Terrace Duplex Group including interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Heritage

Terrace Duplex Group including interiors

Item details

Name of item: Terrace Duplex Group including interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Duplex
Location: Lat: -33.86278184661 Long: 151.202078295281
Primary address: 3-9 High Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
3-9 High StreetMillers PointSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Nos 3-9 High Street (an integral part of the High Street Workmen’s Flats at 2-80 and 3-9 High Street) has historical significnace as it demonstrate the process of slum clearance and urban renewal that followed the Sydney plague outbreak and resumptions of 1900. It is a rare surviving early example of government designed and constructed public housing in Australia which was specifically designed and constructed to house the waterside workers close to their places of employment on the rebuilt wharves in Darling Harbour. It is a rare survivor of pioneering use of precast and flat plate reinforced concrete floors by the engineers of the Sydney Harbour Trust, aimed at providing fire separation.

The group is of aesthetic significance for its contribution to an architecturally consistent and historically important residential streetscape of High Street, and as a good example of the Federation Queen Anne style in a terrace form. Predating the NSW Housing Act and all Australian municipal housing schemes. the group is associated with the early pioneering engineers of the Sydney Harbour Trust, Henry Deane Walsh and Walter Edward Adams, who were responsible for the design and documentation of the High Street Flats.
Date significance updated: 03 Jul 18
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Designing Engineers: Walter Edward Adams and Henry Dean Walsh
Construction years: 1911-1912
Physical description: Historical Overview ( Based on the 2016 CMP)
The building appears as a terrace of two-storey houses (as do the other High Street buildings which form part of the same development), which gives the workers’ housing the air of a middle class housing estate. Each “house” comprises four units grouped around an external access stair to the two first floor flats. The building at Nos 3-9 High Street comprises 8 flats located on the south side of the short return leg of High Street Originally the row contained ten residential flats but the western end (Nos 1 & 1A High Street) was demolished in 1966 and a small park now occupies its site. The park is also part of the fire egress system for The Bond Building in Hickson Road.

As with all four stages of the High Street Flats, the flats are arranged in groups of four around common stairways serving the two flats on the first floor. The ground floor flats have a side yard and rear lane access. The first floor flats have roof-top drying terraces (“yards”) and, originally, garbage chutes opening into bin enclosures at ground level, but there is no direct rear lane access from the upper flats.

The flats are more generous in size than the first three stages of the High Street Flats. Originally the flats comprised 3 Bedrooms and a Living/Dining/Kitchen area in the main part of the building. The rear wing contained a wash house (Laundry), bathroom and WC that had to be accessed from the exterior of the building which was part of the early twentieth century thinking in providing a separation between noxious service areas and cleaner living and cooking areas.

The building has brick walls with red face bricks on the front facade facing the street (with black cement pointing) and select common bricks on the side and rear facades. The plaster that was formerly the interior finish of No. 1 High Street remains on the exterior of that party wall but the visible damp on the inside of No. 3 indicates that the wall provides inadequate waterproofing. The walls are documented as sitting on reinforcedconcrete strip footings.

There are deep verandahs (approx. 2 metres deep) along the south (street) side of the building. The floor of the ground floor verandah is concrete and the floor and structure of the first floor verandahs are timber. The unglazed terra cotta tile roofing of the main roof of the building sweeps down over the verandah roof.

The front facade contains double-hung timber windows on the ground floor and timber French foors leading from the two front rooms onto the first floor verandah. All the other windows are timber double-hung windows with the exception of the 1980s rear verandah window wall windows,which are casement windows.The ground floor has Kauri timber floor boards which appear to be on timber bearers and joists in a traditional form of floor construction, although this has not been verified by inspection of the underfloor space. The floor at first floor level is a reinforced concrete flat plate slab with a black bitumen finish on its upper face. Bitumen was considered to be a healthy finish as it was believed that it detered vermin as well as providing a levelling bed to the concrete slab beneath and a waterproof layer. The ceilings of the first floor are lath and plaster (unless later replaced, or oversheeted, with plasterboard in certain cases.

As the first floor flats do not have direct access to the ground level they have circular reinforced concrete garbage chutes, at the base of which there were originally garbage bins that were accessed by the garbage collectors from the rear pedestrian access way. Nos 2- 72A High Street still retain their square brick garbage chutes but the chutes of Nos 3-9A High Street have been removed.
Modifications and dates: Following the transfer of the building to the NSW Department of Housing in the 1980s the building was refurbished to create modern amenities. The larger of the front bedrooms was connected to the former rear Living Room via a new doorway so that the two rooms could function as a Living Room (former front Bedroom) and a Family/Dining Room (former Living/Dining/Cooking Room) with the ability for the north-south cross ventilation of the flat. The rear bedroom was made smaller and a Kitchen Alcove was created off the former Living Room and a Bathroom was constructed off the Hall. The rear wing was converted into a new third Bedroom with a connecting Laundry and the rear verandah was enclosed to form an internal connection to the rear wing.

