Tradesman's Arms Hotel Including Interior | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Tradesman's Arms Hotel Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Tradesman's Arms Hotel Including Interior
Other name/s: East Village Hotel
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Hotel
Primary address: 234-236 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
234-236 Palmer StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Tradesman's Arms Hotel is good example of a Federation Free Classical style hotel designed by prominent architects Copeman and Lemont. It dates from the key period of hotel rebuilding in the Federation and Inter - War periods by the major breweries in NSW. It makes a positive contribution to the streetscape.
Date significance updated: 05 Dec 11
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: Copeman and Lemont
Physical description: The building is a Federation Free Style three and four storey hotel on a wide corner site built to the street boundary. The building is constructed of face brickwork, which has been painted above awning level, with timber framed double hung sash windows, and an elaborate rendered stepped parapet. There is a cantilevered awning, supported by decorative awning brackets, and beneath it is external wall tiling, timber doors and windows.

Various internal alterations have been made to the building over time. Areas of surviving significant internal fabric include the main front bar room which retains some tiled walls and pressed metal ceilings, and the main timber stair which includes pressed metal lining.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building exterior appears to be in good condition.
Date condition updated:05 Dec 11
Modifications and dates: The face brickwork has been painted above the awning.

The two upper residential floors have been converted to additional bar and restaurant space by the removal of the original partitions wall which defined the bedrooms.

At roof top level a function area has been added.
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: Hotel
Former use: Hotel


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 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 street block was first developed along Liverpool Street and three terraces were noted on the 1854 Woolcott and Clarke Map and five were noted on the 1860 Hunt Map with major development in the 1880s. Kings Lane and Gordon Street are aligned in 1882. The Tradesmans' Arms Hotel was built in 1917. The site defined by Bourke and Burton was developed in the 1900s with larger allotments and mixed residential. In 1906 the site defined by Palmer and Burton Street was purchased by George Sargents Caterer’s and a four storey factory was built. In 1908, 1909 and 1912 further purchases occurred to incorporate the two blocks. In 1914 Foster Hartley Sargent purchased further block in 1929 the lots were consolidated. In 1947 Council sold the lane to Sargents and it was developed.

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]
Historically significant as a good example of a hotel which dates from the key period of hotel rebuilding in the Federation and Inter - War periods by the major breweries in NSW.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Associated with prominent architects Copeman and Lemont and the brewers Tooth and Co.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The hotel is a good example of a Federation Free Classical Style Hotel and demonstrates many of the key elements of the style which makes a good contribution to the streetscape
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The hotel is held in high esteem as a social and recreational venue for nearby workers and residents
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site is unlikely to reveral any further information that would contribute to its significance
SHR Criteria g)
Representative example of a Federation Free Style hotel found in the inner city area of Sydney
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. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, the main stair, and wall tiling should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, shall not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls. The face brick work below the awning is not to be rendered, coated or painted. The paint off the face brickwork above the awning should be removed using a method that will not damage the brickwork.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I43314 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study199391Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes
South Sydney Heritage Review1998 Architectural Projects  No

References, internet links & images

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

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: 2421095

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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