Newcastle Railway Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Newcastle Railway Station

Item details

Name of item: Newcastle Railway Station
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -32.9266711583 Long: 151.7838452270
Primary address: Great Northern Railway, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Parish: Newcastle
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Newcastle
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Awabakal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT22 DP1009735
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Great Northern RailwayNewcastleNewcastleNewcastleNorthumberlandPrimary Address
Scott StreetNewcastleNewcastleNewcastleNorthumberlandAlternate Address
Watt StreetNewcastleNewcastle  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government22 Aug 97
RailCorpState Government26 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Historically the building reflects the phases of development of the state's second most important city over almost a century and a half, symbolises the expansion of rail into regional NSW and the completion of the major link in the opening up of the north of the state to rail travel. Aesthetically, the station is a fine example of the station type built for larger centres in NSW. Socially the buildings have a unique place in the social activity of Novocastrians over nearly a century and a half. Scientifically the site has potential to reveal information which could provide greater insight into the changing face of rail travel to the state's second major city, the changing face of its relationship with the harbour and the Honeysuckle Workshops and the importance in the development of gas lighting in Newcastle City. (EJE Architecture 1996)
Date significance updated: 30 Sep 97
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: John Whitton
Construction years: 1878-1929
Physical description: Station:
Built as a symmetrical row of five brick buildings (one and two storeys). The complex is united structurally by platform verandahs, supported on elaborate brackets, and visually by the common motifs of semi-circular windows, four-panel doors with overhead fanlights, frieze under eaves and the stone quoins/pilasters which define the corners of the buildings. The overall decorative effect is of a restrained Renaissance classicism resulting from the flat detailing.

Booking Hall:
The central booking hall is topped by a lantern and features cornered pavilions.

The buildings on either side of the Booking Hall have raised skylights which make interesting variations in the roofline of the complex. The one to the west on the roadside however, was converted into a three storey hotel for a time and this addition has altered the original symmetry (Kerr/Conners 1975).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good. Archaeological potential is low.
Date condition updated:30 Sep 97
Modifications and dates: 1878 - built
1880 - extension and completion of platform 2
1892 - addition of canopy, new parcels office and stationmasters office
1897 - major renovations
1923-1929 - more development
1940s-1950s - minor changes
1980 - last phase of works
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station

History

Historical notes: The earliest railway structures on the site were built in the 1850s to serve the original isolated Hunter valley railway. With the connection of this system to Sydney came the need for a new terminus.

Under the supervision of John Whitton, Engineer in Chief of the NSW Government Railways, the new station was erected. The original building was constructed in 1878 and first used in December of that year. It consisted of a central two storey building with single storey pavilions at either end. The ground floor housed a ticket office, waiting room, ladies room, parcels office and a stationmaster's office with administrative offices on the first floor. The pavilions on each end of the main building housed the men's lavatories and porter's accommodation. This new station was designed with a layout typical of NSW railway stations at that time (although was unique in being two-storey) and forms the basis of the station as it exists today.

By the late 19th century the popularity of rail travel led to the extension and completion of Platform 2 in 1880, with the subsequent addition of a canopy in 1892 as well as a new parcels office and stationmaster's office. The areas previously occupied by these offices were converted into a dining room and bar. In 1897 a major renovations phase resulted in the demolition of the western pavilion and construction of the two storey kitchen and staff block as well as the original single storey dining room used as a Railway Refreshment Room (RRR), the last major RRR built in the state. In addition a new single storey building was erected.

The last major phase of development occurred between 1923 and 1929. It was intended to construct a new building to improve accommodation at the station. This plan did not eventuate, but rather the replacement of the original Scott Street verandah by the current enclosed brick structure and the extension of the single dining room to three storeys. Most of the internal partitions and staircases were constructed during this time. The first floor of the 1878 building was converted to staff bedrooms, and a scullery and change rooms were added.

Further minor changes were made during the 1940s and 1950s and the most recent major works occurred in 1980. (EJE Architecture 1996)

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)-
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 (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building reflects the phases of development of the state's second most important city over almost a century and a half and symbolises the expansion of rail into regional NSW and the major link in the opening up of the north of the state to rail travel. (EJE Architecture)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The station is a fine example of the station type built for larger centres in NSW. It is a major example of one type of Victorian Station architecture and as a townscape element of part of the original civic and commercial centre. (Kerr/Conners 1975)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The buildings have a unique place in the social activity of Novocastrians over nearly a century and a half. (EJE Architecture)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site has potential to reveal information which could provide greater insight into the changing face of rail travel to the state's second major city over more than a century, the changing face of its relationship with the harbour and the Honeysuckle Workshops and the importance in the development of gas lighting in Newcastle City. (EJE Architecture)
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:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

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 0023602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0023627 Aug 82 1133909
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental Plan  03 Jul 92   
National Trust of Australia register   22 Jul 75   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenEJE Architecture1996Newcastle Conservation and Management Plan
WrittenKerr/Conners1974National Trust Classification Card - Newcastle Railway Station
WrittenQuint, Graham2014'Newcastle's Heritage', in Advocacy/Annual Review 2014

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

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(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: 5044973
File number: S90/05683 & HC 32621


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