Tempe Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Tempe Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Tempe Railway Station Group
Other name/s: Cooks River Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Griffiths Street, Tempe, NSW 2044
Local govt. area: Marrickville

Boundary:

North: a line across the tracks 5m north of the station footbridge; East: the boundary of railway land fronting Griffiths St; South: a line across the railway tracks 5m south of the end of the platforms; West: the boundary of railway land fronting Richardsons Crescent and the Cooks River excluding the sewer canal.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Griffiths StreetTempeMarrickville  Primary Address
Richardsons CrescentTempeMarrickville  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Tempe Railway Station - inclusive of the platforms, platform buildings on Platform 1 and Platform 2/3, footbridge, stairs and booking office - is of State heritage significance as a major station on the Illawarra line developed from 1884. Tempe Railway Station is of historical significance for its two rare 1884 platform buildings dating from the first period of construction of the Illawarra railway line, along with the 1918 overhead footbridge structure and stairs, and original 1918 overhead booking office. The 1884 platform buildings have historical association with railways designer C. Mayes.

Tempe Railway Station is of aesthetic significance for its two 1884 platform buildings which are fine intact examples of vernacular railway platform buildings of the late Victorian period demonstrating Victorian Rustic Gothic style design influences, rare for their high level of integrity. The 1918 Dorman Long & Co. steel footbridge and stairs are of aesthetic significance and historical associational significance as an intact representative footbridge structure by this firm, rare for its high level of integrity. The steel footbridge and stairs at Tempe Railway Station are also of aesthetic significance as a landmark structure within the relatively visually isolated setting of the station. Tempe Railway Station is of aesthetic significance generally for its setting, with open space to the west, the Cooks River to the south, and a densely built up residential area to the east.

The two 2nd class brick platform buildings are rare as Tempe is one of only 3 stations on the Illawarra line retaining platform buildings of this period and type (the others being Arncliffe and Sydenham), and the only station with two extant largely intact buildings of this period. The original 1918 overhead booking office is now considered rare (despite recladding).

The footbridge was identified as an item of exceptional heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The steel haunched beam footbridge and stairs at Tempe Railway Station are of aesthetic significance and historical associational significance and contribute strongly to an exceptional heritage station precinct, particularly because it doesn’t have any modern awnings. The 1918 steel footbridge and stairs are considered rare for their level of intactness including early handrail details. The 1918 footbridge and stairs are representative of Dorman Long & Co steel footbridge and stair structures of this period. This footbridge retains some elements of its original timber decking (as seen from underneath).
Date significance updated: 21 Oct 16
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: N.S.W. Government Railway
Builder/Maker: C. and E. Miller (original lines), C Mayes (1884 buildings); Footbridge: (1918): Dorman Long & Co
Construction years: 1884-1918
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform 1 building (1884) type 3
Platform 2 and 3 building (1884) type 3
Platform 4 Canopy (modern)
Overhead booking office (1918)
Footbridge (1918)
Platforms (x3)

CONTEXT
Tempe Railway Station is located along Griffiths Street to the east and Richardsons Crescent and Mackey Park to the west. The station perimeter is defined with modern white powder coated aluminium fencing. The station is entered via sets of stairs at either side and a steel footbridge with stairs down to Platforms 1, 2/3 and 4.

PLATFORM 1 BUILDING (1884)
Exterior: This is a single storey painted brick building with a hipped and gabled corrugated steel roof with gable ends facing the railway lines. There are no chimneys. The gable ends each feature arched timber louvred vents and timber barge boards. There are two large openings to a central waiting area, divided by a painted brick post, each opening featuring a timber valance. The awning has cast iron posts with cast iron decorative brackets and steel brackets mounted on decorative stucco wall brackets. Window openings are all covered over.

PLATFORM 2/3 BUILDING (1884)
Exterior: This is a single storey painted brick building located on the island platform with a hipped and gabled corrugated steel roof with gable ends at each end, on both sides, facing the railway lines. The Platform 2 awning is on cast iron posts with cast iron decorative brackets on timber beams, and decorative stucco wall brackets. The central waiting area faces Platform 2. There are two large openings to a central waiting area, divided by a painted brick post, each opening featuring a timber valance. There are steel security doors to the openings. The building has timber framed window openings, modern timber flush doors with covered over fanlights. There is a doorway and fanlight opening facing Platform 3. There is termite damage to the south window frame. The Platform 3 awning is cantilevered on steel brackets mounted on stucco wall brackets. The building features decorative stucco sills to windows and slightly arched window heads.

Interior: The central waiting area facing Platform 2 has a timber tongue & grooved board ceiling and an internal bricked up doorway.

PLATFORM 4 CANOPY
Platform 4 has a modern platform canopy on steel posts on concrete bases with a gabled corrugated steel roof.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE (1918)
The overhead booking office located on the footbridge, formerly a weatherboard building, is now clad in hardiplank. The building has a gabled roof clad in modern cliplock roofing with 3 gable ends (east-west, and one facing the platforms to the south). There are three original timber framed double hung windows on the north elevation, and an original doorway with a fanlight covered over. There is a modern timber flush door. There are three original large timber stop-chamfered posts to the east side of the ticket office which have been cut short at the bottom, and now have concrete bases.

