Balmain Fire Station | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Balmain Fire Station

Item details

Name of item: Balmain Fire Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Fire Control
Category: Fire Station
Primary address: 391 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2041
Local govt. area: Inner West
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
391 Darling StreetBalmainInner West  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Fire and Rescue NSWState Government 

Statement of significance:

An intact and well scaled Victorian urban building that relates well to the major civic buildings in the group and serves to create a pleasant nineteenth century street precinct (McDonald Burton Thorp McPhee Macarthur 1989).
This fire station is a rare example of this type of building. Built in the late 19th century Italianate manner - it harmonises well with the nearby Town Hall, Court House and Post Office and an adjacent Victorian house which is also included in the Balmain Civic Group listing (RNE 1978).
Date significance updated: 17 Oct 00
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: Charles Hellmrick
Builder/Maker: Folster & Heels
Physical description: A two storey brick and rendered brick Victorian Italianate building with a parapet , which is a simple decorative rendered façade, with very plain side elevations. On the ground floor on the western end of the front (southern) façade, there is one engine bay with a segmental arch and hood moulding above. Three deeply recessed sash windows and one door, also have segmental arches and hood mouldings are on the eastern end. The windows have heavily moulded sills on brackets. The first floor has three sets of deep sash windows grouped in pairs and with basket arches and rendered keystones, imposts and pilasters. The sills are moulded and bracketed. String course mouldings are at floor and roof levels, terminating in "fireman's cap" motifs applied to the projecting end walls(McMonnies 1988).
A two storey brick and stucco Victorian Italianate building with decorative parapet. The façade has label moulding to the windows, string coursing at floor and roof levels and elaborate moulding at the quoins (RNE 1982).
Modifications and dates: Alterations and additions at the rear and internally in no way detract from the buildings significance to the local scene (RNE 1978).
Alterations and additions c1984.
Current use: Fire Station
Former use: Fire Station and residence


Historical notes: Built in 1894 to a design by Charles Hellmrick, an alderman and local council representative on the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Constructed by builders Folster and Heels, at a cost of 1022 pounds. A year later, North Sydney Fire Station was built as a mirror image of this station at Balmain (McMonnies 1988).

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 (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building has historical association with the local community since commencing its operation.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building is held in high regard for its links with the local community especially the families of volunteers/retained firemen.
SHR Criteria f)
This fire station is a rare example of this type of building (RNE 1978).
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Heritage studyBalmain Fire Station 01 Jan 90   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Leichhardt Heritage Study1990 Brian McDonald, Craig Burton, Wendy Thorp, Wayne McPhee, Cathy Macarthur  Yes
Heritage Survey of Sydney Region Fire Stations1988 Jennifer McMonnies  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links

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: 4690003

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.