Centennial Park Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0022) | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Centennial Park Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0022)

Item details

Name of item: Centennial Park Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0022)
Other name/s: WS0022
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: 33 53 35 S Long: 151 14 18 E
Primary address: Oxford Street, Centennial Park, NSW 2021
Local govt. area: Randwick
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP582822

Boundary:

The south side of Oxford Street and the north side of Carrington Drive, from, on the western side, a projection of the alignment of the western boundary of Moncur Street to, on the east, a line parallel to the western boundary running northwest from the intersection of Broome Avenue and Carrington Drive.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Oxford StreetCentennial ParkRandwick  Primary Address
Carrington DriveCentennial ParkRandwick  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 was the largest covered storage reservoir constructed in Australia at the time it was built and it remains very large even by present-day standards. It is a relic of the early development of the Upper Nepean Water Supply Scheme and the subsequent expansion of water reticulation throughout the suburban areas of Sydney. It is also associated with the rapid urban expansion of the eastern suburbs of Sydney in the late 19th Century.

The reservoir demonstrates exemplary engineering practices at the turn of the century in relation to design, construction methods and manual skills, particularly in regards to the vaulted arch roof. The reservoir has played a continuous, on-going role for over a century as an important facility of the water supply system, particularly for the eastern suburbs.

The exterior of the Reservoir has aesthetic qualities which relate to its parkland environment and is a local landmark. The level of ornamentation evident in the structure demonstrates the importance placed upon the appearance of engineering structures in the era in which it was built.

The Centennial Park Group of three reservoirs, including Woollahra Reservoir (WS 144), 1880, Centennial Park No.1 (WS 22), 1899, and Centennial Park No.2 (WS 23), 1925, demonstrate the development in construction technology for covered reservoirs, as well as the dramatic increase in demand in the growing Sydney suburbs. The group is unique in the SWC system, because of their size, design and level of architectural detailing.
Date significance updated: 03 Jul 03
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Public Works
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Public Works
Construction years: 1896-1898
Physical description: The main walls of the reservoir are of brick, with a typical gravity-retaining-wall cross section, supported in general by sloping rubble fill which is in turn covered with earth fill to give an overall slope of approximately 1 in 2 where the reservoir is in bank, and steeper where it is partly in excavation.

The reservoir roof was covered from its inception with ‘coke dust’ and grassed for public access, no doubt to provide Sunday afternoon strollers with an unimpeded view of the pleasant, gently undulating, Botany Valley and Centennial Lakes. The perimeter of the top of the reservoir is graced with a magnificent cast-iron fence, complete with gates, made by the Darlington Iron Works (Sydney). This, together with the central brick access tower, continues to bestow on the reservoir something of its former glory.

The curtilage boundary is defined by Oxford Street and Carrington Street as the northern and southern boundaries; the west boundary is approximately a line along the projection southwards of Moncur Street and the east boundary is a line parallel to the west boundary, between the corner of Carrington Drive and Broome Avenue to Oxford Street.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The Reservoir is in service and is in good condition overall.
Date condition updated:06 Dec 00
Modifications and dates: Tennis Pavilion, designed by architect Howard Jouriand, was relocated to Lane Cove National Park circa 1930 and remained there until circa 1955.
Current use: Water storage and distribution
Former use: Water storage and distribution