Notable original attributes: covered booking hall with gable ends; timber frame sash windows; possible early ticket window concealed behind indicator boards; early safe; association with substantially intact footbridge including balusters and rails.

FOOTBRIDGE, STAIRS, STAR PATTERN NEWEL POSTS (1918)
Steel Dorman Long & Co footbridge with two sets of taper-haunched girders, one set for street access, the other for platform interchange, steel stair balustrades and star patterned newel posts. The Dorman Long & Co steel haunched beam footbridge design consists of two sets of taper-haunched girders, with cantilevers resting on platform trestles and supporting shallow beams over the railway tracks to provide headroom over rolling stock. The central beam of the footbridge has been cut and raised to clear electric wires, when the line was electrified in 1926.

PLATFORMS (1/2 - 1884 & 3/4 - 1918)
1 central island platform, 2 perimeter platforms. Asphalt surfaces with some modern brick paving, brick edges to Platforms 1 and 2, concrete edges to Platforms 3 and 4. Platform 1 is not in use. Coping is straight profile, concrete and tile and has been raised.

MOVABLE
Heritage-style platform lamp posts
In staff rooms: green and cream metal first aid box with "Tempe Station" and "First Aid Box No 9419" in painted letters, display board of ticketing-related ink stamps, collection of ticketing related objects such as receipt books, coin wrappers, plastic coin trays etc, two click-clack credit card sliders with “Tempe CityRail” inscribed, timber booking office coin (BOC) tray, early two-door low timber cabinet with interior pigeonhole shelving, small blue/grey painted timber stationery organiser, timber desk stationery organiser, blue metal “Be Tidy” bin, cast iron safe with metal coin tray in safe, leather belt pouch with first aid items inside, Timetic wall clock with “SRA of NSW”, canvas mail bag, wall-mounted denonator storage box, including timber backing board, wall-mounted timber shelf.

In storage: white painted timber window sash, luggage trolley with “Tempe” in painted letters, four cast iron points clips, two blue metal “Be Tidy” bins, steel NSW state ballot box, collection of 8-10 yellow and black metal hanging and drop down bathgate indicator signs, collection of later station signs (SRA Platform 4 sign with colour underline. metal signs including “No smoking”, “CCTV” and “Park Smarter”), collection of four timber railway tables and benches of various ages and designs, Olympia typewriter.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
Tempe Railway Station has an interesting setting with the Cooks River to the south, Mackey Park to the west and the densely built-up residential area of Tempe to the east.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Platform 1 building (1884): Good
Platform 2 and 3 building (1884): Moderate.
Platform 4 canopy (modern): Very Good
Overhead booking office (1918): Good
Footbridge (1918): Good
Platforms: Good
Date condition updated:21 May 09
Modifications and dates: 1926: Footbridge: The central beam of the footbridge has been cut and raised to clear electric wires when the line was electrified
c.1993: Overhead booking office (1918): Reclad in hardiplank, new cliplock roofing; window and door openings have modern steel security screens.
N.d: Platform 1 building (1884): Window openings are all covered over. Steel security doors to waiting room openings; Platform 2 and 3 building (1884): Steel security doors to waiting area openings.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: As at Sydenham, the double track station at Tempe was built to service a large residential area, however development of the area was much slower than originally envisioned. The area became known as Tempe after Alexander Brodie Spark's 1835 "Tempe House" on the southern side of the Cooks River. During construction the station was known as the Cooks River Railway Station (this is the name on the original plans for the station), however the station opened as Tempe on 15 October 1884.

"Tempe was a popular resort in the 1880s and, with the opening of the railway station, large crowds flocked to the tree-lined Cooks River, then considered one of the more attractive resorts of the colony for swimming and boating." (page 57, Cashman, Richard and Meader, Chrys: Marrickville Rural Outpost to Inner City, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney 1990).

Unlike Sydenham, Tempe had a small goods siding immediately eastward of the station in 1890. The original buildings included brick second class platform buildings on two brick-faced platforms and a brick Station Master’s residence (all of which are still extant) as well as a brick Gatekeeper’s cottage (since demolished). The former Tempe Station Master’s residence is to the east adjacent to Platform 4, but now in private ownership.

