Commercial Building including interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Commercial Building including interior

Item details

Name of item: Commercial Building including interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Primary address: 206-208 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
206-208 King StreetNewtownSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The building dates from the key period of development for King Street and the Newtown area as a result of the subdivision and subsequent redevelopment of the Leichhardt Lodge Estate. It is a good example of a Federation Commercial building which is a prominent element within the streetscape, particularly with its corner turret.
Date significance updated: 26 Jul 17
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: The building is a three storey Federation (Edwardian) style commercial building on a prominent corner site. It is constructed of face brickwork with paired timber double hung windows and doors and faceted oriel window on the corner at first and second floors with an octagaonal tower above with a pressed metal roof. The building is simply detailed with rendered cornices and string courses above the windows on each level. There is a low parapet that conceals metal deck low pitched roof which drains to a boxed gutter. A boxed suspended awning extends along the street frontages of the building.

The building has load bearing walls with a central row of columns which support heavy timber beams. Floorboards are likely to remain but have been covered with a post-war concrete slab.

A stair, with steel treads, connects the King Street entry to each level along the north-west boundary wall.

There is a loading bay and roller door near the southern corner of Brown Street and Buckland Lane. Near the loading bay is an original large lift surrounded by timber stairs. There is a lift motor room and roof access, with asbestos shingle wall cladding, that is partly visible from the street.

Significant internal fabric includes the heavy timber internal structure, pressed metal ceilings, original lift shaft car, lift machiney, lift motor room and roof access, and the timber stair case around the lift.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In fair condition with much original external fabric intact above awning level and high potential for restoration.
Date condition updated:02 Feb 03
Modifications and dates: The building has had several minor modifications primarily confined to the ground floor level.
A concrete slab has been laid on the timber floor at first and second floor levels.
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: Convenience Store, Restaurant, College
Former use: Retail and commercial


Historical notes: Historical Overview
This site forms part of the land of the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of land within the City of Sydney council boundaries. For information about the Aboriginal history of the local area see the City’s Barani website:

The King Street area was first surveyed for land grants in 1793 with the first grants being made to officers of the NSW Corps by Governor Phiillip prior to his return to England. By 1810 much of the land in the area had been distributed and a track established along the boundary of the grants. This track eventually became a road and was first known as Bulanaming Rd from 1789 to 1820 when it then became known as Cooks River Road, and then Newtown Rd in 1855 when the railway from Sydney to Parramatta was opened with a station at Newtown. By the 1850s the area had developed in to an established community. In the 1860s there was lobbying to establish a local council which occurred in 1862. From the 1870s the character began to change with light industry being established in the area resulting in a substantial increase in the population as workers moved to be in close proximity to their workplace. This included the nearby Eveleigh railway yards etsablished in 1879 and expanded in1885. The rapid increase in population resulted in the subdivision of the larger estates and the establishment of shops and services. By the 1880s Newtown had become the most flourishing retail area outside of the city and was well served by public transport. The building was constructed c 1900 and replaced an earlier building on the site.

Site History ( Based on NBRS 2017)
The site is part of the Leichhardt Lodge Estate of Stephen Campbell Brown (1829-1882). who was a member of the Legislative Assembly representing Newtown from 1864-1881. He resided at at Leichhardt Lodge from 1867 and it was considered to be one of the best houses in Newtown. The Estate was formerly occupied by W.H. Aldis, an early settler. The Estate was subdivided and sold after Brown’s death.

206-208 King Street is located on Lots 5 and 6 of the Leichhardt Lodge subdivison. By 1883, a pair of two storey "house and shops" had been built on the site. In July 1908, Elizabeth Johnson Bohrsmann lodged an application to convey the property. In December 1907, 206 and 208 KingStreet were respectively occupied by Robert Madden (weekly tenant) and FW Hartley (3 years expiring September 1908). They are accordingly listed in the 1908 Newtown Assessment Listing. Lots 5 and 6 were registered on Certificate of Title Vol 1907 Fol 56 in September 1908 in the name of Rudolph Herman Bohrsmann of Glebe, medical practitioner.

The architectural style of the present building suggests that is was erected soon after this date, c1909. Madden and Hartley, bootmaker and undertaker respectively, are named at 206 and 208 King Street in the Sands Directory thereafter. In September 1911, Bohrsmann renewed Hartley’s lease at No. 208. A lease is registered in February 1912 to Joseph Frederick Coffill, Charles Ivery Coffill, Reginald Andrew Coffill, Denis Joseph Buckley and John Percy Nebel, of Newtown, undertakers. According to the Sands Directory, F W Hartley undertaker was managed by Charles Coffill with Mrs C Coffill operating a florist at 208 King Street in conjunction with the funeral business at this address. Madden, a bootmaker/boot repairer, was the principal occupant of 206 King Street until about 1924. A new certificate of title was registered in 1920 in the name of Rudolph Hermann Bohrsmann. He sold the subject site in December that same year to Marcus Clark and Company Limited.

206-208 King Street was leased from 1925 to Hobsons Limited, home furnishers. The subject building was adapted at this date to a “commodious furniture warehouse.” The company enjoyed increased trade growth in the 1920s, fuelled by their cash order service. In 1929, Hobsons had two furniture warehouses, at North Sydney and Newtown, and a showroom in Park House in the City. They operated at this address until 1931. J Mansfield and Son, furniture retailer, took over the property in 1932.

In 1959 William Wynne Long and Una Jean Long became tenants iin common. The former, a furniture retailer became the sole proprietor in 1962. In 1979 the buidling was sold to Peter Kent of Woolahra, a company director. The property was conveyed to Herlina Kent in 1986.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building has historic significance as it dates from the key period of development of Newtown as a result of the subdivision of, and subsequent redevelopment of the Leichhardt Lodge Estate for commercial and residential purposes.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is a good example of a Federation Commercial building, demonstrating typical key elements of the style, which is a prominent element within the streetscape, particularly with its corner turret.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The area is not identified in an archaeological zoning plan and the area has been well researched and it is unlikely that the site would reveal further information that would contribute to the significance of the area.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of a Federation commercial building found in King Street and the inner suburbs of Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: Externally: High above awning level
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 Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. All new proposals, unless of a very minor nature, are to be supported by a Heritage Impact Statement. 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 internal timber structure, pressed metal ceilings, lift and main stair, 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 2012I99614 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes
King St and Enmore Rd Heritage and Urban Design Study1999 Keys Young and Godden Mackay Logan  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenNBRS2017Draft Statement of Heritage Impact

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: 2420850

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