1966: No.1 High Street was demolished (necessitating the painting of the former common wall with No. 3 in an attempt to waterproof it for use as an external wall).
1980s :The rear verandahs were enclosed, some openings in the rear wings were bricked up,
windows moved and/or bricked up, and some of the rear walls repointed inexpertly with cement mortar. The bricks used to brick up openings, repair the walls, etc did not match the surrounding original common bricks. The building’s pitched roof was re-tiled in modern unglazed Marseilles-pattern terra cotta tiles. The drawings of these works have not been located. The internal planning of the flats was altered.
2014: The membranes on the rooftop decks were renewed, the fences around the decks were replaced to match the existing, and the stairs from the first floor to the roof-top decks were replaced to match the existing. The work was carried out under the supervision of the NSW Department of Finance & Services (Public Works).
Further information: Was a heritage item in 1989, and has remained so since.

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

History

Historical notes: Historical Overview ( Based on the 2016 CMP)

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: http://www.sydneybarani.com.au/

The post-settlement history of the land upon which the High Street Workmen's Housing was to be constructed can be divided into two main periods of development. The first period was the nineteenth century use of the area for stone quarrying, lime burning, and ship-building. Later in the nineteenth century the north part of the area was used for the construction of houses for Scottish tradesmen and artisans on parts of the site adjoining Kent Street and in the newly-formed Hart and Clyde Streets.

The second period of development coincided with the early twentieth century resumption of thee area by the NSW Government and with it the demolition of sub-standard houses and wharves and the construction of modern, rat-proof wharves and higher density housing to accommodate waterfront workers previously displaced by the slum clearance operations of the government.

Nos 3-9 High Street comprise Stage 4 of the early twentieth century development of public housing in High Street undertaken by the Sydney Harbour Trust as part of the post-Plague redevelopment of wharves and building stock in The Rocks, and Millers and Dawes Points. The Sydney Harbour Trust High Street Workers’ Housing, together with the planned urban environment of the Argyle Place and Kent Street shops, the Palisade Hotel, the Munn Street Workers’ Housing and the Dalgety Terrace Workers’ Housing, forms a precinct of National significance in the careful planning, townscape quality, social planning and innovative construction which is rare in Australia. Together with the equally important Public Works-designed workers’ housing of Windmill Street, Lower Fort Street and Gloucester Street, the Sydney Harbour Trust housing ranks amongst some of the world’s earliest government-provided public housing and is rare as it was located immediately adjacent to the workplace. The provision of affordable housing close to the workplace and city centre is as relevant at the beginning of the twenty-first century as it was at the beginning of the twentieth-century when this public housing was constructed.

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. Worker's Dwellings-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site is of historical significance as it provides physical evidence of the major state government redevelopment of the district in the years following the 1901 bubonic plague.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The group is associated with the early pioneering engineers of the Sydney Harbour Trust, Henry Deane Walsh and Walter Edward Adams, who were responsible for the design and documentation of the High Street Flats.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The group is of aesthetic significance for its contribution to an architecturally consistent and historically important residential streetscape of High Street, and as a good example of the Federation Queen Anne style in a terrace form.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The High Street Workmen's Flats is held in high esteem by the local Miller Point Community as well as the wider NSW community.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Nos 3-9 High Street (an integral part of the High Street Workmen’s Flats at 2-80 & 3-9 High Street) are of technical significance at a State level of significance for their use of both precast concrete and flat-plate reinforced concrete floors prior to World War I and for their use of a structural timber diaphragm for the roof-top drying deck floors. The group has have the potential to yield information on the use, design, building technology and construction techniques of modern domestic architecture in early twentieth century Sydney, such as the provision of separate sleeping areas for parents and the male and female children, and the separation of toilet and washing facilities from cooking and habitable rooms.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Rare surviving examples of government designed and constructed public housing in Australia of the "cottage flat" type.

Rare survivors of pioneering use of precast and flat plate reinforced concrete floors by the engineers of the Sydney Harbour Trust, aimed at providing fire separation.

It is part of a a rare example of a comprehensive urban renewal scheme in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative of rows of workers’ housing in the Federation Queen Anne Style specifically designed and constructed to house the waterside workers close to their places of employment on the rebuilt wharves in Darling Harbour. The High Street Workmen’s Flats (which include 3-9 High Street) were the culmination of the Sydney Harbour Trust’s development of waterside workers’ housing in Millers Point as exhibited in their plan layout, their use of concrete and steel structure and their use of structural timber diaphragm roof decks.
Integrity/Intactness: Relatively intact.
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 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 and the endorsed conservation management plan for the site.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I88414 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Millers Point & Walsh Bay Heritage Review2006 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  No
Conservation Management Guidelines NSW Dept of Housing Properties Millers Point2004 NSW Department of Housing  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenRobertson and Hindmarsh2016Conservation Management Plan, 9 - 9A High Street, Millers Point

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: 2423586


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