Shop and Residence
Statement of SignificanceNB. Since this Statement was written more information on the history of the site has come to light. This Statement incorporates that new information and is therefore different to that contained in the Conservation Management Plan.The group of buildings comprising 145, 147, 149-151 and 153-155 George Street are considered to be of State Heritage Significance for their historical and aesthetic importance. The site is located within The Rocks precinct which is of State significance as the location of early European settlement since 1788 and prior to that had significance to the local Cadigal people. The subject sites are significant for their continuous commercial occupation by Europeans since at least 1804. The items are associated with the early street pattern of the colony, namely George Street and Globe Street. The buildings have historic significance for association with several phases of late 19th and 20th century urban renewal, being:?The demolition and rebuilding of much of The Rocks following the 1900 plague outbreak under the Observatory Hill Resumption Act;?The infrastructure works for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, City Railway link and the Cahill Expressway immediately south of the buildings, which dramatically changed the visual curtilage of the group;?The buildings associations with large urban development proposals dating from the period of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority.The buildings are tangible evidence of the redevelopment of The Rocks in the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the period before and after the plague outbreak.The facades of the four late 19th century and early 20th century buildings have streetscape qualities and character that contribute aesthetically to the overall richness of a coherent and harmonious brick and stucco group of buildings located within the context of The Rocks. The group is an important part of The Rocks Heritage Conservation Area and is sympathetic in scale and character as an extension of the buildings forming the significant setting of George Street as a unified streetscape.145-151 George Street has associational significance as retail outlets for a number of long standing companies that had their beginnings on this site, including WA Grubb, Nicholas & Co. and Downton & Dyer Ltd. The site has associational significance with First Fleet Surgeon John White's family, Thomas Moore, the Anglican Church and Alderman Francis Mitchell. The subject site has scientific/research significance associated with the archaeological potential of early structures of the Underwood Building and shop located on or near the site.Potential archaeological remnants could exist beneath the building and date to the early settlement of the colony.147 George Street was constructed in 1914, and has historic significance at a local level for its associations with a grocery, the butcher, WA Grubb, and a fishmonger, Nicholas & Co. The subject building is an example of the Federation Free Style with local significance in its use of the arch as the dominant feature of the east elevation.Although the individual buildings of 145-155 George Street are considered to be of Local significance historically and aesthetically, they are assessed collectively as being of State significance for their contribution to the cohesive streetscape of George Street, The Rocks precinct, and to the broader Circular Quay urban setting. The historical and associational significance of the site should be considered to be at State Level.
Duty Free Store
Shop and residence
Retail and Wholesale
Construction Years: 1914 - 1914
Physical Description: It is a simple but imposing three storey dark face brick building constructed in 1914 in a Federation Free Classical style replacing an existing tenement demolished as part of the slum clearances. Its prominent feature is a large semi-circular double storey verandah opening which was dramatically altered by the construction of a semi-circular awning/entrance in the 1980s redevelopment. The building uses small amount of sandstone in the capping to the gable parapet and keystone. The shopfront with a central entry and tiling to waist height, which existed during the Nicholas occupation in the 1930s had been modified by the 1980s. The 1980s redevelopment completely removed the shopfront to create a double level entrance to the modern development at the rear of the site.; Style: Federation Free Classical; Storeys: 3; Facade: Brick
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: NB. There are a number of differences between the following history and that contained in the adopted Conservation Management Plan . This is due to more historical information coming to light since the adoption of the document in early 2013. The land of the future 147 George St was located between the first hospital and gaol. The plan of Sydney by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1792 shows two small buildings in the vicinity of this land, but does not indicate what these buildings actually are. They may have been associated with the hospital. Meehan's plan of 1807 notes two lots which cover the block of the DFS stores. No 4, the subject site and the southern allotment (5) that were held by Capt William Raven. The lot (No.4) next to the future Globe Street is the subject site and was noted as belonging to 'Mr White'. This may have been the Surgeon John White, but he had left the colony 13 years prior in 1794. Another possibility is