Terrace House "Violetta" including interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Terrace House "Violetta" including interior

Item details

Name of item: Terrace House "Violetta" including interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 41 Maddison Street, Redfern, NSW 2016
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
41 Maddison StreetRedfernSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Violetta is a good example of a two storey Federation terrace, with Queen Anne Style influences and high quality brickwork to the front, .which makes an important contribution to the streetscape. It was as built c1909 for William Watson, a linotype operator. The area is associated with a tannery operated by William Alderson and Sons in the second half of the 19th century.
Date significance updated: 29 May 15
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: Two storey terrace house, showing Federation Queen Anne style influences, with duo- chrome face brick façade and tuck pointing, faceted bay window to ground floor façade, cast iron frieze to front verandah and balcony, bull nose corrugated metal roofed balcony to the first floor with decorative cast iron balustrade, tessellated tile front path. The main roof is clad with corrugated zincalume, replaced after the April 1999 hail storm, and brick chimney at the apex with decorative drip course.

The name" Violetta" is insribed on a copper plate near the front door.

There is an original two storey rear skillion wing with distinctive chimney and a single storey rear section behind that.

Internally much original fabric has been retain including decorative plaster ceilings to the ground floor principal rooms, joinery, fire places and the main stair.
Modifications and dates: Modern brick front fence.The western side wall have been rendered with hard cement. Rear single storey addition. Main roof reclad after the April 1999 hail storm.
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 occuaption of the Sydney region from 1788, the Cadigal and Wangal people were largely decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

The site is located within Edward Smith Hall’s Grant of 185 acres made in April 1822, which comprised land bound by Cleveland, South Dowling, Phillip and Elizabeth Streets. That same year, Hall divided part of his grant into 2 portions of 75 acres. One portion was sold to Solomon Levey in 1822 and the remainder was purchased by Jemima Jenkins. Jenkins portion encompassed the area bound by Cleveland, South Dowling, Phillip and Marriott Streets.

Jemima Jenkins subsequently sold her land to Thomas Horton James who passed it to Frederick Unwin in 1828. The following year, Unwin subdivided his property into large allotments (3 acres) with frontages to Bourke Street and sold them quickly. Unwin had Bourke Street formed with convict labour.

Good water supply encouraged development of industry and nurseries in early settlement, such as Baptists Nursery (from 1830s) west of Bourke street and Aldersons Tannery on Bourke Street near Maddison Street. The tannery was a major employer and polluter from the 1850s. As the tannery expanded early middle class residents departed and their homes were occupied by tradesmen. By 1883 the tannery occupied six acres.

The first residential subdivision occurred in 1865 and by 1889 the area was densely occupied.

From the turn of the century until the Second World War, new development in the area was predominantly industrial and commercial on a large scale.

Lot 29 in Deposited Plan 4734 was purchased in June 1906 by William Christie Broderson Watson. Venetia is first listed in Sands Directory of 1910, occupied by a Mr Watson, giving a construction date of c 1909. In 1916 the property was sold to the Butcher brothers Frederick Thomas and Samuel who were local carriers with Frederick residing in the dwelling. The butcher family retained the ownership until the mid 1980s.

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 dates from one of the key period of layers for the development of Redfern as a direct result of subdivision of grand estates for industrial and later residential development. It was built c1909 for William Watson, a linotype operator. The area is associated with a tannery operated by William Alderson and Sons in the second half of the 19th century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Violetta has aesthetic significance as a fine example of a Federation terrace with Queen Ann style influences and duo chrome face brickwork and tuck pointing which makes an important contribution to the streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
Locally rare example of Federation terrace duo chrome face brickwork and tuck pointing.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative example of Federation terrace 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 2012I132814 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 View detail
WrittenJohn Oultram Hertiage & Design2014Heritage Impact statement 41 Maddison Street redfern

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: 2420950

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.