Terrace House Including Interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Terrace House Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Terrace House Including Interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 28 Francis Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
28 Francis StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Federation house at 28 Francis Street, designed by architect William Young, is part of a row of terraces which date from an earlier period but it still contributes greatly to the picturesque nineteenth century townscape of the area, and which is enhanced by the steep slope of Francis Street.
Date significance updated: 29 Dec 10
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: William A Young
Construction years: 1915-1916
Physical description: Two storey Federation terrace house featuring decorative parapets and ironwork. It has a Federation period timber verandah structure and a parapet with roughcast panels.

The interior of the house retains original room layout, timber joinery and most features. The fireplaces are at one corner of each of the front two rooms on both levels and have cast-iron inserts. The surroundings of the fireplaces which are currently timber, may be later alterations. The timber stair, with a closed string, carved timber newel posts, timber balusters and mopulded timber handrail, remains intact. The ceilings are in lath-plaster with low moulded plaster cornices and middle rosettes. The front rooms have batten grids on the ceiling. The kitchen fireplace has also been retained.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Externally the building is in a fair condition. The internal plasterwork shows cracking, bulging and paint peeling (Oct 2010).
Date condition updated:29 Dec 10
Modifications and dates: Council's archival record suggests that the building was erected in 1915/16 for the owner then Maleta Susan Dohm. The architect was William A Young (BA 551/15).
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: Residentia


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 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.

Francis Street did not appear on the first City Assessment of 1842 but appears in the second assessment of 1848. By 1858 Francis Street was well populated. ( Ref: Jill Sheppard 2002)

By the mid 1860s a two storey brick dwelling had been erected at the rear boundary with the main frontage to the rear lane. The Rygate and West survey of 1887 shows a building located at the rear of the site fronting onto the Lane with the front portion of the site vacant.

In 1869 the property was purchased by Henry McKinley and it was inherited by his son James McKinley on his father's death in 1886. James was married to Maleta Susan Dohm but she soon remarried 2 months after his death in 1895. Her new husband Arthur Dohm was a master mariner.

The existing 2 storey house was designed by architect Alfred Young (who had offices in Castlereagh St) and erected in 1915/1916 for Maleta Susan Dohm who never lived in the house. The first resident was Alfred new in 1916. (Ref: John Oultram Heritage Impact Statement 2010)

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 b)
[Associative significance]
The building is associated with architect William A Young.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is a good example of a freestanding terrace house which demonstrates many of the key features of the Federation style including decorative brick parapet, timber casement windows with curved heads and multi coloured fanlight windows and timber verandah detailing.
SHR Criteria f)
The house is not rare but is unusual in that it post dates most of the other houses in Francis Street which was first subdivided as part of the Riley Estate in 1853.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of a Federation style terrace house found in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: High
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 2012I32914 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
WrittenJill Sheppard Heritage Consultants2002Heritage Impact Statement - 26A Francis Street
WrittenJohn Oultram Heritage and Design2010Heritage Impact Statement

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: 2420808

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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