this Mr White may be Andrew Douglass White, the illegitimate son of Surgeon White and his convict housekeeper, Rachel Turner, born in 1793. He was noted as being on the list of town leases in 1806 in the Colonial Secretary's Index. Andrew Douglass White was the first Australian born decorated soldier who fought in the Battle of Waterloo. His mother Rachel married Thomas Moore, the shipwright in 1795 and Moore had a house on this allotment which was put up for rent in March 1804. Further research is required to ascertain if there is a link between "Mr White" and the Moores. The house was on the corner of what would become George and Globe Streets and is noted as "Mr Moore Master (Illegible)" on John Eyre's 1809 annotated pencil drawing of Sydney Cove. Thomas Moore (1762-1840) sailor, farmer and philanthropist, was born in England and had little education. He arrived in Sydney in October 1791 as the ship's carpenter on William Raven's Britannia, but he continued to sail the Indian and Pacific Oceans for another five years. In May 1796 he became a free settler and the following January, he married Rachel Turner. Thomas Moore was made master boat builder in the dockyard at Port Jackson. by Governor John Hunter in 1796 In January 1804 Governor Phillip Gidley King launched what was believed to be the first vessel ever built in the colony, the vessel HM armed cutter "Integrity" was built by Thomas Moore at Sydney Cove. In October 1809 Moore resigned from the dockyard and by mid-1810 he was residing at the house he had built on the George's River, Moore Bank. Macquarie appointed him magistrate of the George's River district in 1810, a position he filled until he died on Christmas Eve 1840. He was the recipient of numerous land grants, including land between Petersham Hill and Cook's River, Moorebank in the Liverpool district, Airds and Sutton Forest. His land holdings enabled him to breed cattle and horses, as well as to rent property to tenants, which brought him much wealth. Moore was one of the founding directors of the Bank of New South Wales, now known as Westpac Banking Corporation. In his will he left his substantial fortune to the Church of England, and, in particular, for the establishment of a college for the education of men of "the Protestant persuasion". The college, now known as Moore Theological College was opened on 1 March 1856.The lease offered on the Moore house in 1804 was taken up by Rosetta Stabler, who wished to inform the public that she had moved into the house where she intended to 'continue to dress victuals as usual'. Prior to Rosetta residing at the house, it had been rented to William Tough until 1803. From October 1803 , the house was rented by Messers Turnball and (Captain) Buyers who sold pork for Hawaii from the premises. Further research is required for the chain of ownership and occupancy in these early decades. In 1810 when the alignment of the streets was published in the Sydney Gazette two lanes are mentioned, Essex Lane "Extending from George St, on the north side of Mr Moore's lease, in a westerly direction into Harrington St " and Suffolk Lane "Leading from George St, on the north side of Mr Moore's Wall, in a westerly direction, indirectly into Harrington St ". Essex Lane would later be known as Brown Bear Lane and Suffolk would become Globe St. This could indicate that Moore's ownership extended across the entire established block, between the lanes and beyond, further to the south. Further research is needed. An entry in the Old Registers for a house on the west side of George St near the Hospital wharf may revealthat it was transferred from Thomas Moore to Cornelius Ryan in 1819. A plan of Lower George Street dated between 1810-1853 notes that Thomas Moore left his property on the south side (No8) of Globe St to the church. The plan shows two structures on the No 8 allotment, one of stone located on the corner, most probably the house, and one of brick on the southern side if the allotment. A garden is also marked between the two buildings. The allotment in the centre of the block (No 7) is noted as belonging to Joseph Underwood, and the final allotment (No 6) is Rosetta Terry's, but with Daniel Cubitt as the grantee. Moore had become very good friends with Bishop William Broughton and this land was allegedly left to the Bishop to assist in the construction of an Anglican Cathedral. The 1901 Resumption Plan shows this allotment as being under mortgage to the Church of England. A plan was made of the Broughton Property in 1841, this plan covers the block from soutth of Globe St to Argyle St. However, on the subject site is the notation "Messrs Mitchell & Co". The church may have used the land as security to construct St Andrews, which had begun in 1837, by leasing the site. Records indicated the occupation of the site by Francis Mitchell and his firm "Francis Mitchell & Co" which was advertised by this title from January 1840 was located at Queen Wharf. However he may have occupied the site prior to that.Francis Mitchell (1804-1876) was a merchant, sailmaker, ship-chandler and an alderman. He worked in the firm of Atkinson and Bingle Dealers and Auctioneers from 1822 until 1825, and then he started a new auctioneering business with Peter Rapsey. Rapsey & Mitchell are recorded at 5 Lower George Street Sydney opposite Kings Wharf as Auctioneers and Ships Chandlers from May 1825. The partnership with Peter Rapsey was dissolved in the early 1830s, and Francis Mitchell started a new business on Lower George Street across from Queens Wharf