Erskineville Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Erskineville Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Erskineville Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Swanson Street, Erskineville, NSW 2043
Local govt. area: Sydney

Boundary:

North: 5m north of the Swanson Street overbridge (excluding overbridge); East: boundary of railway property fronting Bridge Street; South: 5m south of the western platform end; West: boundary of railway property fronting the rear boundaries of properties on George Street, Erskineville.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Swanson StreetErskinevilleSydney  Primary Address
Erskineville RoadErskinevilleSydney  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Erskineville Railway Station is of local heritage significance. The station is of historical significance for its role as a transport hub for the Erskineville area, evolving from the original 1884 Erskineville railway station north of the Swanson St overbridge to the present station site south of the bridge, constructed in 1911. The station is significant as a group of structures dating from the establishment of the station at this location in 1911-12, is highly intact, and significant for its association with the rail quadruplification works to Sydenham in the early 1900s that resulted in the station's relocation to its present site.

Erskineville Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as a cohesive group of standard Federation period railway station structures, the overhead booking office being particularly rare for its level of intactness.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The footbridge deck support and substructures are intact, as are the stair railings and newel posts to Platform 4. It is a good representative example of a standard RSJ footbridge design that contributes to Erskineville Station precinct. It is unusual that the footbridge is contemporary with the other station buildings and structures, as often footbridges were constructed sometime after the original station construction period.

The Overhead Booking Office at Erskineville was identified as the best example of a Federation Queen Anne style OHBO in the 2014 ‘Railway OHBO Heritage Conservation Strategy’ and of potential state significance. The overhead booking office has aesthetic significance as part of a cohesive group of standard Federation period railway station structures, representative of urban station design in the early twentieth century. The overhead booking office is particularly rare for its level of intactness.
Date significance updated: 17 Feb 17
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 Railway.
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railway.
Construction years: 1910-1913
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Overhead booking office (1910-1913)
Platform 2/3 building (1911) (Type 11)
Platform 1 & 4 buildings on perimeter platforms (1912) (Type 11)
Platform 1 Canopy (2011)
Platforms (1911-1912)
Footbridge, stair structure, Platform 4 stair railings and newel posts (1911-1912)
Moveable items: rollover timber indicator board
Swanson Street overbridge (1911, upgraded)

CONTEXT
Erskineville Railway Station is located on the southern side of the Swanson Street overbridge connecting Erskineville Road and Swanson Street, with the overhead booking office accessed from the footpath on the overbridge on the southern side of Swanson Street. The station has a central island platform and two perimeter platforms. The platforms are numbered 1-4 from west to east. There is a high brick retaining wall on the east side behind Platform 4.

OVERHEAD BOOKING OFFICE (1910-1913)
Exterior: The station is entered via a concourse through the weatherboard overhead booking office. The booking office has a complex gabled corrugated steel roof , with roughcast stuccoed and imitation half-timbered gable ends to east, west and south. The building has timber tongue & grooved eaves and exposed rafter ends. There are some original windows with 9-paned top sashes with multicoloured glazing, the top sashes slightly arched. Off the concourse to the west is a shop, which utilises a modern painted concrete block addition with a skillion roof to the west side of the booking office. The entrance to the shop from the concourse features a timber valance.

Interior: (Partially accessed) To the station entry concourse there is an original timber tongue & grooved ceiling with 2 metal ceiling roses.

Notable original attributes: weatherboard siding; multi-pane sash windows; covered booking hall with half-timbered gable ends, timber posts, valance, and panel ceiling, and metal ceiling rose; timber frame ticket window (currently hidden behind noticeboards in booking hall); early safe.

PLATFORM 2/3 BUILDING (1911)
Exterior: A face brick island platform building with a corrugated steel roof with two chimneys, and skillion roofed awnings on both sides. The walls feature stucco mouldings around window heads and fanlights, and a stucco label mould at approx 2/3rds of the wall height. Windows are timber framed double hung with 9-paned top sashes and plain fanlights (not multipaned). There is a rectangular timber louvred vent to south gable end, and no vent to the north gable end. There is evidence of removal of a previous brick screen to the south end of building.