History

Historical notes: Domestic water supply in Sydney has been a concern since the first European settlement. Prior to the 1850s, water had been supplied via natural water courses, or through Busby's Bore, which tapped the Lachlan Swamps in what is now Centennial Park. During the 1850s, the Botany swamps were tapped, with a pumping station transferring water to a new reservoir built in Crown Street, which in turn supplied Sydney's residents. Between 1859 and 1899, a series of five service reservoirs were built east of the city to supply water to Sydney and the developing eastern suburbs. The reservoirs were designed to act as regulating valves, balancing out the local supply and demand and also ensuring a satisfactory water pressure to the user. Centennial Park Reservoir No.1 was the last of the five nineteenth century city reservoirs to be constructed and was completed in 1899. In 1898, the Paddington Reservoir went out of service, as its function was taken over by the larger and more elevated Centennial Park Reservoir No.1. In 1925, the operation of Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 was augmented by the construction of a second reservoir nearby. Circa 1930, the Tennis Pavilion, designed by architect Howard Jouriand, was relocated to Lane Cove National Park and it remained there until circa 1955. In 1974, defects in the walls led to the lowering of the FSL (Full Storage Level) by one metre until, in 1990 - 1992, part of the battered earth side wall was strengthened with concrete. The Reservoir is now operating at full capacity.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is a relic of the early development of the Upper Nepean Water Supply Scheme and the subsequent expansion of reticulation throughout the suburban areas of Sydney. It is associated with the rapid urban expansion of the eastern suburbs of Sydney in the late 19th Century, following the provision of the tramway transport system and the breakup of the large estates. The reservoir demonstrates water engineering practice at the turn of the century in regard to design knowledge, construction methods and manual skills, particularly in regards to the arched roof, practices which have since been superseded by reinforced concrete. The reservoir has played a continuous, on-going role extending over 87 years as an important facility of the water supply system, particularly for the eastern suburbs.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is an excellent example of the nineteenth century practice of enhancement of the utilitarian with a decorative presentation and is amongst the finest examples of this in Sydney. The exterior of Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is an attractive, well proportioned landscape area, enclosed by decorative fencing, located within an area of parkland of high landscape, amenity and aesthetic values. The interior of the reservoir, when empty, is a remarkable environment, with the forest of timber posts, vaulted arched roof and vast space.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 was the site, in the early 1990s, of a public access program, instituted whilst the Reservoir was empty for refurbishment works, which attracted many thousands of members of the public, demonstrating a significant interest and value placed upon these structures by the public at large.
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is highly regarded by the public as represented by the National Trust of Australia (NSW), as evidenced by its identification in the National Trust Register.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 contains representative examples of a range of construction techniques, materials and technologies of the late nineteenth century. It provides evidence of the expectations and planning context of the designers of the water supply system for Sydney.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is one of the few in-ground, covered water storage reservoirs of the nineteenth century surviving in Sydney.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Centennial Park Reservoir No. 1 is a representative example of a large in-ground covered water storage reservoir of its period.
Integrity/Intactness: The Reservoir is almost completely intact. The pavilion has been removed.
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:

Manage the place and its significant components in accordance with the Heritage Council State Owned Heritage Asset Management Guidelines and the Minimum Standards of Maintenance and Repair in the NSW Heritage Regulations. Manage significant site elements in accordance with a Conservation Management Plan (CMP). If no CMP exists, consult with Asset Management Commercial Services with respect to commissioning a CMP. When commissioning a CMP, do so in accordance with the Model Brief for CMPs available on ConnectNet. Seek endorsement of the CMP from the Heritage Council of NSW. Works undertaken in accordance with a Heritage Council-endorsed CMP do not require further approval under the NSW Heritage Act. Involve heritage professionals as required under the terms of the CMP, or as otherwise determined necessary. Review CMP every 5 years or in a major change of circumstances, whichever is sooner. Review of a CMP should only be undertaken following consultation with Asset Management Commercial Services . When commissioning a CMP review, do so in accordance with the Model Brief for CMPs available on ConnectNet. Where no CMP is in place, or where works are outside the scope of the existing CMP, assess heritage impacts of proposed works in accordance with Sydney Water Environment Impact Assessment guidelines (e.g. undertake a Heritage Assessment and/or Statement of Heritage Impact as required, obtain Heritage Council approval as required). Consult with the Heritage Manager, Environment and Innovation, when major works are planned which affect items of State heritage significance. Undertake archival and photographic recording before major changes, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines. Lodge copies of the archival record with the Sydney Water Archives and the NSW Heritage Office. Where the item is listed in a Local Environmental Plan Schedule of Heritage items, determine if works are exempt from approval under the LEP provisions. Where works are not exempt, obtain necessary approvals from the local council, in accordance with SWC EIA Guidelines.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerSydney Water Heritage Register 01 Jan 00   

References, internet links & images

None

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4573704


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