at Circular Quay. The firm, Francis Mitchell and Company, involved various family members including his brother Charles and his nephew Francis William Mitchell. Mitchell was Foundation Alderman for Cook Ward, 1 November 1842 until his resignation on 21 September 1843. In October 1825, he was appointed to the List of Jurors for the district of Sydney. He was the Director of the Australian General Insurance Company until he was disqualified by insolvency in 1844. He organised subscriptions for the Mariners' Church in 1844. He was later a director of the Bank of NSW.Mitchell & Co occupied the site from 1840, but possibly earlier, and until 1856, if not later. In 1843 the first ever election in Australia was held for the NSW Legislative Council and Mitchell & Co's building was used for a polling station. Fowles 'Sydney in 1848' plan shows the building, and from this plan, it appears that Moore House was incorporated into the depicted building which was extended by that time. The Rates Records note the company on the site with the Bishop of Sydney as the landowner until 1856. The next record of 1861 notes Mitchell & Co as the "name of the owner or Landlord" and William Ogilve with a shop and bowling alley in the building. Perhaps Francis Mitchell made a deal with the Anglican Church to pay the rates for them. Further research is needed into this chain of ownership, as the 1901 Resumption Plans note that the land is owned by the Church of England.Ogilvie ran a bowling alley from the building around 1860, as mentioned in the 1861 Rates Records and the sale of the equipment was advertised in the SMH in April 1860. The bowling alley deserves further research, it may be that it was skittles being played there, in any case there is very little information about this type of leisure activity in Sydney in the mid 19th century.John Speerin was the next occupant in the early 1860s. He was a pawn-broker who had operated in Lower George Street for many years and was also the Licensee for the Observer Tavern a little further along George St at the same time. He advertised his change of location to 141 George St, "the premises formally known as Mitchells & C o, on the corner of George and Globe Streets" in the Freemans Journal in August 1861. It seems that Speerin didn't remain in the building long. The 1863 the Sands Directory notes Frank Delvero running a lodging house from the building, however the Rates Records for that year has Speerin as the occupant. The land owner is Bishop Barker, the second Anglican Bishop to Australia. In 1863 or 1864 Edward Arscott moved into the building and traded as a butcher, he was burgled in February 1864 when a thief came through his bedroom window and stole £490. This must have been quiet a blow to a small trader. In 1867 John Speerin is listed again as the owner of 141-145 George St, he may have taken on the lease of the land from the Anglican Church. Arscott remains as the tenant running his butchery from 141, and occasionally 143 George St according the Sands Directory until 1870. The buildings and land were reasonably large, so he could have been subletting some of them. Harman & Olifte, tallow and hide merchants, a rather neat fit with a butcher were one such sublet in 1869. Arscott died suddenly in 1870 and his wife, Mary, took over the butchery and ran it for another two years. The landlord of the block changed in the Rates Records in 1871 to WP Woolcott, a real estate agent who may have taken on managing the property for the Anglican Church. Mary then married George Atkinson in 1872, another butcher and they continued to run the butchery from the corner block until 1890. 'Atkinson butcher' is noted on the 1880 Dove plans as being on the corner block of No 145 George St and 'J Dyer grocer' next door at 147 George St. Another butcher moved into the shop the year after George and Mary left, but only remained there around a year. Dyer Grocers began trading in 1878 from this building.The buildings were demolished in 1891, although the 1891 Rates Records note that the landlords of 139-141 George St are now the Thompson Bros, and J Anderson is the occupant of 139 George St. The street numbers may be inaccurate; however they can be determined by the other types of buildings surrounding the site, there was a hotel on the northern side of Globe St, and another on the southern side of the subject site. The information for Rates and Sands was collected the year before it was published, which explains why the Sands 1892 record has the site as vacant.The first occupants of the new buildings in 1893 were Jesse Dyer, Grocer in No 145 George St, the shop on the corner of George and Globe Sts, and Thomas Little, butcher in No 147. In 1895 James Fairbairn, Butcher takes over at 147 until 1897, the next occupant is John Auld, butcher until 1905. In 1905 WA Grubb & Co, butchers move into the shop, at some stage in the 20th Century they move into the next shop down and remain there into the 1980s. Dowton & Dyer grocers were also still in No 145 George St in 1980, giving this building an association with the one family grocery which stretched over 100 years. This business is still trading.The buildings survived the plague demolitions as they were less than a decade old. They were resumed by the NSW State Govt during the Rocks Resumption after the plague outbreak. Other than the transfer of ownership from the Anglican Church to the State Govt, nothing else changed. Dyer and Grubb remained in their respective shops running their businesses well after the plague and