Former Corner Shop and Terrace Group Including Interiors | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Former Corner Shop and Terrace Group Including Interiors

Item details

Name of item: Former Corner Shop and Terrace Group Including Interiors
Other name/s: W Hardy Butcher
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Hotel
Primary address: 115-119 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
115-119 Riley StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

A fine example of a Victorian Free Classical Style corner shop with residence over, purpose built for a butchery at ground floor, with attached terrace, which makes an important contribution to the streetscapes of Riley Street and Stanley Street. The building dates from one of the key period of layers for the development of Darlinghurst as a direct result of subdivision of the Riley Estate.
Date significance updated: 04 Jan 13
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: 115-117: Two storey Victoria Free-Classical style brick and stucco building, parapet, formerly a butchers shop,, with an attached terrace, erected c 1880. The brick is rendered and lined with Free-Classical mouldings including triangular window pediments and corbelled cornices to parapet. A special feature is the chamfered corner with tiny upper floor cantilevered balcony complete with decorative cast iron balustrade, columns and valences to corrugated iron hood. This chamfered corner and balcony echoes that of the Lord Roberts Hotel on the opposite corner. There are rams heads over the arched openings providing evidence that the building was a purpose built butcher's shop and residence. There is modern glazing to the ground floor whilst upper level windows are double hung timber frame single pane sashes.

There is a remnant painted wall sign depicting W Hardy Butcher in a blind window to Riley Street.

Internally the building has been modified to accommodate restaurant facilities. Surviving significant internal fabric includes the timber stair with turned balusters, newels and fretted string detailing, fireplace surrounds and joinery.

No. 119 - a two storey Victorian terrace house constructed of rendered brickwork with timber windows and doors. The cantilevered front balcony has been removed and French doors replaced with small windows.
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: Restaurant
Former use: Butchery and residence


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.

In order to settle these debts the Sheriff, William Gore, ordered that Palmer’s Surry Hills Estate be sold by auction on 1 October 1814.

Palmer’s Estate was to be the first of many land sales in the area and the subdivision of the Estate by Surveyor General James Meehan was the first of several, mostly unsuccessful attempts to promote the orderly development of Surry Hills. Meehan’s grid was parallel with South Head Road, proposing streets, 50 feet wide. Surveyor T.L. Mitchell managed to devise a scheme which was in direct conflict with the alignments laid down by Meehan in 1814.

Edward Riley whom Riley Street is named after, bought up tracts of John Palmer’s Estate from 1814 onwards.

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.

Beneficiaries of Riley’s Estate subdivided their blocks from the 1840s. Development intensified with the gold rushes of the 1850 and 1860s. Subdivision of the smaller residential grants to the east occurred after the Riley Estate was developed.

The site is part of Block C10 of the Riley Estate.

According to Sands Directory No 119 has been ocucpied until at least 1861 when A T Taylor , mariner, is listed and the address then given as 99 Riley Street. This is based on there being two ocucpants listed on the western side of Riley Street, between Stanley Street and what is now Francis Lane, previously referred to as lane ( 1861), Chapel Lane ( 1865-1900) Chapel Street ( 1900 -1920)- , Chapelo Street/Francis Lane ( 1925) and Francis Lane (1930).

The Sands Directory first lists William Hardy as occupant of 115 Riley Street in 1882 when his occupation is given as 'Butcher." This would give the construction date of the 115 - 117 Riley Street premises to be c 1881. A butcher occupied the premises up until at least the last edition of Sands Directory in 1932/3. Horace H Headding, butcher is listed as occupying the premises from 1920 until 1932/3.

The premises at 115-117 Riley Street has been used for restaurant purposes since the early 1970s.

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 part of an early key period layer for the development of the area
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This is a finely detailed corner building, and with the sympathetically scaled attached terrace, forms an important component of the Riley/Stanley Street group.
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 the timber stair case, 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 2012I43914 Dec 12 97 
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
WrittenArchnex Designs2007Statement of Heritage Impact
WrittenNational Trust of NSW National Trust Listing Card, "115-119 Riley Street Terraces and corner restaurant part of the Riley/Stanley Street Group Card 3 of 5

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: 2421195

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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