Former "Sirius House" (23-25 Macquarie Place) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Former "Sirius House" (23-25 Macquarie Place)

Item details

Name of item: Former "Sirius House" (23-25 Macquarie Place)
Other name/s: Part of 30 Pitt Street
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Location: Lat: -33.8647570331494 Long: 151.208472154382
Primary address: 30 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
30 Pitt StreetSydneySydney  Primary Address
23-25 Macquarie PlaceSydneySydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Sirius House was part of a lengthy tradition of centralisation of commercial, financial and professional dealings in the CBD. Only the street facade of the building now remains intact, harmonising with other buildings of similar scale and character. The facade, in the Inter-war Commercial Palazzo style, features sandstone facing with elegant vertical proportions and scale. It is a good example of well mannered inter-war period commercial building. Together with adjacent buildings it creates the distinctive townscape of the Macquarie Place and Bridge Street precincts. Significance has been reduced by the removal of the rest of the building fabric.
Date significance updated: 01 Feb 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: C. W. Chambers
Builder/Maker: Stuart Bros
Construction years: 1925-1926
Physical description: The sandstone facade of Sirius House was the only original element retained when the site was resumed as part of a major redevelopment overlooking Macquarie Place Park. As an eight storey sandstone clad Palazzo style office building, the facade is relieved by projecting balconies at the second and fourth floors, a string course at the sixth floor, and a deep cornice. The original steel framed windows with brass fittings and marble sills remain intact. Category:Facade. Style:Inter-War Commercial Palazzo. Storeys:8. Facade:Sandstone cladding, limited use of trachyte. Side/Rear Walls:Not applicable. Internal Walls:Plastered brick, plasterbd. and stud, wallpaper. Roof Cladding:Smooth aggregate, waterproof membrane. Internal Structure:Reinf. conc. column and beam. Floor:Reinf. conc. slab, carpet, ceramic tiles, terrazzo. Roof:Reinf. conc. slab. Ceilings:Susp. acoustic tiles. Stairs:Reinf. conc. stair, steel balustrade & handrail. Sprinkler System:Yes. Lifts:No. AirConditioned:Yes
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The sandstone facade is the only element retained from the original Sirius House building.
Date condition updated:01 Feb 06
Modifications and dates: 1926
Further information: High Significance:Facade, stone walls, steel window frames, townscape quality including form and scale. Comments:Was heritage item in 1989, listing revoked under H-LEP 1998, reinstated in 2000 LEP. Now listed under Sydney LEP 2005, Schedule 8: Central Sydney Heritage Items, Part 2: Building Elements "Street façade".

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: Commercial offices, restaurant
Former use: Commercial offices


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 )

Sirius House building was designed in 1926 by C W Chambers and was constructed by Stuart Bros. The building was subject to several internal alterations including the introduction of two windows in 1936, alterations to the kitchen in 1946, to the entrance in 1953-54, to the shopfronts in 1958, and more changes to the ground floor and basement in 1961. Acquisition by the Joint Coal Board in 1964 resulted in even more extensive adaptation including the introduction of a carpark. A major redevelopment of 1988-89 resulted in the retention of the facade only.

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]
Sirius House was part of an ongoing tradition of centralisation of commercial, financial and professional dealings in the CBD, emphasised by its purchase by the Joint Coal Board for this purpose. Has historic significance locally.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Has aesthetic significance locally. The Sirius House facade is a good example of Inter-war Commercial Palazzo style. It makes a strong contribution to the important townscape precinct in Macquarie Place. The mellow hue of sandstone and well proportioned modelling are particular characteristics which make this contribution.
SHR Criteria g)
Sirius House is representative of well mannered inter-war period commercial buildings employing classical sylistic devices and ordered massing. It makes a strong contribution to the streetscape.
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 overall form and scale of the Sirius House facade should be preserved. Exterior: Any future development should preserve the Macquarie Place street facade including sandstone walls and steel framed windows. Interior: The interiors have been extensively replaced and there is little significant fabric remaining, therefore adaptive reuse should be acceptable provided the Macquarie Place street facade is not adversely affected. 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 LEP 2012I191214 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Australian Heritage Commission listing
Written  SCC Records (DAs, BAs)
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

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: 2423800

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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