Russell Hotel and shop
Statement of SignificanceThe overall site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group has historical significance as part of the site of the colony's first hospital and as the location of a development built c.1830 by Samuel Terry, the successful emancipist merchant and landowner. The three individual sites comprising the Group have supported the same, or very similar, uses not just since the construction of the extant buildings but since the construction of Terry's development which preceded them. The sites therefore demonstrate a continuity of use extending over more than 185 years. (May 2013 Russell Hotel & Fortune of War Group) The associational significance of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group stems primarily from its strong connection with Samuel Terry, whose astute business dealings led to him becoming known as the 'Botany Bay Rothschild'. The Group is also associated with Tooth & Co, a significant brewing company that operated from 1835 until 1983. The aesthetic significance of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group stems from the architectural characters of the three individual buildings that comprise it. The Russell Hotel is a highly intact example of a Queen Anne style licensed hotel. Its picturesque corner tower, with its conical roof, is a local landmark that marks the corner of George and Globe streets as well as the entry into the commercial and tourist precinct of The Rocks. With their three different construction dates and different architectural styles, the buildings of the Group together make an important aesthetic contribution to the streetscape of George Street, The Rocks, the most intact nineteenth and early twentieth century streetscape in the Sydney CBD. The site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group has research significance because of its potential to reveal information about building configurations, services and features that date from the time prior to the construction of the extant buildings on the site. In addition, the fabric of the individual buildings has the potential to reveal evidence of past decorative finishes, floor plan configurations and information contained within concealed spaces or under existing finishes. Both The Russell Hotel and The Fortune of War Hotel are substantially intact in their detail and planning and are excellent representative examples of licensed hotels of their respective eras (the economic boom of the 1880s and the Inter-War period respectively). The level of integrity of their original layouts, internal and external finishes and details means that they are still able to demonstrate the key characteristics of their architectural styles. The George Street elevation of 139 -141 George Street demonstrates the design characteristics of an 1880s Classical Revival style commercial building fa?ade. Within the historic harbourside area of Sydney, The Russell Hotel is a unique example of a late nineteenth century Queen Anne style licensed hotel. While there are other examples of relatively intact Inter-War hotels in the surrounding area. The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group as a whole, with its particular combination of buildings of different architectural styles and construction dates, makes an important contribution to the streetscape of the George Street commercial precinct of The Rocks. This intact 19th and early 20th century streetscape is unique in the state.
Hotel and restaurant
Construction Years: 1887 - 1887
Physical Description: Style: Federation Queen Anne; Storeys: 3 + attic; Roof Cladding: Shingles and slate; Floor Frame: TimberThe building is situated on a corner and built on exposed rock face sandstone footings. The remainder of the external walls are rendered masonry, with decorative string courses and other mouldings. The building is a strong corner element in the streetscape with a distinct and picturesque conical roof to the curved corner form. Timber doors and windows (double hung) appear original, but may include some recreated elements, and are in good condition. The chimney is a secondary corner feature, with decorative features, and set back slightly from the corner. Internally, the building retains original layout, and features including joinery, leadlight, floor boards, timber ceilings, and timber stair leading to upper level. The upper levels appear to be the original hotel room layout, with intact associated features including joinery, doors and fireplace.
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: To the Cadigal people of Sydney, the western shoreline of Sydney Cove (known to them as Warrane) was called Tallawolladah. The Cadigal lands ranged from Darling Harbour in the west to the Heads in the east, and also included Manly. No evidence of indigenous occupation is evident in the immediate vicinity of 137-143a George Street.With the arrival of the First Fleet, an area roughly bounded by George, Argyle, Harrington and Globe streets was set aside for the establishment of the colony's hospital. The hospital opened in February 1788 under the care of surgeon John White and it operated until 1816 when it was relocated to Macquarie Street. With the outbreak of smallpox among the indigenous peoples in 1789-90 many came or were brought to the hospital. The boy Nanbaree was brought with his dying grandfather here, after which the orphaned child was cared for by the surgeon John White and lived nearby on the site of what is now the Orient Hotel.In 1790 a portable hospital building, shipped out from England with the Second Fleet, was erected. It took approximately one week to construct and was completed by 7 July. Over time, the hospital became a substantial edifice comprising ward blocks, stores, dispensary and, to the north, the