomooloo for medium density housing development as an alternative to the high density commercial development that was being approved. The resident group approached the Builders Labourers Federation to ban demolition. These protests were effective and in May 1974, the Minister announced that the Housing Commission would build medium density housing in Woolloomooloo.

In 1975, the Housing Commission began resuming property. Less than 7 acres were resumed, some terrace housing was restored and new dwellings were erected. By 1979, 68 dwellings were complete, with construction continuing through to the 1990s. The battle to save the finger wharf also continued into the 1990s, with the redevelopment of the wharf completed in 2000.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building has historic significance as it dates from the key period of development of Woolloomoolo providing evidence of the reclamation of land and the subsequent subdivision for development in the vicinity of Woollloomooloo Bay.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building has aesthetic significance as a representative example of a Victorian terrace pair, which as part of a row of terraces from 9-21 Bourke street makes a positive contribution to the streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of a Victorian terrace pair found in Wolloomooloo and the inner suburbs of Sydney.
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 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 façade 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 LEP 2012I210914 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Review1998 Architectural Projects  No

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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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2420489

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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