Commercial Building Façade (162 Pitt Street) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Commercial Building Façade (162 Pitt Street)

Item details

Name of item: Commercial Building Façade (162 Pitt Street)
Other name/s: Skygarden Façade
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Market building
Location: Lat: -33.8711958782763 Long: 151.207253112026
Primary address: 77-83A Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
77-83A Castlereagh StreetSydneySydney  Primary Address
162 Pitt StreetSydneySydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The facade of 162 Pitt Street is significant as one of the best examples of render and stucco detailing on a small scale city commercial building demonstrating the richness and variety of facade treatments used during the boom years following Federation. The facade exhibits confidence in the future. The facade is significant as part of a streetscape group of high significance, in a prominent plaza location that demonstrates the late Victorian/Federation character and scale of much of the city and which exhibit a rich variety of styles, forms and materials.
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1903-1903
Physical description: The facade is part of a cohesive group of late 19th to early 20th century buildings and facades forming the eastern side of Pitt Street Plaza extending from King Street to Skygarden. The facade is richly ornamented in high Victorian style with an impressive pediment sitting on top of a row of arcaded windows. The building is one of the smaller in the area and its form steps between the two adjacent buildings. The building facade above the awning features: Corinthian columns, dentil cornices, pilasters, string courses, decicated pawls, curved head windows with key stone decoration, timber windows and free stucco detailing. The ground floor shopfront has been removed and a new awning cements it to the adjacent building. Category:Facade. Style:Federation Free Classical. Storeys:4. Facade:Rendered Brick, Stucco Detail.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The facade is in good condition above awning level but requires a regular maintenance and painting program to retain its condition..Intrusive Elements:Ground floor facade treatment.
Date condition updated:01 Feb 06
Modifications and dates: 1903
Further information: High Significance:Above awning facade including stucco and render detail and windows. Low Significance:Awning.

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: Retail
Former use: Retail, 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 )

The site has been connected with catering and the food industry since the 1870's when a hotel named "City Bank Hotel" was located there. Between the 1880's and the 1920's it was successively a restaurant, a Japanese Fancy Repository, the Australian Edison Electric Co (for only five years and presumably linked to the American company), a caterers and through the 1920's and into the 1930's it was the location for Ernest Hilliers Confectioners. It is noteworthy that between 1920 and 1925 the Ernest Hillier Tearooms were located in the basement of the building next door, 164 Pitt Street. By 1944 "Bumbles" was at 162 Pitt Street.

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]
162 Pitt Street is culturally significant for its associations with commercial activity in the centre of the city over 90 years and for its context as part of an important historic streetscape. Has historic significance locally.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
162 Pitt Street is scientifically significant for its use of Victorian forms and detail when newer forms and styles were being introduced on other buildings. Has aesthetic significance locally. 162 Pitt Street is aesthetically significant for the richness and quality of its detail and overall extravagant form for a relatively small building.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
162 Pitt Street is socially significant for the expression of confidence in the future that the facade expresses in its rich and flamboyant detailing. Has social significance locally.162 Pitt Street is aesthetically significant for the richness and quality of its detail and overall extravagant form for a relatively small building.
SHR Criteria g)
162 Pitt Street is representative of typical small scale late Victorian commercial, privately owned buildings in the city.
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 surviving brick and stucco facade above awning level should be retained in its present form without further alteration or adaptation. Exterior: The below awning shopfront can be adapted as required. It would be appropriate to recreate the early shopfront in future work. The ground floor support for the building adjoining No. 164 should be divided to reflect the function of the buildings and the pattern of structural support for the upper section of the facade. The awning may be altered, removed or adapted as required. 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 2012I169514 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Sands Directory
Written  Land Titles Office
Written  Rate Books
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: 2424036

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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