Cronulla Railway Station group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Cronulla Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Cronulla Railway Station group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -34.0567993795 Long: 151.1515819380
Primary address: Cronulla railway, Cronulla, NSW 2230
Local govt. area: Sutherland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse

Boundary:

North: 5m north of the platform end; East: boundary of railway property fronting Cronulla Street and Croydon Street; South: boundary of railway property fronting Waratah Street; West: boundary of railway land fronting Tonkin Street.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cronulla railwayCronullaSutherland  Primary Address
Cronulla StreetCronullaSutherland  Alternate Address
Tonkin StreetCronullaSutherland  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government22 Oct 98

Statement of significance:

Cronulla Railway Station - inclusive of its 1939 platform and platform buildings, identified moveable items and landscaping - is of State heritage significance. Cronulla Railway Station is of historical significance as a major 1930s Depression period NSW government public works project, and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Cronulla. Cronulla Railway Station is of aesthetic significance as the major terminus station on the 1939 Cronulla line, the importance of which is reflected in the size, design and high architectural quality of the railway station's collection of outstanding Inter-war Functionalist style railway buildings. Cronulla Railway Station is rare within the NSW rail network, and considered to be one of the finest examples of Inter-war Functionalist style railway station architecture in NSW. The platform buildings are noted for their use of dichromatic brickwork, parapeted roofs, curved corners, strong horizontal planes, stepped steel awnings, complex brickwork, decorative features and complex geometric massing. The station is further noted for its cohesion as a precinct with several individual elements and its overall degree of integrity. Cronulla Railway Station has a dramatic street faade to Cronulla Street with a unique central clock tower which also houses electric signalling equipment. Cronulla Railway Station is of high technical significance for its ability to demonstrate design and construction techniques of the mid-20th century.
Date significance updated: 18 Oct 10
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 Railways
Builder/Maker: NSW Department of Railways
Construction years: 1939-1939
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS
Platform buildings and Structures (south to north):
- Freestanding brick wall with platform awning and brick ticket booth/entry building (1939)
- Brick ticket booth/entry building (1939)
- Main Platform building (1939) Type 13
Platform (1939)
Landscape: planting beds, embankment plantings, Monro Park opposite on east
Moveable items:
- Railway clock to platform;
- 2 plaques;
- timber roll-over indicator boards

CONTEXT
Cronulla Railway Station fronts Cronulla Street on the eastern side and was originally entered via three separate entry points along Cronulla Street, each with a 1939 structure. The station has a very long perimeter platform. The main platform building is located towards the northern end of the railway station. The station has some planting beds along the Cronulla Street elevation, and also a railway embankment planting to the western side of the railway tracks. The station is also located opposite Monro Park in Cronulla Street. There is a low brick retaining wall along the Cronulla street side of the platform, above which modern powder coated aluminium fencing has been installed.

FREESTANDING BRICK WALL WITH PLATFORM AWNING AND TICKET BOOTH/ENTRY BUILDING (1939)
A freestanding brick wall with 2 contrasting soldier courses, and a brick entry building towards its southern end, which features a cantilevered platform awning with steel posts and curved corners. The awning ceiling has the same stepped profile as the awning ceiling to the main platform building. The brick entry building also has curved corners and 2 contrasting soldier courses.

ENTRY BUILDING/TICKET BOOTH (1939)
This is a freestanding brick entry building/ticket booth with curved corners, a low soldier course in contrasting brickwork, and steel framed windows with 2 horizontal glazing bars. It is located opposite (west of) the intersection of Laycock Avenue and Cronulla Street.

MAIN PLATFORM BUILDING (1939)
This is an asymmetrically proportioned brick building, a dramatic and imposing composition of Inter-war Functionalist style design with great visual impact to both the Cronulla Street (east) and platform (west) elevations. The building has 8 stepped bays with shallow pitched gabled roofs hidden behind parapets, curved corners, 2 soldier courses in contrasting brickwork, curved awnings to both the street and platform elevations of the building, and a flat roofed clock tower facing Cronulla Street. All brickwork is tuck pointed.