residences of the principal and assistant surgeons.In 1797, High (George) Street was realigned. The realignment required the portable hospital to be dismantled and re-erected on a stone foundation slightly west of its original location. A store and dispensary were then erected to the north and west of the hospital buildings. In 1816 the new Sydney Hospital opened in Macquarie Street and the old hospital closed.Harper's plan of 1823 clearly shows the portable hospital, and a building of similar proportions existed on the site until 1880. Two photographs taken in this period (in 1871 and 1879) show the roof of this building and indicate it is not inconsistent with the early paintings of the hospital.Today's 139-143a George Street sit directly south of the former location for the hospital building, and its southern end extended over the site of 137 George Street. The site of 137-143a George Street was formalised in the survey of the township carried out in the early 1830s, the site was classified as Lot 7 of City Section 84, comprising an area of 1 rod 15 perches. In January 1841 the allotment was officially granted to the trustees, executrix and executors of the estate of the emancipist Samuel Terry, these being Rosetta Terry (widow), John Terry Hughes (nephew and son-in-law), Tom White Melville Winder of Windermere (family friend and long standing business acquaintance) and James Norton (solicitor).Terry's interest in the site seems to date from at least c1823 when an area of '26 rods' situated on the 'west side of George St' was leased to Terry for the term of 21 years. Terry arrived in Sydney in 1801 on a seven year sentence convicted of theft. He was eventually described as the 'Botany Bay Rothschild' and at his death in 1838 left a personal estate of ?250 000, an annual rental income from his Sydney properties of ?10 000 and 'land and property which defies assessment'. Terry's business interests included brewing and he was occasionally a publican.While holding the lease, Terry undertook the construction of a terrace of three buildings on the George Street half of Lot 7 - the site of today's 137 - 143a George Street. The building was evidently completed in 1820s for it is plotted on Hoddle, Larmer and Mitchell's 'Map of Town of Sydney' of 1831. The footprint of this building, in a terrace of three with a breakfront, is clearly defined in Robert Russell's later survey of 1834, while the few available images of the building suggest a substantial structure of three storeys capped by a prominent pediment.The first listing for the 143-143a George Street is for the year 1845 when a Henry Day traded from premises with a street address of No. 661 Lower George Street. The Sydney Municipal Council listed the property as a house and shop constructed of stone, roofed with shingles, of two floors and seven rooms with a back kitchen. From June 1845 the premises, which had earlier been described as a 'shop and dwelling', was used as a licensed public house leased by Isaac Moore and known as the Patent Slip Tavern. An entry for September 1846 noted 'no. 661 George Street' as a double storey house and shop of seven rooms, stone built with a shingle roof with 'back kitchen'. The next available assessment (June 1849) notes the building was being used as public house and was of brick construction. Subsequent valuations tend to repeat this description with some variations from year to year.In July 1851, Isaac Moore entered into a lease with Rosetta Terry for 'no. 661 (George Street) used as a Public House known by the sign of the Patent Slip' for a period of five years at an annual rental of £65. This lease was renewed in February 1856 (with a commencement date of 5th August 1856) for a further period of five years at an increased annual rental of £100.79 During this latter phase Moore ceased to manage the hotel, sub-letting it to William McMillan (c.1855 -1858) and later John Gallagher (1859-1868).The site of the Russell Hotel was held by Samuel Terry's widow and principal trustee, Rosetta, until her death in 1858. For a short period after this her real property was controlled by Mrs Rebecca Fox until June 1860 when the estate was partitioned.The beneficiaries of the 143-143a part of Terry's estate, in June 1860, were Henry Hill Osborne, Patrick Hill Osborne, Alick Osborne, and Benjamin Marshall Osborne all of Marshall Mount in the Illawarra. In June 1861, the property was purchased by William Reilly for £1,600. Reilly retained ownership until 1880, but mortgaged it for a period between 1873 and 1876.Reilly continued to license the Patent Slip Tavern, but also rebuilt the terrace of residential properties fronting Globe Street, at the rear of the hotel. In the rebuilding, which appears to have been undertaken between 1863 and 1865, Reilly demolished a terrace of single storey weatherboard houses (which seem to have been constructed in the early c.1830s) and replaced them with a double storey terrace of three stone houses. It is highly probable that these houses were designed by architect David McBeath and constructed from September 1864. The tavern was managed, under Reilly's ownership, by John Gallagher until his death in 1868 and then by his widow, Margaret, in 1869. Over the 1870s the publicans were Martin Heany (1870 -1877) and then John Hoskins (c.1879).In August 1880, the property at 143 - 143a George Street was purchased by Thomas Brennan (d.1894) for £3,300. Brennan initially continued to lease the old premises under an arrangement he entered into in April 1882 with George Henry Levett and Norman John Croker, general agents, to the following publicans: 1880: Samuel Davis or John Hosking or Dane c.1882: James Morgan 1882 - 1885: John M. Jacobson 1886 - 1887: Henry Deeble. In March 1887, Brennan mortgaged the property, possibly to finance the