House "Eveleigh Rest House" including interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


House "Eveleigh Rest House" including interior

Item details

Name of item: House "Eveleigh Rest House" including interior
Other name/s: Engineman's Rest House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Mansion
Primary address: 39 Brandling Street, Alexandria, NSW 2015
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
39 Brandling StreetAlexandriaSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

In 1902 the Railway Commissioners resumed land on Brandling Street and built a large two-storey building of an expanded domestic design with 13 principle rooms. The building was used as a barracks or dormitory to provide accommodation for the "running staff" on rail lines.

The building was used by the SRA's fire protection services during 1980s-90s, and it is used as a private residence. It remains little altered from its original appearance and layout.

It is the largest of the few surviving railway barracks buildings in the State of NSW.
Date significance updated: 24 Oct 14
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.


Builder/Maker: NSW Railway Commission
Construction years: 1902-1903
Physical description: Two storey Edwardian mansion on a quite street featuring single or double storey late Victorian or Federation dwellings.
The building is of Federation/ Edwardian style. It is surrounded by gardens and has verandas on three sides, paved with flagstones. The corridors runs in the middle of the house at both floor levels. The middle entrance is flanked with 2 windows on the ground level and 5 windows are displayed at the first level. All external walls are rendered and painted and the hipped roof is clad with corrugated iron roofing.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is currently used as a private residence. It largely maintains its original room layout.
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: private 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 the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

An article in Evening News (Sydney, NSW 1869-1931) on 9th March 1903 stated the rest houses was just completed. The barracks weres built to provide accommodation for the running staff when they were away from their homes. It provided accommodation, beds and attendance. Before the new rest house, there was one barrack existing for some time close to the running shed in the locomotive yard at Eveleigh. The old barracks site was requested by a proposed extension of the Eveleigh locomotive shops and a new site was searched by the railway commission. The Brandling St site was selected due to its closeness to the workshops and being in a quite neighbourhood. Internally it has 13 principle rooms and kitchen and dinning areas. The dinning area was occasionally used as a conference room. The barracks were attended.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The rest house was erected in 1902 for the enginemen working on the rail lines. It was associated with Eveleigh Workshops, which was the largest railway workshops in the southern hemisphere. It provided accommodation for the train drivers working on shifts. It is currently in a heritage conservation area.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site was claimed by NSW railway commission and was used as a barrack for engine drivers. The old barracks were in the Eveleigh locomotive workshop yard.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The mansion differs from neighbouring residential dwellings due to its scale and style. It stands out from surrounding buildings and makes a great contribution to the character of the streetscape.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building has considerable social value as it was closely related to the working conditions and wellbeing of common workers in Eveleigh.
SHR Criteria f)
It is the largest surving railway barracks in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
It represents the accommodation establishments for large corporate and a good example of Federation style mansions.
Integrity/Intactness: 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.

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. All conservation, adaptive reuse and future development should be undertaken in accordance with the Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter). Archival photographic recording, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines, should be undertaken before major changes. 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 LEP 2012I1014 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

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

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

(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: 2420506

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