Interior: 2 waiting areas have ripple iron ceilings with metal ceiling roses, plaster Waratah motif wall vents, timber floors and chimney breasts.

PLATFORM 1 BUILDING (1912)
Exterior: A face brick perimeter platform building with a gabled corrugated steel roof with one chimney. The building features stucco mouldings around window heads and fanlights, and a stucco label mould at approx 2/3rds of the wall height. There are also stucco sills to windows. Original doors are timber 4 panelled, windows are timber framed double hung (bottom sashes covered over) with 9-paned top sashes. There are 6-paned fanlights to doors with multicoloured glazing. The cantilevered awning is carried on steel brackets mounted on decorative stucco wall brackets. There are timber valences to each end of the awning.

PLATFORM 4 BUILDING (1912)
Exterior: A face brick perimeter platform building with a gabled corrugated steel roof, with one chimney with stucco mouldings and two terracotta chimney pots. There are rectangular timber louvred vents to gable ends. The walls feature stucco mouldings around window heads and fanlights, and a stucco label mould at approx 2/3rds of the wall height. The awning is cantilevered on steel brackets mounted on decorative stucco wall brackets. There is a timber valance to both ends of the awning. There are stucco sills to windows. Original doors are timber 4 panelled, windows are timber framed double hung (bottom sashes covered over) with 9-paned top sashes. There are 6-paned fanlights to doors with multicoloured glazing. There is a modern extension of the building awning at north end.

PLATFORMS (1911-1912)
One island platform, two perimeter platforms, brick edges except Platform 1 (which has concrete edge), asphalt surfaces. Platforms 1 and 2 are curved. Modern open steel canopy constructed on Platform 1. Platforms 2, 3 & 4 have had the walls anchored (2012).

FOOTBRIDGE, STAIR STRUCTURE, PLATFORM 4 STAIR RAILINGS & NEWEL POSTS (1911-1912)
The footbridge and all stairs have a Dorman Long & Co steel structure. The footbridge has a concrete deck and modern balustrading, also stairs to Platform 1 and Platform 2/3 have modern railings. All stairs are concrete. The Platform 4 stairs retain the original steel railings and star pattern newel posts.

SWANSON STREET OVERBRIDGE (1911, upgraded)
Brick overbridge, also adjacent brick retaining walls. The bridge has been upgraded, and does not form part of the listing.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
Shrub plantings at northern end of Platform 2/3.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
Rollover timber indicator boards within concourse of overhead booking office.
Three hurricane lamps
Cast iron safe
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Overhead booking office (1910-1913): good
Platform 2/3 island platform building (1911): good
Platform 1 & 4 perimeter platform buildings (1912): good
Platforms (1911-1912): good
Footbridge, stair structure, Platform 4 Stair railings and newel posts (1911-1912): good
Date condition updated:26 May 09
Modifications and dates: 1926: Line electrified
c.1993: Station footbridge upgraded, involving replacement of stair railings and posts to Platform 1 and 2/3 stairs, new concrete steps.
2011: Steel canopy constructed on Platform 1.
Further information: The Station Master's residence is no longer in RailCorp ownership and it is not known whether it is still extant.
The OHBO has been identified as potentially State significant - requires further research.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The earliest land grants in the Erskineville area were made to Nicholas Devine in 1794 and 1799. Devine built a house called Burren Farm near the corner of George Street and Erskineville Road, and the property passed to Bernard Rochford, who subdivided the land, some of which was bought by a Wesleyan Minister, George Erskine. George Erskine built a house called Erskine Villa in 1830, from which the suburb derived its name. By 1852 the suburb was developing as an industrial and predominantly working class residential area, however a legal dispute over the ownership of the land (known as the "Newtown Ejectment case") launched by John Devine (a descendant of Nicholas Devine) held up development from 1852 till it was settled out of court in 1857. In 1893, the Borough of Erskineville Naming Act was passed by Parliament, finally settling the naming of the suburb.

