Terrace Group (1-63 Windmill Street) including interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Terrace Group (1-63 Windmill Street) including interiors

Item details

Name of item: Terrace Group (1-63 Windmill Street) including interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Location: Lat: -33.8593661558272 Long: 151.204035163356
Primary address: 1-75 Windmill Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1-75 Windmill StreetMillers PointSydney  Primary Address
1-63 Windmill StreetMillers PointSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The terrace group at 1-63 Windmill Street is an important contributory component of the Millers Point and Dawes Point Village Precinct and has historic and aesthetic significance at local, state and national levels.

This terrace group provides important evidence of the complex historical layering of The Rocks and Millers Point area, illustrating the nineteenth century street pattern of settlement associated with maritime and commercial activities, overlaid by the redevelopment of the area by the Sydney Harbour Trust. This property was designed as model worker housing in 1908 by the NSW Government Architects Branch under Walter Liberty Vernon to house workers displaced by the property resumptions and rebuilding following the outbreak of the plague in Sydney in 1901. It is one the last to use the terrace house form which as quickly supplanted by denser flat style development in later Government Architects Branch renewal projects in the area, such as the Gloucester Street terraces. The terrace house group was used for maritime worker housing, and, more recently, as public housing. It retains important evidence of its original construction and detailing in the Federation Free Style with Arts and Crafts influences. Its form and fabric remain remarkably intact. The site has limited archaeological potential in partially disturbed contexts.

The aesthetic and local landmark significance of the property is further enhanced by its unique relationship to its Millers Point setting. The size of the terrace, its decorative architectural character in the Federation Free Style, with Arts and Crafts influences, and location within the significant streetscape of Windmill Street mark it out as a notable component of this precinct. The property is of potential social significance within the context of the Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks communities based on its continuity of use as worker housing for over a century.
Date significance updated: 26 Sep 17
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: Government Architects Branch under Walter Liberty Vernon
Construction years: 1908-1909
Physical description: A substantial row of model worker housing located on the south side of Windmill Street. It comprises two groups of 16 terraces built in 1907-1908 in the Federation Free style, with Arts and Crafts influences, which is symmetrically broken up by the use of single and double projecting gables and bays. The terrace group is linked from Kent Street on the west by a rear service lane and by two access lanes (between 31 and 33, and to the east of number 63).

The main body of each terrace is two storey under a central ridge falling to an eave at the front and to eaves and a shared hip at the rear. There are single storey rear service wings which have been modernised.

There are small front yards enclosed by a wrought iron palisade fences on sandstone plinths.

The roof cladding is modern corrugated metal with a “Colorbond” finish. To the western side gutters and downpipes lead to cast iron downpipe sections at ground level. There are two chimney stacks; one at the main ridge and one at the rear—both feature combined flue groupings.

The front elevation is of fair-faced brickwork in Flemish bond with (weathered) red pointing. At ground floor level of each terrace there is an entrance verandah with a front door (panelled and glazed in decorative coloured glass) with transom light over, and a single double-hung sash window. Most verandahs have their original wrought iron balustrades at first floor level, although some have been removed and the uppers levels enclosed. The front bedrooms at the upper level were designed with glazed timber doors opening onto the verandah and matching windows which are consistent with all in the row.

The rear elevation is of fair-faced Flemish bond brickwork (without the red pointing), with three pivoting double-sash windows.

The original rear service wing of the houses is evident in numbers 13, 21, 23, 27, 47 and 55 of the terrace group. The majority of rear service wings have been modified internally and externally, with the original roof form extended out and down to cover a corridor providing internal, sheltered access to the kitchen (via a relocated back door). Beside each rear service wing is a typical long narrow ‘light well’ passage opening onto a small yard with corrugated metal fencing and gate giving access to the narrow rear lane.

The typical floor plan has an entrance hall which leads to the front drawing room and to a narrow timber stair which provides access to the first floor. Next to the stair is the dining room (larger in the homes built to the street alignment at each end of the row), which leads to the kitchen. Beyond the kitchen, there is a rear single-storey wing comprising separate laundry, bathroom and toilet spaces.

