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: 257-297 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
257-297 Forbes StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Nos. 257-297 Forbes Street have historical and aesthetic significance as a fine example of a Federation Queen Anne Style terrace group that extends the entire western side of Forbes Street between Liverpool and Burton Streets, and makes a vital aesthetic contribution to the streetscape. The extent of the building, comprising twenty-one terraces, and its style is rare in the immediate area. The terraces are historically significant as part of the pattern of worker's terrace housing in Darlinghurst, representing the construction of new housing in the area at the beginning of the 20th century.
Date significance updated: 31 Dec 09
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.


Construction years: 1900-1901
Physical description: Two and three storey Federation Queen Anne style terrace house group, of 21 terraces, occupying the entire western side of Forbes Street between Burton and Liverpool Streets. It demonstrates key elements of the style including an asymmetrical roof form, the use of half timbering and rough-cast render, decorative timberwork, face brickwork and tuck pointing.

The terrace row has a complex roof form. The main roof is pitched with a ridge line running along the terraces and interrupted at regular intervals by the protrusion of masonry party walls of the individual terraces. Almost all of the terrace roofs are of galvanised iron. Towards the rear, are unpainted rendered chimneys with simple terracotta chimney pots. The forward section of the roof is interrupted at irregular intervals by three storey terraces with gable roofs. Each of the two storey terraces has a projecting gable finished in rough cast render with mock half timbering detailing.

The terraces have inset ground floor and first floor verandahs. The timber detailing varies considerably along the row; a number of the first floor verandahs have been enclosed. At ground floor level each terrace has an offset front door and a single window to one side; at first floor level there is a pair of French doors.

The rear section of the terrace row is built on a random stone base. Each terrace has a brick wing with a skillion roof situated at right angles to the main terrace building. These rear wings vary between two and three storeys, depending on the number of levels in the corresponding terrace. Rising above the rendered (unpainted) chimneys with simple terracotta pots.

The rear and side elevations of the terrace row are of unpainted face brickwork or unpainted render. A number of windows have been replaced with aluminium frames. To the rear of some terraces are single storey brick and timber laundries and wcs, with external access only. There are some upper storey rear decks.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
While the basic form of the Federation Queen Anne terrace row is intact, changes to individual terraces - the painting of brickwork, enclosure of first floor verandahs and removal of original timber work has impacted on the presentation of the row as a whole.

(Information sourced from Weir + Phillips Architects and Heritage Consultants, "Heritage Report No. 281-287 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst")
Date condition updated:29 Aug 05
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: Residential
Former use: Residential


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, the Cadigal and Wangal people were largely decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

The first land grant in the area was 100 acres on Woolloomooloo Bay granted to Commissary John Palmer in 1793. Palmers grant was immediately east of Sydney Common Grounds. To the east, a group of smaller grants were made to important colonists by Governor Darling for private residences. These included Edward Deas Thomson’s "Barham" and James Laidley’s "Rosebank", both believed to be designed by John Verge, in the area between Darlinghurst Road and Bourke Street. Palmer built his residence at Woolloomooloo in 1801. As a farmer and grazier Palmer was a success and he subsequently became one of the pre-eminent land and stock holders in the colony. Palmer added to his holdings by purchasing farms in Surry Hills. He held the position of Commissary General until 1808 after which he returned to England to face an inquiry into the Rum Rebellion. While abroad, Palmer leased his land to Alexander Riley. On arrival back to Australia in May 1814 he found himself in increasing debt.

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. After years of litigation, the Riley Estate was eventually divided into seven parcels of land of equal value and raffled amongst the heirs. The Commission appointed to oversee this subdivision needed to create streets that would divide up the seven portfolios of blocks. This task was complicated by the Commission’s desire to confirm T.L. Mitchell’s plan for the streets within the bounds of the Riley Estate - especially Crown and Bourke Streets. The streets within the Riley Estate, including Crown Street, were finally proclaimed in 1848.

The site formed part of Block D of the Riley Estate.

The building was constructed c1901.

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]
No. 257-297 Forbes Street have local historical significance as part of the pattern of worker's terrace housing in Darlinghurst, and representing the construction of new housing in the area at the beginning of the 20th century. Designed in the Federation Queen Anne Style, they are a relatively late example of a common building form in the area.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
No. 257-297 Forbes Street, have aesthetic significance as being a fine example of Federation Queen Ann Style terrace that extends the entire western side of the street between Burton and Liverpool Streets which contributes to the character of the streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
Nos. 257-297 Forbes Street is a locally rare example of a Federation Queen Anne Style style . It is also uncommon being a long row of twenty-one terraces that extends a full street block
SHR Criteria g)
Representative example of Federation Queen Anne Style terrace.
Integrity/Intactness: Moderate
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 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 facade of the building other than to reinstate original features including removal of balcony enclosures. 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, shall not be visually prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydeny LEP 2012I31414 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenWeir + Phillips Architects and Heritage Consultants2003Heritage Report 281-287 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst

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: 2420754

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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