Millers Point Post Office | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Millers Point Post Office

Item details

Name of item: Millers Point Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Location: Lat: -33.8585333484 Long: 151.2037752030
Primary address: 12 Kent Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Parish: St Peter
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT5 DP43741
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
12 Kent StreetMillers PointSydneySt PeterCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Australia PostFederal Government 

Statement of significance:

Millers Point Post Office is a simply detailed, square, two-storey Victorian reddish-pink Flemish and stretcher bond brick building in the Federation Free Classical Style. It has a single-storey, early brick outbuilding to the east, separated by a courtyard. The main building has a rendered and cream painted coping to a convoluted parapet that flattens out to the rear of the building, behind which is a hipped corrugated sheet metal roof with two corbelled brick chimneys and louvred dormer window to the east.

There is a round arched entry porch to Kent Street and painted stone steps, with stained glass fanlight and sidelights to the original timber door set back into the façade.

. The entry is flanked by a pair of shallow arched sash windows (upper sash nine pane, lower one pane) with sandstone sills. The windows located above each at the ground floor have six upper panes and one lower, the oculus retaining six panes of ripple glass.

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)
Date significance updated: 01 Dec 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: NSW Government Architect’s Office under Walter Liberty Vernon
Physical description: Millers Point Post Office is a simply detailed, square, two-storey Victorian reddish-pink Flemish and stretcher bond brick building in the Federation Free Classical Style. It has a single-storey, early brick outbuilding to the east, separated by a courtyard. The main building has a rendered and cream painted coping to a convoluted parapet that flattens out to the rear of the building, behind which is a hipped corrugated sheet metal roof with two corbelled brick chimneys and louvred dormer window to the east.

There is a round arched entry porch to Kent Street and painted stone steps, with stained glass fanlight and sidelights to the original timber door set back into the façade.

. The entry is flanked by a pair of shallow arched sash windows (upper sash nine pane, lower one pane) with sandstone sills. The windows located above each at the ground floor have six upper panes and one lower, the oculus retaining six panes of ripple glass.

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Millers Point Post Office building is in excellent condition, intact externally and largely intact internally.
Date condition updated:22 Jun 00
Modifications and dates: Some evidence exisits of modifications to The Kent Street facade and timber boarded arched doorway.

The ground floor stair hall shows evidence of an infilled door to the northern wall, with a break in the painted-over dado, possibly from the time the Post Office and commercial office tenancies separated, date unknown. The installation of a storeroom beneath the stair, with the fibre cement infill to the north of the stair at ground floor, possibly occurred at around the same time.
Removal of central wall fabric to the Post Office area (northern half - ground floor) probably occurred for the Post Office tenancy, but possibly earlier to create a larger room.
Modern fitout and possibly infill of fireplaces to the Post Office area (northern half ground floor) c mid-1990s.
Weatherboard and fibre cement sheet addition to the northern end of the outbuilding and later brick infill with installation of a later window to the western wall of the brick outbuilding, dates unknown.
Modern bathroom fitout to the upper floor, causing moisture damage to the architraves of the oculus, date of installation unknown, c1960-70s.
Ducting for services has also been constructed in the hallway behind the bathroom, date unknown.

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)
Current use: Commercial Offices
Former use: Post Office

History

Historical notes: The first post office for Millers Point opened in 1878 in Argyle Street. The lease on this building was extended in 1887, however it was considered too small and not in a convenient location. In August 1887 the office was relocated to 83 George Street North.

By 1891 considerable pressure from the Millers Point community saw plans for the erection of a post office on the corner of Kent and Argyle Street. The chosen site was occupied by a watchhouse for the Police Department which was removed in June 1891, and a new residence built for Sub Inspector Mitchell, Officer in Charge, Number Four Division, on the same site. However, it became evident that the location of this building was not quiet enough for a residence. Subsequently, it was agreed that the building could be utilised for the post office, on the condition that the post office built a suitable building in a quieter location for the Sub Inspector.

On 31 December 1900 this building was opened as the new Millers Point Post Office, and remained so until the 1990s. The prominent corner location of this building ensured that the post office was situated in a much more convenient site for the local community.

In the late 1990s, the use of the building changed with the post office services only occupying the front corner of the ground floor. The remainder of the building has been leased out as office space.

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information (none)-
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)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Millers Point Post Office is historically significant because it is associated with the development of the area into a busy inner city suburb of Sydney, as a separate suburb to the Rocks.

Millers Point Post Office is historically significant because it is associated with the development of communications services in Millers Point during the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, as the growing population required improved services.

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Millers Point Post Office is aesthetically significant because it is a fine example of the Federation Free Classical architectural style.

Millers Point Post Office is a simply detailed Federation Free Style corner building, set in a historically significant precinct, and contributes to the streetscape architecturally in both style and scale.

The architectural style and prominent corner location of Millers Point Post office also make it a local landmark.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Millers Point Post Office is considered to be significant to the community of Millers Point’s sense of place, as a well known local building and a focus for community meeting and activity.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site of the Millers Point Post Office has some potential to contain archaeological information
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Built in 1891, Millers Point Post Office is a rare early example of the Federation Free Classical architectural style
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Millers Point Post Office is part of a group of works by the NSW Government Architect’s Office under Walter Liberty Vernon. It is also an important part of the historic fabric of the highly significant Millers Point area

(Andrew Ward & Associates and Clive Lucas Stapleton and Associates, 2000)
Integrity/Intactness: Millers Point Post Office is largely intact, and retains the features that make it culturally significant, such as the original architectural detailing and its contribution to a historic streetscape
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 0140823 Jun 00 735232

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenApperly, Irving and Reynolds1989A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture
WrittenAustralia Post Australia Post history File – Millers Point SP32/1 Box 354
WrittenD.H. Borchardt (ed)1987Australia: A Guide to Sources
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1992National Trust of Australia (NSW) Classification Listing Card- Millers Point Post Office
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1978National Trust of Australia (NSW) Classification Listing Card - The Rocks Urban Conservation Area
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW) (not stated)
WrittenNSW Gov’t Select Committee1903State Properties Transferred to the Commonwealth
WrittenR.Whitaker1986Sydneyside

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

rez rez rez rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5044964
File number: H00/00146/001


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.