The first Erskineville Station was built immediately to the north of Erskineville Road/Swanson Street on the double track line built from Illawarra Junction to Hurstville by C. and E. Miller and opened in 1884. At first, the two side platforms had small waiting rooms accessed from Burren Street and Railway Parade.

In 1890 a station was built on the same site with a waiting room and ticket office on an overhead structure alongside the road overbridge. It was then decided as part of the rail quadruplication to Sydenham to rebuild the station on the southern side of Erskineville Road immediately adjacent to the overbridge connecting Erskineville Road and Swanson Street.

A new steel and iron footbridge and support structure for the timber overhead booking office was then built with connecting stairs to the central island platform and two side platforms. Space was reserved at the western side of the station for an additional platform which was only partly built and the track never installed.

Initially the standard brick platform station on the central island Platform 2-3 was built in 1911, followed in the 1912 by the two standard brick side platforms - Platforms 1 and 4 - with platform buildings.

In 1974 a footbridge for railway staff was built across the yard at Erskineville, however this is no longer extant.

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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Erskineville Railway Station is of historical significance for its role as a transport hub for the Erskineville area, evolving from the original 1884 Erskineville railway station north of the Swanson Street overbridge to the present station site south of the bridge constructed in 1911. The station is significant as a group of structures dating from the establishment of the station at this location in 1911-12, is highly intact, and significant for its association with the rail quadruplification works to Sydenham in the early 1900s that resulted in the station's relocation to its present site.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Erskineville Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as a cohesive group of standard Federation period railway structures, the overhead booking office being particularly remarkable for its level of intactness.
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 1911 overhead booking office is very rare as an intact Federation period weatherboard overhead booking office.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The overhead booking office, platform buildings, platforms, footbridge and stair structure, are representative railway station structures from the Federation period, built to standard NSW Railways designs.

The footbridge was identified as an item of high heritage significance in the 2016 ‘Railway Footbridges Heritage Conservation Strategy’. The footbridge deck support and substructures are intact, as are the stair railings and newel posts to Platform 4. It is a good representative example of a standard RSJ footbridge design that contributes to Erskineville Station precinct. It is unusual that the footbridge is contemporary with the other station buildings and structures, as often footbridges were constructed sometime after the original station construction period.

The Overhead Booking Office at Erskineville was identified as the best example of a Federation Queen Anne style OHBO in the 2014 ‘Railway OHBO Heritage Conservation Strategy’ and of potential state significance. The overhead booking office has aesthetic significance as part of a cohesive group of standard Federation period railway station structures, representative of urban station design in the early twentieth century. The overhead booking office is particularly rare for its level of intactness.
Integrity/Intactness: The overhead booking office is remarkably intact including timber ceiling with metal ceiling rose to concourse and gable end detail, original windows, and having only one small, easily removable addition (shop to west elevation). The platform buildings are intact externally. The overbridge has been altered, and has a low level of integrity. The footbridge and stair structure is intact, as are the stair railings and newel posts to Platform 4. The station as a whole is a cohesive group from the same period with little later alteration, and as a precinct is very intact.
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.

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)17 Feb 17

Listings

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

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
State Rail Authority Heritage Register Study1999SRA158, SRA645 (stn footbridge), SRA646 (yard f/b)State Rail Authority  No
Heritage and Conservation Register State Rail Authority of NSW1993196Paul Davies for SRA  No
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
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

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAustralian Museum Consulting2014Railway Overhead Booking Offices Heritage Conservation Strategy
WrittenC. C. Singleton1945Illawarra Line-Wells Street to Hurstville, A.R.H.S. Bulletin Vol. XVI, No 94, August
WrittenDavid Sheedy2009Historical Research for RailCorp S170 Register Update
WrittenPollon Frances (ed.)1988The Book of Sydney Suburbs

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: 4801158


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