Green Park including bandstand and interiors, memorials and landscaping | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Green Park including bandstand and interiors, memorials and landscaping

Item details

Name of item: Green Park including bandstand and interiors, memorials and landscaping
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Urban Park
Primary address: Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney


Includes bandstand pavilion, perimeter fence and site (with landscaping)
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Victoria StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address
301 Victoria StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Green Park has local historic, social and aesthetic significance. Dedicated in 1875, it is a rare public open space in Darlinghurst which is an an important townscape feature. The octagonal bandstand, and the two memorials, the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial which commemorates gay men and women who lost their lives during World War II, and the memorial to Victor Chang containing a canopied drinking fountain, are important elements within the park.
Date significance updated: 06 Dec 16
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.


Construction years: 1875-
Physical description: Green Park is located opposite St Vincent’s Hospital and the former Darlinghurst Gaol, and is bounded by Burton and Victoria Streets and Darlinghurst Road.

The park contains spacious green lawns, mature trees, perimeter fencing, a bandstand and two memorials - the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial which commemorates gay men and women who lost their lives during World War II, and a memorial to Victor Chang containing a canopied drinking fountain.

The bandstand is a two storey octagonal structure with a brick enclosed ground floor and originally open first floor with first floor roof supported on 8 x 350mm diameter timber columns and finished in a slate with 9 zinc hip flashings and a centre weather vane. The eaves project 700 mm with a panelled soffit and quad gutter. There is an existing steel handrail and decorative balustrade c 1970s original probably all in timber with pickets between the top and bottom rails. The top floor has now been closed in-between columns with tall casement windows above a 90mm high fibre cement panelled wall fitted behind the balustrade. The centre band of windows consists of a pair of timber casement windows at each side with a matching fixed pair in the centre, all in timber. Above each set of windows is a fixed 450mm high coloured clerestory window of 6 lights. Planter boxed have been added externally supported from handrails. There is a brick base with original entrance bricked up and new openings added to convert it to a café including an internal spiral staircase. The original first floor access is likely to have been by an external flight of timber steps. The original first floor ceiling is divided into 8 segments each divided into 3 panels with an open octagon in the centre under the weather vane. An exterior tiled terrace has been added to the ground floor with a new serving hatch and canvas awning.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The slate roof of the Bandstand Café was damaged in the April 1999 Sydney hailstorm. Damaged was subsequently repaired.
Date condition updated:21 May 07
Modifications and dates: 1990s - the bandstand was adaptively reused for a café.
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: Park and café
Former use: Park with bandstand


Historical notes: 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: ants still living in Sydney today.

Darlinghurst was named after Governor Ralph Darling (‘hurst’ being an old English word for a heavily-timbered hill). His successor Richard Bourke transformed the area when he decided to build a new gaol and courthouse on the ridge with its scattering of villas and windmills. The prisoners were marched here in 1841 from the old gaol near Circular Quay.

In the 1860s this site was earmarked for ‘accommodation for aged and infirm females’ but this plan did not proceed and the site was instead granted to the council for a public recreation ground in 1875.

The park was named after Alderman James Green who represented the district from 1869 to1883.

The bandstand was erected in 1925 to host public band concerts which were a popular feature of Sydney life in the interwar years. It was converted to a café in the early 1990s. Set in its western wall is the foundation stone which originally stood at the corner of Burton and Victoria Streets. It is inscribed ‘Green Park Benjamin Palmer Mayor 1875-76’.

The Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial, in the form of a pink triangle with black poles, was designed by Russell Rodrigo and Jennifer Gamble and opened in 2001.

The Victor Chang Memorial on the corner of Burton and Victoria Streets commemorates the surgeon who performed Australia’s first successful heart transplant in 1984 at St Vincent’s Hospital. He was murdered in a bungled extortion attempt in 1991. Its centrepiece is a canopy fountain which is one of a group of eight highly ornamental drinking fountains brought from Glasgow in 1870.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Green Park was dedicated in 1875 during one of the key historic layers in the development of Darlinghurst.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The park is associated with Alderman James Green who represented the district from 1869 to1883, after whom it is named.

The bandstand is representative of a time in history where park-going occupied a large portion of peoples’ leisure time and bands playing in bandstands for the public pleasure was a regular occurrence.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site contains a a good example of an inter-war bandstand, which has a high standard of architectural design, construction and detail, set in landscaped parkland which is an important townscape feature within Darlinghurst.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The park is held in high esteem by the local community.
SHR Criteria f)
A rare public open space in Darlinghurst.
SHR Criteria g)
The site contains a fine representative example of an inter-war bandstand. Although adaptively re-used for a café its former use is still clearly discernable.
Integrity/Intactness: Bandstand- Moderate to 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 bandstand and memorials should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the park prior to any major works being undertaken. There are to be no vertical additions to the bandstand. Significant features of the bandstand are to be retained and conserved.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I149014 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes
South Sydney Weatherboard Buildings Study2005271Musecape, L. Goldstein, J. Mathias, D. Leslie and M. Robinson  No

References, internet links & images

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

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: 2421365

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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