Electricity Substation No. 341 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Electricity Substation No. 341

Item details

Name of item: Electricity Substation No. 341
Other name/s: #341 'Randwick' 33Kv Zone Substation
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Electricity
Category: Electricity Transformer/Substation
Primary address: 55-61 Canberra Street, Randwick, NSW 2031
Local govt. area: Randwick


Whole site however transformer yard is not considered significant fabric.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
55-61 Canberra StreetRandwickRandwick  Primary Address
Cnr Bundock LaneRandwickRandwick  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
AusgridState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Randwick Substation is a rare, substantial, attractive and well detailed building representative of the Interwar Mediterranean style. It is evidence of the Municipal Council of Sydney's commitment to make its infrastructure attractive. The site is a key piece of infrastructure in the expansion of the electricity network into this area of Sydney.
Date significance updated: 11 Apr 07
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: City Architect's Office, Municipal Council of Sydney (probably W H White)
Builder/Maker: W S Baker & Sons Ltd
Construction years: 1930-1930
Physical description: The Randwick substation is a large and attractively decorated building that presents a street façade with elaborate brick decoration designed in the Interwar Mediterranean style. The façade is comprised of two sections: A two storey block comprising a high entrance door with lintel arch motifs, and three groupings of triple windows: one group with arches, another with balcony and balusters. The second part of the façade is a symmetrical arrangement with a large arched doorway flanked by pilasters and arch headed windows surmounted by an ornate identity panel. The parapets include curved roof tiles.

The Randwick substation is constructed in load-bearing tuck pointed face brick. The windows appear to be metal framed multi-paned. Large plant access doors are steel roller shutter type.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Some terracotta tiles missing. Graffiti.
Date condition updated:26 Oct 12
Modifications and dates: Gutters and downpipes replaced. Doors replaced. Security screens retrofitted to windows. Modern chain wire fencing. Exterior lights to transformer yard. Brick extension at rear.
Current use: Electricity Substation


Historical notes: The Randwick substation is a purpose designed and built structure constructed in 1930. "The site was resumed in 1929 by the Municipal Council of Sydney and then over by Sydney County Council in 1935, the resumption cost 2500 Pounds. This substation was a major part of the distribution network of the Bunnerong Power Station and fed all the smaller substations in the Randwick area. The building was completed in 1930 following a cost blow-out owing to the contractor receiving instructions for a wider building than show on the original plan and the fact that it was essential to have one half of the building constructed and ready before the other half". (Randwick Heritage Study).

A note in the Minutes of the Electric Light Committee, Municipal Council of Sydney (CRS 14 Volume 19) refers to extra costs for construction of Substation #341.

The land was originally part of a large quarry site owned by Mr Edmund Noonan of Kensington. After initially demanding £5500 he later agreed to £2500 for the site. The site was eventually resumed by Council to overcome several restrictive covenants placed on the land. Relations between Noonan and the Council continued to be acrimonious for some time for reasons including perceived encroachment of the substation on Noonan's land and disruption to his water service.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Distribution of electricity-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Substation #341 was a key piece of infrastructure in the expansion of the electricity network into this area of Sydney.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Randwick Substation is a rare, substantial, attractive and well detailed building representative of the Interwar Mediterranean style. It is evidence of the Municipal Council of Sydney's commitment to make its infrastructure attractive.
SHR Criteria g)
Typical in function and scale of other zone substations. In design it is very similar to Balgowlah (#15003) and Pymble (#195) Zone Substations.
Integrity/Intactness: Intact - some modifications, primarily to internal equipment.
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:

This item is important to the heritage of NSW and must be conserved. A Conservation Management Plan should be prepared for this item. Original details must be maintained including doors, windows and original signage. New materials should be sympathetic to the nature and character of the original building. In the event of major proposed changes prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact and undertake an archival recording. Assess proposed changes against the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval and, if necessary, seek approval under the Heritage Act. Wherever possible, changes should be restricted to the interior of the building and be designed to minimise impact to significant fabric. Routine maintenance of existing fabric is essential.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerAusgrid Heritage Register343044901 Nov 94   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Sydney Electricity S170 Heritage and Conservation Register1994PMIS 2289Schwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd  No
EnergyAustralia Heritage Register Review2007 MacLaren NorthM North Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenWilkenfeld and Spearitt2004Electrifying Sydney

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: State Government
Database number: 3430449

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