Commercial Chambers "Hengrove Hall" Including Interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Commercial Chambers "Hengrove Hall" Including Interiors

Item details

Name of item: Commercial Chambers "Hengrove Hall" Including Interiors
Other name/s: Hengrove Hall
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Location: Lat: -33.8686929235123 Long: 151.210872616574
Primary address: 193 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
193 Macquarie StreetSydneySydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Hengrove Hall is a nine storey masonry and reinforced concrete professional chambers constructed in the Interwar Old English Style which has high historic significance as a work of H E White, and the way the building reflects and enhances the character of Macquarie street as a professional address for the medical profession. The building has high social significance as highly
intact early 20th century professional chambers with continuity of occupation by original tenants. The building has high aesthetic significance as a fine and highly intact and rare example of the style and includes many of the identifying elements such as the theatrical facade and foyer incorporating the replication of an existing English Tudor doorway.
Date significance updated: 09 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: Henry Eli White (1876 -1952)
Builder/Maker: McConnell Building Company Ltd
Construction years: 1929-1930
Physical description: Hengrove Hall, named after Hengrove Hall Suffolk, is located on Macquarie Street. The building is of Interwar Old English style. The facade is dominated by two oriel windows seven stories high with decorative relief (since rendered) and topped by decorative parapet. The base features a Tudor doorway closely modelled on an original English Renaissance building. The original timber windows remain. The site, an original Victorian allotment, is nine metres wide. The plan 9 x 32 metres is narrow and incorporates three lighlight wells. The interior ceilings, timber panels, light fittings and lift are highly intact with only minor changes to plaster ceilings and some surface mounted services.

Category:Individual Building. Style:Inter-War Old English. Storeys:9 + basement. Facade:Rendered masonry. Side/Rear Walls:Rendered masonry. Internal Walls:Plastered masonry. Roof Cladding:Malthoid. Internal Structure:Reinf conc column and beam reinf conc slab. Floor:Reinf conc slab. Roof:Reinf conc slab. Ceilings:Set plaster. Stairs:1. Lifts:1.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In general Hengrove Hall retains the original 1929 structure and facade with the exception of some decorative details. The interior is highly intact.
Date condition updated:21 Oct 09
Modifications and dates: 1929 -1930
Further information: High Significance:All the intact original fabric of the east façade in particular the Tudor doorway. Medium Significance:All the intact original fabric of the interior in particular the timber foyer and interior corridors. Low Significance:The roof and lift motor room. Was a heritage item in 1989, and remains so since that time.

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: Professional Suites
Former use: Professional Suites


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 )

This property was purchased by the City of Sydney Real Estate Company in 1927 and it was this company which contracted architect Henry Eli White to draw up plans for professional rooms for doctors and dentists. The Sydney Morning Herald in February 1930 reported that the architectural treatment of the recently completed Hengrove Hall was striking for its entrance doorway "which is closely modelled on the design of the Gate House of Hengrove Hall, Suffolk, a manor house of the early English Renaissance period, completed in 1538". The City of Sydney Real Estate Company, or COSRECO, published an elaborate prospectus for Hengrove Hall. Buildings financed and erected by the COSRECO organisation were "serviced by corps of uniformed attendants in distinctive 'Cosreco' livery" and managed by Stanton & Son Limited. The prospectus stressed the prestigious character of the building, a building designed for "the leaders of the medical and dental professions", located directly opposite Parliament House and looking down on the "magnificent panorama" of the Harbour and "the verdant foliage, green-carpeted lawns and brilliantly coloured flowers of the Botanic Gardens". It drew attention to the "handsome vestibule" enriched by panelled walls, a "rich polished parquetry floor", beamed ceilings and "specially designed electrical fittings", all chosen to create the character of the early English Renaissance period. A great deal of this original interior remains intact today. The architect of Hengrove Hall, Henry Eli White, established a thriving architectural practice in New Zealand before moving to Sydney in the early decades of the twentieth century. He is most noted as a designer of theatres, responsible for over 130 theatres in Queensland, New Zealand and New South Wales.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building reflects the development of Macquarie Street as a prestige address for the medical profession. It is an important and rare commercial building in the professional career of noted architect Henry Eli White better known for his design of theatres including Sydney's State Theatre. Has historic significance at a State level.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Has aesthetic significance at a State level. Cultural:The building is a rare example of a highly intact original commercial exterior and interior of high quality design with outstanding potential to be restored with minimum effort. It is well resolved both internally and externally and is particularly noted for its theatrical facade detailing and the incorporation of a replication of an existing Tudor doorway and an intact timber foyer which continues the Tudor theme.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Through its adaptation of the name and copying of exterior and interior stylistic details of the English Tudor manor house Hengrave Hall the building reflects the continuing social importance in early twentieth century Sydney of English cultural references. This building is exceptional for its continuity of occupation by some of the original tenants. Has social significance at a State level.The building is a rare example of a highly intact original commercial exterior and interior of high quality design with outstanding potential to be restored with minimum effort. It is well resolved both internally and externally and is particularly noted for its theatrical facade detailing and the incorporation of a replication of an existing Tudor doorway and an intact timber foyer which continues the Tudor theme.
SHR Criteria f)
Rare example of an intact early twentieth century professional chambers.
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 overall form of Hengrove Hall should be retained and conserved. The building should continue as professional chambers. A Conservation Plan is required prior to any proposal for new works or the provision of new services which may impact on the exterior form and finishes or intact interiors. As the original building is framed by higher buildings the addition of further floors could be contemplated. Any additional floor should be stepped back behind the facade so as not to impact on the existing view of the cornice from the street. Exterior: Any future development should preserve the existing intact original fabric of the facade. Door and window openings should not be enlarged or closed in. Future refurbishment should attempt to recover significance by reconstruction of original exterior details such as the original decorative reliefs, and the removal of exposed internal wiring. The sandstone entry which was never intended for painting should continue to remain unpainted and be appropriately maintained. The painted facade which was originally painted should continue to be painted in appropriate colours. Interior: All remaining intact original fabric such as the ground floor foyer and interior corridors and lifts should be retained and conserved. 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 2012I187914 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1930Sydney Morning Herald 25 February 1930 p8 (drawing)
Written 1930Hengrove Hall :Suites for the medical Profession Prospectus 1930
Written 1929Building 13.5.1929 pp49-50
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenHoward Tanner & Associates1997Hengrove Hall, 193 Macquarie Street Sydney. Volume 1, Conservation management plan

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: 2423822

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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