The rear wings are all single-storey, featuring painted concrete floors, brick walls and boarded doors. On the first floor, the main bedroom is located at the front with access to an open verandah facing Windmill Street (now enclosed in some cases). Next to the stair is a second bedroom and a third bedroom is located to the rear above the kitchen.

Original internal finishes include plastered walls with cement render skirtings, timber floors, metal pressed ceilings in the front and dining rooms and bedrooms, mini orb ceilings in the hallways and entry porches, solid timber four-panelled doors to the rear (for access to the courtyard) and cast-iron fireplaces, some with notable cast iron surrounds and fine tilework . There is timber boarded (Tung and groove “V” jointed) lining to the walls between the first floor hallways and middle bedrooms.

Internal alterations in most houses in the group include the replacement of timber flooring with concrete slabs at ground floor level. Modern bathroom laundry and kitchen fit-outs have been installed, with some adjustment of kitchen doors and access to the rear service wing and yard.
Modifications and dates: Internal alterations in most houses in the group include the replacement of timber flooring with concrete slabs at ground floor level. Modern bathroom laundry and kitchen fit-outs have been installed, with some adjustment of kitchen doors and access to the rear service wing and yard. 2016 - The roofing of the terrrace group was reclad with galvanised corrugated metal sheeting.
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

History

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

Windmill Street is a major early street in Millers Point, created in 1815, and by the mid nineteenth century it was one of the densest populated streets in Millers Point with cottages, shops and shipping.

The site is part of the area resumed in 1900 as the Rocks Resumption Area, later renamed the Observatory Hill Lands. The older houses on the south side of Windmill Street (west end) were demolished and the land was put up for leasehold sale in 1905 but did not find a purchaser. In 1907-1908 thirty-two ‘model houses’ were built by the Public Works Department at a cost of over 13,000 pounds, to replace housing demolished as part of the continuing redevelopment of the Rocks Resumption Area. The houses were intended for rent. They were designed in modules of four, each pair designed in a mirror arrangement to the design of the Governments Archtitects Branch, under Walter Liberty Vernon.The ‘Observatory Hill Resumed Area’ was placed under the control of the Housing Board (1912-1924) and then under the Sydney Harbour Trust in August 1927.

In 1984, the NSW Housing Commission (later the NSW Department of Housing and subsequently the NSW Land and Housing Corporation—LAHC) assumed control of the MSB housing portfolio. In 2014, the NSW Government announced that it would sell the freehold of its Millers Point Housing properties.

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]
This terrace group provides important evidence of the complex historical layering of The Rocks and Millers Point area, illustrating the nineteenth–century street pattern of settlement associated with maritime and commercial activities, overlaid by the redevelopment of the area by the Sydney Harbour Trust (SHT).
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
This property was designed as model worker housing in 1908 by the NSW Government Architects Branch( GAB) under Walter Liberty Vernon to house workers displaced by the property resumptions and rebuilding following the outbreak of the plague in Sydney in 1901. It is one the last to use the terrace house form which as quickly supplanted by denser flat style development in later GAB renewal projects in the area, such as the Gloucester Street terraces.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The group retains important evidence of its original construction and detailing in the Federation Free Style with Arts and Crafts influences. Its form and fabric remain remarkably intact. The aesthetic and local landmark significance of the property is further enhanced by its unique relationship to its Millers Point setting. The size of the terrace, its decorative architectural character and location within the significant streetscape of Windmill Street mark it out as a notable component of this precinct.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The property is of potential social significance within the context of the Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks communities based on its continuity of use as worker housing for over a century.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative example of a Federation Free Style terrace with Arts and Crafts influences found in inner Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: Externally: 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 terrace group 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 policies of the Endorsed Conservation Management Plan for each terrace.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I94114 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
WrittenGML2016Conservation Management Plans for individual dwellings at 1- 63 Windmill Street

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez
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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2423660


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