Walter Sully Emporium | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Walter Sully Emporium

Item details

Name of item: Walter Sully Emporium
Other name/s: Walter Sully & Co. Pty Ltd
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Location: Lat: -31.9562403964 Long: 141.4681745730
Primary address: 404-408 Argent Street, Broken Hill, NSW 2880
Parish: Picton
County: Yancowinna
Local govt. area: Broken Hill
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Broken Hill
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART PORTION1799 DP757298
PORTION1818 DP757298
PART PORTION3145 DP757298
PORTION81 DP757298
   DP918729
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
404-408 Argent StreetBroken HillBroken HillPictonYancowinnaPrimary Address
Oxide StreetBroken HillBroken HillPictonYancowinnaAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Broken Hill City CouncilLocal Government19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

The emporium was the longest surviving commercial business in Broken Hill until its closure and was instrumental in the development and exploration of the mineral field. It forms part of an important Argent Street streetscape. (Vines 1987: 4)
Date significance updated: 22 Oct 08
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

Construction years: 1885-1900
Physical description: The Walter Sully Emporium is situated on the nort west side of Argent Street adjoining The Silver City Working Men's Club. The ground is flat and without any substantial vegetation. The ground is partially covered by bitumen.

The building is a two storey stone structure with a cellar covering the rear sections of the building. The first stage (1885) comprises of the double fronted shop with staircase to the overhead gallery and to the cellar. The second stage (c.1900) comprises of two shops with a cellar underneath.

The walls were originally exposed stone with red brick quoining and parapet detailing. Later, probably during the building of the c.1900 extension, the facade was unified with render detailing and a veranda erected to unify the front elevation. The shopfronts are timber, the original design copied in the extension.

Between 1939 and 1957 all the facade detailing was removed and has been replaced with cement render. Pilasters (built c.1900) divide the shopfronts with quasi-corinthian capitals and a new verandah nas been added. The verandah has a timber framed roof of shallow convex shape, steel posts of two sizes and a concealed gutter behind the fascia hoarding.

The building roof is galvanised iron. The roof to the original building is a shallow barrel shape with small steel bow truss supports. The roof to the later section comprises two gables concealed behind the shop parapet with a central box gutter and ending in two hips with roof ventilators at the north end.

Corrugated iron outbuildings, a brick explosive store, underground tank and underground well are also located on the site.
(Vines 1987: 9 &12)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical Condition - Poor
Modifications and dates: 1885 - shop, staircase and gallery built
c.1900 - Extension - two shops
-Pilasters erected
-Verandah built?
-Explosive store and well built on site
1939-1957 - Exterior cement rendered
-New verandah
(Vines 1987:9 & 12)
Former use: Aboriginal land, shopping emporium

History

Historical notes: Walter Sully established his first store in Silverton in 1882. In 1885 he moved to Broken Hill and erected a two storey stone building with an arched, galvanised iron roof. This was used as the first post office in Broken Hill, commencing operation on 1 November 1886. An adjoining building was erected some years later in two separate parts - an office and a grocery store. This may have been around 1900. The office was reputedlay in the centre building.

On 29 November 1907 Walter Sullys was formed as a limited company with Walter Sully as chairman, H.B. Sweetapple as Managing Director and five other directors. In 1924 Sully died in England and Sweetapple became Managing Director. Sweetapple's held this position until 1971 when Mr K Hammond became Managing Director.

Sullys provided all the heavy machinery and equipment for the development and exploration of Broken Hill's mineral field: explosives, candles, timber, metal machinery, general hardware, paints, tractors and liquor. The firm had its own livery stables and blacksmith at the rear of the buildings.
(Vines 1987: 5)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Retailing-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Shopkeeping-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Tourism-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Miners' accommodation and living conditions-
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 19th century suburban developments-
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 Beautifying towns and villages-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going shopping downtown-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It is the earliest surviving commercial business in Broken Hill until its closure in 1985 and was associated with two well known Broken Hill families, the Sullys (1885-1924) and the Sweetaples (1924-1985). The business provided all the heavy machinery and equipment for the development and exploration of Broken Hill's mineral field. (Vines 1987: 4)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The emporium is a strong element in the Argent Street streetscape. Erected in two stages, the two storey buildings are notable, despite defacement of the facade by removal of original facade mouldings and the single storey verandah. It forms an integral part of the streetscape. (vines 1987: 4)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The interior survives in original condition, retaining early office furniture and timber store shelving. The upper residence floors retain early finishes which, although in poor condition, provide a catalogue of decorative finishes utilised in Broken Hill from c.1900 - c.1940. (Vines 1987:4)
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:

Sympathetic development of the site adhering to the consevation and heritage plan is a appropriate

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act maintenance of buildings, grounds


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(a) The maintenance of any item on the site meaning the continuous protective care of existing materials;
(b) Routine garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning and weed control; the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls: new minor planting; tree surgery, but not extensive lopping.
Oct 2 1987
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act standard examptions + demolition of outside items to Manager's approval.


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) Minor repairs where minor repair means the repair of existing materials and includes replacements of minor components such as individual bricks where these have been damaged beyond reasonable repair or are missing. The replacement should be of the same material, colour, texture, form and design as the original they replace. This excludes the application of external paintwork;
(2) Routine garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control; the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls; new minor planting; tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
(3) Conservation and restoration works in accordance with a conservation plan approved by the Heritage Council of New South Wales.
(4) The demolition of outbuildings, sheds, fences and gates on the site, subject to a measured and photographic survey being carried out and submitted for the approval of the Manager, Heritage Branch, prior to any work commencing on the site.
Nov 15 1991
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 0069002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0069015 Nov 91 1599672
Local Environmental Plan  28 Feb 97   
Register of the National Estate  28 Sep 82   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenElizabeth Vines, McDougall & Vines Architectural & Heritage Consultants.1987Sully's Building. 404-08 Argent Street Broken Hill. A Heritage Study and Conservation Plan
WrittenSpearitt, Peter2018'Where History Happened'

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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045074
File number: S90/03335/003


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