construction of the extant hotel; and in November of the same year he entered into a lease agreement with Henry Burrows and Hampton Carroll Gleeson for the presumably recently completed hotel which then became known as the Port Jackson Hotel.Burrows/Gleeson lease expired in November 1896. Prior to the collapse of the holding company the Port Jackson Hotel was managed on behalf of the company by the following publicans: 1887-1889: Harry Deeble 1890: John Walker 1891: William Self 1892: Charles Prince 1893: W.L. Howarth 1894: Patrick Lancer 1895: George Craig 1896: W. Russell.Thomas Brennan died in June 1894. In the following October, Alfred James Powell, postal officer of Goulburn, and Thomas Read, solicitor of Sydney, acquired the property title. Their ownership was relatively short lived, and may, therefore, have been bequeathed the property by Brennan, for in May 1896 the property was sold to Tooth & Co. Ltd. In September 1896, Tooth & Co. entered into a long term lease of the hotel with Michael Norris. Norris, or probably associates of Norris, continued to manage the hotel until 1911.The commercial licensed operation at 143-143a George Street continued until 1923 under Tooth & Co.'s lease from the government (head leases were taken out in October 1900, February 1914 and November 1918). Under Government ownership, the property continued to be licensed as a public hotel (known as the Port Jackson Hotel) until 1923. In the initial period, up to 1911, it continued to be licensed by Michael Norris. During the following period, the hotel was managed by the following publicans: 1912-1916: Mark Lapin 1917-1921: Mrs Josephine Dunn 1922: Edward Claire 1923: William D. Cordingley (last licensed publican of the hotel) The attached residences fronting Globe Street were probably demolished around 1902 at which time rate assessments for the dwellings ceased and the area was rated as part of 143 George Street. The extant building in this area, constructed in 1913, was overseen by the architect for the Housing Board, William H. Foggitt. The licence of the Port Jackson Hotel was withdrawn by the Licenses Reduction Board around 1923.The premises remained vacant from 1924-1926 but by 1927 the delicensed Port Jackson Hotel had been converted to a café type use and operated under a commercial lease from the Sydney Harbour Trust. In the early years of the café's operation, the lease changed hands regularly until 1932 when Emmanuel Sarandidis took on the business trading as the Colonial Café. Prior to this, the cafe appears to have traded as Whitworth's Café. In the post Second World War era the café traded as the Singapore Café (1947/50) and Allen's Café (1970). From 1933, the upper floors of the building have been used to provide hotel accommodation. Trading as the Russell Private Hotel, the address of these premises was 143A George Street. The origin of the name, Russell, has not been determined and it may only be coincidental that the last licensed publican of the Port Jackson prior to its acquisition by Tooths Ltd in 1896 was W. Russell. The use of the upper floors as a private hotel has continued to the present The ground floor (former cafe) section of the property was tenanted through the 1980s by the Japanese Bookshop, at the rear, a Japanese delicatessen with an entrance on the corner of Globe Street and Nurses Walk traded from about 1985. This lease expired in 1991. After this time the ground floor was converted back to a cafe type use, initially operated by the proprietors of The Russell Hotel and trading as the Russell Tea Room, and then, from 1992, under sub-lease by Boulders Pty. Ltd. Currently, the ground floor is occupied by The Russell Wine Bar.
Historical significance: The site at of the Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group is important in the history of NSW as having associations with the early development of Sydney since 1788, and earlier with the Cadigal people of Sydney Harbour. To the Cadigal the site formed part of a strip of land along the western shore of Warrane (Sydney Cove) which they called "Tallawolladah". The fact that this area was named denotes it as a special or particular place for the indigenous peoples of Sydney Harbour before the coming of the Europeans.The site is associated with George Street, which is the first road created in the settlement and thus the oldest road in NSW. The history of George Street with its uses and changes since 1788, illustrate and inform the aspirations and way of life of Europeans in Australia.The site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group formed part of a larger site that was occupied by the colony's first hospital, which operated from c.1790 to 1816. The site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group was leased by Samuel Terry from c.1823. Terry undertook the construction of a stone terrace of three buildings on the site c.1830. Terry's development also included another licensed premises, the Patent Slip Tavern, which sat on the site of the original portion of the extant Russell Hotel building. The sites of The Russell Hotel and the Fortune of War Hotel have been used for hotels and licensed premises since c.1830, and demonstrate a continuity of use since that time. The site of 139-141 George Street also demonstrates continuity of use, having provided shops at ground floor level and accommodation on the upper levels during the same period. The item meets this criterion at a STATE level. The historical significance of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group is demonstrated by: ? The association of the site with the first hospital and the early colonial development of Sydney, ? The subsequent continuous uses of 143 - 143a George Street, the site of The Russell Hotel, as a public house/hotel/caf? and now wine bar.