A series of stepped, cantilevered steel awnings to the street elevation, including bus shelters at the southern end on the Cronulla Street elevation, add to the architectural interest of the building. The main platform building entrance area is particularly well defined by two sweeping curved walls of bull nosed bricks forming a covered passageway. This entry area has a decorative Art Deco style plaster ceiling with heavily moulded cornices featuring an ocean wave motif, and features a freestanding brick ticket booth with rollover timber indicator board. The station entry area also features a brass plaque commemorating the official opening of the station in 1939.

The building has original steel framed awning windows placed in groups of three vertically and flywire fanlights. There are many original timber perimeter beaded doors. There are cantilevered steel posts with concrete bases to the platform awning. The awning ceiling has fluorescent strip lighting. There is a luggage store door bricked up. On the Cronulla Street (east) side of the main platform building there are some modern aluminium framed windows, and modern glazed doors with roller shutters. The Countrylink Travel Centre located to the north of the entry area on the street (east) elevation has modern aluminium framed glazed doors. At the far northern end of the building, opening onto both the platform and the street, is a shop, which is contained within the curved northern end of the building. There are original flat concrete awnings over the shop entry and the window on the street side of the shop. There is a 1989 plaque on the Cronulla Street (east) side, near the station entry, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cronulla Station unveiled by the Hon. Bruce Baird on 16 December 1989.

Interior (Partially accessed 2009): The interior of the building comprises a complex arrangement of discrete spaces that are defined by the curving walls of each bay, resulting in asymmetrical and unusually proportioned rooms. These spaces comprise (from north to south): a mens toilet, store room, ladies' toilet, ladies' waiting room (now a staff room), signal equipment room, general waiting room, booking hall (entrance), booking office, Station Master's office, public waiting area, parcels office, traffic staff room and drivers room. The final bay (northern end) is let as a shop. Cronulla Station retains a significant proportion of original interior fit out. Although some fit out has been removed, the bulk of interior joinery, doors and window frames have been retained along with the original signalling/track switching gear, which is still in everyday use. The waiting room has original seating. Interior ceilings to the shop at the far northern end of the main platform building are original.

PLATFORM (1939)
A single very long platform with an asphalt surface and concrete edges. The platform is the second longest in NSW.

CANOPIES (modern)
There are 2 separate modern cantilevered canopies on steel posts on the Cronulla Street (east) side of the station, towards the southern end, off the station platform.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
There are planting beds on both east and west sides of the station, with linear exotic planting on the rail embankment including palm trees. The visual setting includes Monro Park opposite on the east. The original building was planned with extensive gardens to the street elevation, however 1943 aerial photos do not show extensive planting.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
- Double-faced clock mounted on a cast iron wall bracket on the platform (west) elevation of the main platform building;
- Plaque within entry area to main platform building to commemorate the 1939 official opening of the station;
- Plaque on east elevation of main platform building, near entry area, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cronulla Station, unveiled by the Hon. Bruce Baird on 16 December 1989;
- Timber roll-over indicator boards attached to the entry area ticket booth in the Main platform building.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Freestanding brick wall with platform awning and brick entry building (1939): good
Brick entry building/ticket booth (1939): good
Main Platform building (1939): good
Platform (1939): good
Landscape: good
Moveable items: good
Modifications and dates: 1949: Goods yard closed
1952: Goods shed demolished
1953: Milk Bar/Kiosk and brick screen wall added
c.1970: Some interior re-fitting
1995: Timber catenary supports replaced with steel
N.d: Bus shelter awnings south of the main platform building, which are located off the platform, on the Cronulla Street frontage east of the platform; Countrylink Centre fitout; some replacement of original steel framed windows with aluminium framed windows.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station

