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Commercial building

Item details

Name of item: Commercial building
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Other - Residential Buildings (private)
Location: Lat: -33.8630810263 Long: 151.2073500390
Primary address: 231 George Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000
Parish: St Philip
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP771884

Boundary:

Eora
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
231 George StreetThe RocksSydneySt PhilipCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney Harbour Foreshore AuthorityState Government 

Statement of significance:

This commercial building and site are of State heritage significance for their historical and scientific cultural values. The site and building are also of State heritage significance for their contribution to The Rocks area which is of State Heritage significance in its own right.

As a group, the buildings (Federation Hall, Royal Naval House, Johnson's Building, 231 George Street & Brooklyn Hotel) have considerable significance. All facades contribute to the overall richness of the group, with Royal Naval House the focal point and the Johnson's Building leading nicely around the corner to a 'coda' of two small but heavily textured facades which seem to be a logical end to the whole. The trees, which are deciduous, give an added quality to the richness of the facades and have considerable significance. The facades as a group have important landmark qualities with their location on the north-west corner of a major intersection, providing an entry point to The Rocks.

231 George Street: This Edwardian building is in Federation Free Style, presenting a very tall, narrow façade to George Street and providing a link, in style and materials, between the Johnson's Building and the Brooklyn Hotel. Its projecting bay, arched at the top, with a triangular pediment in a chequerboard design, makes a significant contribution to the landmark quality of the corner grouping.
(SCRA 1982: 99-100, 105; National Trust listing 1981)
Date significance updated: 30 Mar 11
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: 1914-1915
Physical description: 231 George Street is a narrow frontage four-storey office building which infills the space between the Johnson Building and the Brooklyn Hotel. It is a brick and sandstone building with a projecting bay window and triangular chequerboard pediment at roof level.
Style: Federation Free Style; Storeys: 4; Roof Cladding: Iron; Floor Frame: Timber
Modifications and dates: In the late 1980s, major work was undertaken to the group of buildings to enable their reuse. The street facades, including awnings and shop fronts, were conserved. The interiors of the buildings were extensively modified.
Current use: Offices

History

Historical notes: The site occupied by 231 George Street was over part of the original Parade Ground of the Colony. The land was claimed by Robert Howe on the basis of a land grant promised to his father by Governor Macquarie. Robert Howe and the Sydney Gazette Office occupied premises which had street frontages both to George and Grosvenor Streets from 1824-28. By 1848 the original grant fronting George Street comprised 'Mr Dawson's' house, a passage and the first of a series of terraced shops and houses. Mr Dawson, watch and chronometer maker, occupied the house from 1848 until c.1862. The house remained essentially unaltered until demolition commenced in 1911/12 for the widening of George Street. While the new Brooklyn Hotel and Chamber of Commerce building were completed by the end of 1912, this site remained vacant for that year, housing the temporary bar of the Brooklyn. Early in 1915 the site was rated by the City Council as 'land'. Later in the same year the State Metal Quarries are listed as tenants of a four storey brick structure with an iron roof. Thus, 231 George Street was probably erected in 1914 or 1915. (SCRA 1982: 8-12)
From 1980 negotiations proceeded with the private sector on proposals for mixed development and recycling on the land bounded by George, Grosvenor, Harrington and Essex Streets, known as Sites D5, D6 and D11. The agreement for the Grosvenor Place project was signed in June, 1983 involving the renovation of Royal Naval House and four adjacent buildings, including 231 George Street. Work on Grosvenor Place commenced in 1984 and was completed in 1988. In 1987, work commenced on the$12.5m reconstruction and renovation of Royal Naval House and Federation Hall in Grosvenor Street to enable the buildings to house the Sydney Futures Exchange. The reconstruction and renovation of the three remaining historic buildings on the site, including 231 George Street, was carried out in 1989 for use as bars and restaurant. (SCRA Annual Reports 1980-1989)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This commercial building and site are of State heritage significance for their historical and scientific cultural values. The site and building are also of State heritage significance for their contribution to The Rocks area which is of State Heritage significance in its own right (see item no. 4500458).

The site was once part of the original Parade Ground of the Colony and the site's changing use reflects the urban, economic and social development of the area from the very early days of the colony to the present. The redevelopment of the site in the late 20th century is a demonstration of the compromises that were made to accommodate new development.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
231 George Street: This Edwardian building is in Federation Free Style, presenting a very tall, narrow façade to George Street and providing a link, in style and materials, between the Johnson's Building and the Brooklyn Hotel. Its projecting bay, arched at the top, with a triangular pediment in a chequerboard design, makes a significant contribution to the landmark quality of the corner grouping.
(SCRA 1982: 99-100, 105; National Trust listing 1981)

As a group, the buildings (Federation Hall, Royal Naval House, Johnson's Building, 231 George Street & Brooklyn Hotel) have considerable significance. All facades contribute to the overall richness of the group, with Royal Naval House the focal point and the Johnson's Building leading nicely around the corner to a 'coda' of two small but heavily textured facades which seem to be a logical end to the whole. The trees, which are deciduous, give an added quality to the richness of the facades and have considerable significance. The facades as a group have important landmark qualities with their location on the north-west corner of a major intersection, providing an entry point to The Rocks.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The redevelopment of the site and the reconstruction of the building in 1989 has left the façade as the only original fabric. There was extensive excavation below the building. Therefore the archaeological resource has been destroyed and the site has low potential for archaeological research. The site still retains value for other areas of research such as changing architectural styles and adaptive reuse.
Integrity/Intactness: The building was extensively reconstructed in 1989, with only the façade of the building remaining of the original fabric.
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:

The 1982 Conservation Plan for the group of five buildings was prepared prior to the major work undertaken to the buildings in the late 1980s. An updated conservation plan should be prepared prior to any work being proposed for the buildings, addressing each building individually and the group as a whole. This should follow the requirements of the NSW Heritage Office's Heritage Manual.

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 0154010 May 02 852865

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
SCA Register 1979-19981998B069Sydney Cove Authority (SCA)  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSydney Cove Redevelopment Authority,1983Conservation Plan. Sites D5, D6 & D11.
WrittenWellings Smith & Byrnes1987EIS for the 'Demolition of Johnson's Corner Buildings and Provision of Commemorative Plaza, 229-235 George Street, Sydney

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: 5053155


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