Historical association: The site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group is associated with prominent colonial figure Samuel Terry, whose astute business dealings led to him becoming known as the 'Botany Bay Rothschild'. Terry leased, and later owned, the entire site of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War group and erected a group of three buildings upon it. The present Fortune of War Hotel, and to a lesser extent the Russell Hotel, are associated with Tooth & Co, a brewing company that was established in 1835 and ran until 1983. The company took an increasing interest in the construction and operation of hotels from the 1920s. The item meets this criterion at a STATE level. The associational significance of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The association of the site with Samuel Terry, ? The association of the present Fortune of War Hotel, and to a lesser extent The Russell Hotel, with Tooth & Co.
Aesthetic significance: The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group, with its three different architectural styles, makes an important contribution to the streetscape of George Street, The Rocks, the most intact nineteenth and early twentieth century streetscape in the city. The Russell Hotel, 143 - 143a George Street, was built in the Queen Anne architectural style and the building is an important extant example of a late nineteenth century hotel premises. Although parts of the George Street ground floor fa?ade were reconstructed in the 1980s, the exterior and interior features of the item, and much of its original planning, are highly intact and it demonstrates the design of licensed hotels of the period. The picturesque corner tower of the Russell Hotel is a landmark that marks the corner of George and Globe Streets as well as the entry into the George Street commercial strip of The Rocks. The item meets this criterion at a STATE level. The aesthetic significance of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The important contribution of the group to the streetscape of George Street, The Rocks, ? The Queen Anne architectural style of The Russell Hotel, 143 - 143a George Street, ? The landmark quality of The Russell Hotel's picturesque corner tower.
Social significance: The item meets this criterion at a state level owing to its inclusion on key heritage registers maintained by government and community groups which recognise the heritage values of the item individually and as part of the historic Rocks precinct. Its contemporary hotel use is likely to be recognised by visitors and locals alike owing to its prominent location in a well-frequented tourist destination and characteristic 'heritage' presentation.
Research significance: The fabric of the three individual buildings that make up The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group (in particular that of The Russell Hotel and the Fortune of War Hotel) has a high level of integrity. It therefore has the potential to reveal evidence of past decorative finishes, floor plan configurations and information contained within concealed spaces that have not been opened up during previous works. Further investigation may also determine the extent and type of the painted, marbled finish that was originally applied to the ground floor fa?ade of The Russell Hotel. As a large area of the ground floor George Street fa?ade has been partially reconstructed, it is the ground floor Globe Street fa?ade that would be most likely to reveal this information. Further investigation of the painted finishes of all of the buildings in the group may also reveal further information about early painted signage. The three individual sites comprising The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group have the potential to reveal information about building configurations, services and features that date from the time prior to the construction of the extant buildings on site. This information may relate to wells, cisterns and features that were associated with the 1850s/1860s water, sewerage and drainage services constructed by the City Council. The item meets this criterion at a STATE level. The research potential of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The high level of integrity of much of the fabric of the three individual buildings that make up the group (in particular the Russell Hotel and The Fortune of War Hotel). ? The historic painted finishes and signage that may exist below the current painted finishes of the buildings. The archaeological potential The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The potential of the three individual sites that make up The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group to reveal information about building configurations, services and features that date from the time before the construction of the extant buildings.
Rare assessment: Within the historic harbourside area of Sydney, The Russell Hotel, 143 - 143a George Street, with its picturesque corner tower, is a unique example of a late nineteenth century Queen Anne style licensed hotel. The decorative sandstone, Classical Revival fa?ade of 139 -141 George Street, is one of only a few remaining in Sydney, although this type of fa?ade was once much more common. The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group as a whole, with its particular combination of buildings of different architectural styles and construction dates, makes an important contribution to the streetscape of the George Street commercial precinct of The Rocks. This intact 19th and early 20th century streetscape is unique in the state. The item meets this criterion at a STATE level. The rarity of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The Queen Anne architectural style of the Russell Hotel, which is unique within the historic harbourside area of Sydney, ? The location of this group of buildings within the heritage streetscape of George Street, The Rocks.
Representative assessment: The Russell Hotel is an example of a small licensed hotel erected during the economic boom of the 1880s. Although the ground floor bar area and the main stair have been altered, it retains much of its original planning and fabric and is still able to demonstrate the key characteristics of its building type. This meets the criterion at a STATE level. The representativeness of The Russell Hotel/Fortune of War Group 137 -143a George Street is demonstrated by: ? The planning and fabric of The Russell Hotel, a small Victorian era hotel building,
Intact assessment: Archaeology partly disturbed, however a significant archaeological resource may remain on the site
Physical condition: Archaeology Assessment Condition: Partly disturbed. Assessment Basis: Floors level with street, but slightly terraced into slope.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing cultural institutions and ways of life||Activities associated with recreation and relaxation.|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0380||George Street Business Precinct||21/10/1980||2182|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7716||27/02/1978|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01575||Russell Hotel and shop||10/05/2002||2868||86|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|
|National Trust of Australia Register||9718|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0386||Shops and Hotel Group||21/10/1980||2188|