Young Street Terraces Including Interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Young Street Terraces Including Interiors

Item details

Name of item: Young Street Terraces Including Interiors
Other name/s: Sydney Hospital Nurses Annexe (Former)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Health Services
Category: Nurses’ Home
Location: Lat: -33.8652236157258 Long: 151.210079378921
Primary address: 36-42 Young Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
36-42 Young StreetSydneySydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Young Street Terraces have high historic significance due to their being part of the first Government House site and as individual elements in the street. The buildings demonstrate the later post government house phase of site development, and are the only buildings which utilised the site to now remain. They stand as reminders of the changing attitudes to "value of place". The terraces have historic associations with the surrounding streetscape and were part of the early development of this area of the CBD as a leading government administrative centre. They are rare surviving examples of residential buildings. Adaptations made for office use were minor and the scale, form and layout of the residences is still apparent. Those elements which relate to the original construction and subsequent changes made for office use are of high significance.
Date significance updated: 06 Jan 06
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Joseph Walker
Construction years: 1875-1875
Physical description: The Sydney Hospital Nurses Annex is a co-joined group of four terraces comprising basement and 3 upper floors facing Young Street and backing on to the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney. The building sits on a stone base with stairs recessed to each terrace and rendered masonry above. There is a two storey verandah sitting on the stone base across the Young Street facade. The rear parapet contains two projecting bays housing stairs. The interior is in very poor condition, and exhibits the changes of use, and interconnection of terraces, changes to stairs and both partition and connection of rooms that have occurred over the life of the building. Category:Individual Building. Style:Victorian Italianate. Storeys:3 + Basement. Facade:Sandstone, Rendered Masonry. Side/Rear Walls:Sandstone, Rendered Masonry. Internal Walls:Plastered Brick, Masonite & Timber Stud. Roof Cladding:Corrugated Metal Roofing. Internal Structure:Load Bearing Brickwork. Floor:Timber Joists & Boards, Concrete Slab. Roof:Timber. Ceilings:Timber, Lath & Plaster, Battened Plaster. Stairs:Timber. 4 stairs, 2 extend to 3rd floor.. Sprinkler System:Yes. Lifts:Nil.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The exterior varies from fair to poor condition. Some conservation work including replacement of some windows, has been carried out. The interior is in very poor condition with extensive damage to most surfaces. Intrusive Elements:Internal changes from 1937 onwards including: service installations c. 1990; partitioning c. 1950 onwards; removal of stone and walling; concrete floor in basement; cement render repairs.
Date condition updated:06 Jan 06
Modifications and dates: 1875
Further information: High Significance:1875 - building fabric including fitout such as fireplaces, floors, skirtings etc. General plan arrangement. Exterior fabric.
General Plan Arrangement. Medium Significance:Post 1875 changes. Low Significance:Post 1980 minor repairs to floors and some joinery.

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: Vacant
Former use: Government Offices 1874-1937, Nurses Accommodation 1937-1982, Storage Space 1982-1988


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. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City )

The terrace houses at 36-42 Young Street occupy land first utilised by outbuildings associated with the First Government House. These were removed in 1845-6. Part of the terrace covers a small portion of the First Government House site material. The block was subdivided in 1862 and the lots encompassed by the terraces sold in 1863. They were subsequently twice resold finally to Joseph Walker, builder, in 1874 who constructed the terraces. This development was for dwelling houses but plans were adapted to suit government offices, and works were completed mid 1875. The new Department of Mines was the first to lease the premises and occupied Nos. 36-40 for 3 years. By the end of the nineteenth century the buildings were very overcrowded. The buildings continued to be occupied as government offices, in 1910 they were used as offices of the Friendly Society, Trade Unions and Old Age Pensions. During 1937 work was carried out to adapt the buildings as emergency occupation for Sydney Hospital nurses. The hospital at that time suffering from overcrowding. Two extensions at the rear date from this period. Further "wet area" alterations were carried out during 1948 and 1949. During 1967 the rear area was converted to a car park. The hospital relinquished the buildings to the government in 1982 and they then became storage space used by the Department of Public Works.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans (none)-
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. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
36-42 Young Street is historically significant covering a small portion of the First Government House site material. It is significance for its association with the surrounding streetscape, and with an early government administrative centre. Has historic significance at a State level.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Has aesthetic significance at a State level. Cultural:36-42 Young Street is aesthetically significant as a well composed streetscape element displaying good Victorian examples of design, scale, materials and forms. It is also significant as a rare, small scale government building to survive in context with the more substantial stone buildings surrounding it.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
36-42 Young Street is socially significant as a well designed adapted residential street use. It displays nineteenth century administrative, private and public service use over a number of decades and is associated with well known public servants of the time. Has social significance at a State level.36-42 Young Street is aesthetically significant as a well composed streetscape element displaying good Victorian examples of design, scale, materials and forms. It is also significant as a rare, small scale government building to survive in context with the more substantial stone buildings surrounding it.
SHR Criteria f)
36-42 young Street is a rare example of residential designed buildings surviving in a very built up section of the CBD. It is a rare example of a government office building, in an adapted building, to survive in the city area.
SHR Criteria g)
36-42 Young Street is representative of Victorian residential terrace house construction.
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:

General: The existing conservation plan should be updated as required and used to guide the future use and maintenance of the place. The overall form of the building in its planned form should be conserved, and the interconnection of terraces retained if required. Exterior: Retain the existing form of the buildings, rendered walls, stone walls, openings and joinery. Retain the front terrace construction and finishes. No alterations should be made to the exterior of the building. Conservation works should be carried out to the exterior on an ongoing basis. Interior: Retain all 1875-finishes including plaster, lath and plaster, timber ceilings and joinery floors, stairs, fireplaces and surrounds, skirtings and architrave. Remove all lightweight partitions and post 1937 fitout including concrete floors to basement, infill to stair wells, cement render repairs to walls. Reinstate to early detail missing joinery. Remove infill from walls to recreate original planned form. Repair if desired interconnection of terraces. Repair damage to all finishing's. 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 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 Local Environmental Plan 2012I200014 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  PWD - Heritage and Conservation Register (1968)
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenMcDonald McPhee Pty Ltd and Wendy Thorp1989Conservation Guidelines, Young St Terraces Sydney 36-42 Young Street

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: 2423727

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