Woonona Bulli School of Arts | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Woonona Bulli School of Arts

Item details

Name of item: Woonona Bulli School of Arts
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Community Facilities
Category: School of Arts
Primary address: 479 Princes Highway, Woonona, NSW 2517
Local govt. area: Wollongong City
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
479 Princes HighwayWoononaWollongong City  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Woonona Bulli School of Arts is of significance for the local area for historical and aesthetic reasons, for social significance that it has for the local community and as representative of Interwar period buildings in the area. This c. 1935 building makes an important contribution to the streetscape and the area and presents a local landmark.
Date significance updated: 18 Feb 15
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.


Physical description: A simple 1930's Inter-War free classical community building on the Princes Highway, with a high level of integrity. Its key features are single storey scale, tiled roof, face brick walls, an arched opening over the porch flanked with brick piers, symmetrical façade with rendered and inscribed band and pediment accessed via a flight of stairs.
Current use: School of Arts
Former use: School of Arts


Historical notes: A School of Arts called Bellambi and Bulli School of Arts was organised in 1861. The original building was built in 1862 on land purchased by John Sommerville, Thomas Hale, William Sommerville and John Collaery. This building stood until 1935, when the trustees at the time built the present premises, which is a single storey brick and tile building. There was a large hall, a reading room, library, two meeting rooms, a billiard room and a kitchen. (City of Wollongong Heritage Study, 1991). "From about the middle of the nineteenth century, schools of arts symbolised the movement towards self-improvement and social identity. They were often sponsored or supported by industrial and mining firms and were occasionally built by volunteers. The typical School of Arts contained a library, a meeting room for social activities, and a billiard room (for men only). They were used for educational classes, for example in literature and grammar, and also for concerts, weddings and Christmas parties. An earlier example is illustrated at Clifton.

The Woonona-Bulli building replaced an original School of Arts on this site in 1863. It is an urbane single-storey symmetrical structure with face-brick walls and a tiled hip roof. Its facade has an arched entrance porch, flanked by brick piers and surmounted by a cement-rendered parapet extending above the roof eaves as a pediment, on which is displayed the dace and name of the building. On each side of the entrance there is a rendered frieze with lettering which symbolically unites the names of the two towns. The entrance is well above the level of the footpath, and so a wide and gentle brick stairway was built up to the portal.” (R Irving, 20th Century Architecture in Wollongong, p. 66)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Conducting Schools of Arts-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The item has landmark, architectural, townscape and aesthetic value.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The item has cultural value.
SHR Criteria g)
The item has representative value.
Integrity/Intactness: The item has integrity.
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:

Retain and conserve. Any changes should be locted at the back and within existing setbacks. Face brick and tiles should remain unpainted. Any repairs should follow the original detail. Public use is recommended.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  07 Jan 00 1/200069
Local Environmental PlanWollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009650226 Feb 10 2010-76 

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Wollongong Heritage Study1991B74-NMcDonald McPhee Rogers Conacher FullartonCatherine Macarthur No
Review of heritage items in Wollongong LGA20136502Zoran PopovicZoran Popovic Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2700530

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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