The steel overhead footbridge was built in 1918, with steel stairs to the platforms, just prior to the quadruplification of the line in 1919. For the 1919 quadruplification of the line from Sydenham to Cooks River Junction, the old Down platform was converted into an island platform with a new platform (Platform 4) built for the Down Illawarra tracks. In 1926 the line was electrified as far as Oatley. Since 1943, the Platform 4 building (presumably c.1919) has been demolished and replaced with a modern platform canopy. Circa 1993 the overhead booking office was reclad and reroofed.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Building the railway network-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Evolution of design in railway engineering and architecture-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Moving people to events and leisure activities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Tempe Railway Station is of State historical significance as a major station on the Illawarra line developed from 1884 in two distinct phases. The station retains two 1884 platform buildings, along with a 1918 overhead footbridge structure and stairs, and original (though reclad and re-roofed) 1918 overhead booking office.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The steel footbridge, stairs and newel posts have historical association with Dorman Long & Co, designers and manufacturers of the footbridge.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Tempe Railway Station 1884 platform buildings are of aesthetic significance as fine intact examples of vernacular railway platform buildings of the late Victorian period with some Victorian Rustic Gothic style influence.

The 1918 steel footbridge and stairs are of aesthetic significance as an intact representative footbridge structure designed and manufactured by Dorman Long & Co and are a landmark structure within the relatively visually isolated setting of the station.

Tempe Railway Station is also of aesthetic significance for its interesting setting, with open space to the west, the Cooks River to the south, and a densely built up residential area to the east.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place, and can provide a connection to the local community's past.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The two 2nd class brick platform buildings are rare as Tempe is one of only 3 stations on the Illawarra line retaining platform buildings of this period and type (the others being Arncliffe and Sydenham), and the only station with two extant largely intact buildings of this period. The original 1918 overhead booking office is now considered rare (despite recladding). The extant exterior and interior detailing of the 1884 platform buildings at Tempe is considered rare on the Illawarra line. The 1918 steel footbridge and stairs are considered rare for their level of intactness, including early handrail details.The overhead booking office, originally one of 45 similar offices, is now considered rare (despite recladding).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The footbridge was identified as an item of exceptional heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The steel haunched beam footbridge and stairs at Tempe Railway Station are of aesthetic significance and historical associational significance and contribute strongly to an exceptional heritage station precinct, particularly because it doesn’t have any modern awnings. The 1918 footbridge and stairs are representative of Dorman Long & Co steel footbridge and stair structures of this period. This footbridge retains some elements of its original timber decking (as seen from underneath).
The Overhead Booking Office at Tempe was identified as an item of moderate heritage significance in the 2014 ‘Railway OHBO Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The overhead booking office is historically associated with the rail quadruplication works to the Cooks River in the 1910s and is a fair representative example of its type, despite its recladding. The associated footbridge is remarkably intact and together with the overhead booking office has landmark value within the relatively isolated visual setting of the station.
The 1884 platform buildings are representative of vernacular late Victorian period railway buildings (one of a set including St Peters, Sydenham) of 1880s railway platform buildings on the first section of the Illawarra line.
Integrity/Intactness: The station buildings are essentially intact externally and internally with the exception of the overhead booking office, which has been reclad and re-roofed, however is the original structure.
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:

1. Conservation principles: Conserve cultural heritage significance and minimise impacts on heritage values and fabric in accordance with the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance’. 2. Specialist advice: Seek advice from a qualified heritage specialist during all phases of a proposed project from feasibility, concept and option planning stage; detailed design; heritage approval and assessment; through to construction and finalisation. 3. Documentation: Prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact (SOHI) to assess, minimise and prevent heritage impacts as part of the assessment and approval phase of a project. Prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) prior to proposing major works (such as new additions, change of use or proposed demolition) at all places of State significance and all complex sites of Local significance. 4. Maintenance and repair: Undertake annual inspections and proactive routine maintenance works to conserve heritage fabric in accordance with the ‘Minimum Standards of Maintenance & Repair’. 5. Movable heritage: Retain in situ and care for historic contents, fixtures, fittings, equipment and objects which contribute to cultural heritage significance. Return or reinstate missing features or relocated items where opportunities arise. 6. Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage: Consider all aspects of potential heritage significance as part of assessing and minimising potential impacts, including Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage. 7. Unidentified heritage items: Heritage inventory sheets do not describe or capture all contributory heritage items within an identified curtilage (such as minor buildings, structures, archaeology, landscape elements, movable heritage and significant interiors and finishes). Ensure heritage advice is sought on all proposed changes within a curtilage to conserve heritage significance. 8. Recording and register update: Record changes at heritage places through adequate project records and archival photography. Notify all changes to the Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register administrator upon project completion.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerSRA s.170 Register    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA155State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993314Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes
Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy 2016 NSW Government Architect’s Office Heritage Group  Yes
Railway Overhead Booking Offices Heritage Conservation Strategy2014 Australian Museum Consulting  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Tempe
WrittenC. C. Singleton1945The Illawarra Line: Wells Street to Hurstville, A.R.H.S. Bulletin, Vol XVI, No 94, August
WrittenCashman, Richard and Meader, Chrys1990Marrickville Rural Outpost to Inner City
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenNSW Lands Department 1942 aerial photos from Lands Dept "Six viewer" website.
WrittenRailcorp Heritage1992Footbridge drawings - Drawings 10 - 124 (1914) & 925 - 101

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4801155


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