History

Historical notes: Thomas Holt (1811-88) owned most of the land that stretched from Sutherland to Cronulla in the 1860s. Holt built Sutherland House on the foreshore of Gwawley Bay in 1818, on the eastern side of Sylvania. After the Illawarra railway line was built to Sutherland in 1885, the area became popular for picnics and swimming. Many regulars rented beach houses at Cronulla every year for holidays. The Cronulla area was subdivided in 1895 and land was offered for sale at 10 pounds per acre. In 1899, the government named the area Gunnamatta, which means "sandy hills". The municipality of Sutherland Shire was proclaimed on March 15, 1906, and the Post Office reopened in 1907. On the 26th February 1908 it was officially changed to Cronulla and Gunnamatta was used for the name of the bay, on the western side. The first public school opened in 1910. In 1908, the Government had approved construction of a steam tram route from Sutherland to Cronulla, with construction completed and steam trams operating along the route from June 12, 1911. The area remained mostly semi rural in the inter-war period. After World War II there was a large population increase and the area was suburbanised from the 1950s, with many of the guest houses being replaced by high rise flats.

The Sutherland-Cronulla line was constructed from 1936 and completed in 1939, under the NSW premiership of the conservative Sir Bertram Stevens. In 1936 the NSW State Parliament authorised expenditure of 300,000 pounds to construct the Sutherland to Cronulla railway line, with the men employed to receive award wages "in pursuance of the Cabinet's policy of replacing unemployment relief works by works that will provide a better return for the expenditure of public money, and at the same time create improved conditions of employment." (Canberra Times, 22 February 1936, page 1). A federal loan for "state works" including "speeding up of the construction of the Sutherland-Cronulla line" was granted to the NSW government in November 1938 (Canberra Times, 28 November 1938, page 1). The Cronulla line replaced the steam tramway.

As part of the Cronulla line, five suburban railway stations with Inter-war Functionalist style platform buildings were constructed from Kirrawee to Woolooware (Kirrawee since demolished), and Sutherland Railway Station rebuilt with a pair of Inter-war Functionalist style platform buildings. Cronulla, as the terminus of the line, was regarded as the most important station on the line, and was officially opened on 16 December 1939 by the NSW Governor Lord Wakehurst. The Cronulla terminus was unlike any other railway terminus due to the very long single side loading platform designed to take two full length electric trains end to end. Cronulla was a major tourist resort, and the railway station was constructed close to the ocean beach. The design of the station allowed large crowds to move quickly in and out of the trains and off the platform.

The Cronulla line was constructed as an electrified railway line, and was the first major use of a miniaturised relay locking system using electrical relays for electric light signalling for sections of the line (known as the electro- pneumatic system).

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 (none)-
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 and maintaining the public railway system-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing suburbia-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and administering rail networks-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cronulla Railway Station is of state historical significance as the major terminus station on the 1939 Cronulla line, the importance of which is reflected in the size and fine architecture of the railway station. Cronulla Railway Station is also of historical significance as a major 1930s Depression period NSW government public works project, and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Cronulla.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Cronulla Railway Station is of state aesthetic significance as a collection of outstanding Inter-War Functionalist railway station buildings and structures considered to be the finest in the NSW railway network. The buildings are noted for their use of dichromatic brickwork, parapeted roofs, curved corners, strong horizontal planes, stepped steel awnings, complex brickwork, decorative features and complex geometric massing. The station is further noted for its cohesion as a precinct with several original elements and its overall degree of integrity. Cronulla Railway Station has a dramatic street fa├žade to Cronulla Street with a unique central clock tower which also houses electric signalling equipment.
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 e)
[Research potential]
Cronulla Railway Station is of high technical significance for its ability to demonstrate design and construction techniques of the mid-20th century and for its ability to demonstrate the use of the Inter-War Functionalist style for a railway station.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Cronulla Railway Station is rare as an outstanding example of Inter-War Functionalist railway station architecture, considered to be the finest in NSW.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Cronulla Railway Station is a fine representative example of Inter-War Functionalist style railway station architecture, both on the Cronulla line and in the NSW Railways network as a whole.
Integrity/Intactness: Cronulla Railway Station is remarkably intact. The station buildings and structures have retained a high degree of integrity externally and a moderate degree of integrity internally.
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0112302 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Cronulla Railway Station Group View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Cronulla Railway Station group View detail
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G. (ed.s)1988'Cronulla' entry in The Book of Sydney Suburbs

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

rez
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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5011980
File number: H06/00200


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