resumptions.In 1970 The Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority was formed and took over the running of the buildings. Little changed with the buildings until 1986, when both Grubb Butchers, Down & Dyer and all the other business between Globe St and the Railway overpass were moved out.In 1986 plans for the development of the site, comprising 145 to 155 George Street and 60 Harrington Street, were prepared by Dino Burattini, architect for Londish Properties Pty Ltd. The proposal was for the development of the Harrington Street portion at the rear of the subject site. The development included the construction of ten storeys of office and retail with underground commercial carparking requiring deep excavation works and incorporating the former laneway as part of the property. The Globe Street site comprised land partly owned by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority (SCRA) and partly owned by State Rail Authority (SRA). Prior to the development of the existing buildings, the rear area was used and occupied by the State Rail Authority (SRA) as staff quarters and a depot and for the maintenance of the City Circle. As part of the agreement of the transfer of development rights for the SRA land, SCRA accepted responsibility for the construction costs of a new depot set aside within a 'cave', on the southern side of the building.In the late 1980s, the subject site was amalgamated with other buildings within the site boundary of George and Harrington Streets, Globe Street and the Cahill Expressway under the one title to become part of the DFS Galleria, a duty free retail complex and offices. The development included changes to the commercial buildings facing George Street, new shopfronts, reconfiguring No 147 George Street as an arcade entry, replacement and repair of awnings, and the replacement of existing windows and roofing.Shopfront facades were researched to identify original configuration of the shopfronts before the 1980s redevelopment. Reinstatement has been based on early photographs of 153-155 George Street and the design has been extended to the other shopfronts of 145-151 George Street. The reinstatement of the awning has also been based on photographic evidence. In 1998, further development work undertaken on the DFS Galleria site was prepared by architects, Peddle Thorpe & Walker. This work included changes to the Harrington Street elevation, alterations to the interior of Louis Vuitton Store (149-151 George Street) including stairs, a vaulted galleria, and retail fitouts.
Historical significance: The site at 145-155 George Street is important in the history of NSW as having associationswith the early development of Sydney since 1788, and earlier with the Cadigal people ofSydney 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. Globe Street is one of the earliest cross streets to GeorgeStreet. 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 Rocks precinct, which includes the subject site, was the earliest commercial centre of the colony, and the continuous retail uses of 145-151 George Street and its predecessors since the first decades of the foundation of the colony reflect the domestic trade and provision of goods in the colony. Residential use, often above the shops, also reflected the mixed use nature of the time.In 1843 the first parliamentary elections in Australia - for New South Wales Legislative Council were held. Only men with a freehold valued at 200 pounds or a householder paying rent of 20 pounds per year could vote. One of the polling booths was set up at 145 George St.The Rocks was impacted by the plague of 1900. The Observatory Hill Resumption Act resulted in the resumption of large tracts of land. Post-plague re-development of The Rocks saw the demolition of a large number of buildings and the construction of new buildings that met health standards and requirements. 145 (constructed c.1889) was not impacted by this urban development unlike the other buildings in the group to the south, which were rebuilt. The site has associations with urban changes in Sydney generally, and The Rocks specifically following the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the CahillExpressway and the City Rail link to Circular Quay in the mid-1950s. 145-155 GeorgeStreet has associations with the phase of redevelopment of The Rocks in the 1980s when the precinct was transformed from local retail outlets into a major tourist attraction.145 George Street on the corner with Globe Street, is a three storey face brick building erected before 1889 as a shop and residence, and has local significance as an example of a corner shop that operated as a grocer for over 100 years with Downton & Dyer Ltd operating there for a period of more than 80 years.147 George Street is a three-storey face brick building erected 1914 as shops and offices.Stylistically, the building is an example of a Federation Free Style building, typically using a sandstone decorated gable, keystones and face brickwork. The item has significance at a local level for its association with the provision and retail of fish to the local area, continuously operating on the site for almost 70 years.The items meet this Criterion at a STATE level of significance.The historical significance of 145-155 George Street is demonstrated by its association with:?The George Street alignment and Globe Street intersection as the earliest roads in the colony.?A number of design styles from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.?The continuity of commercial, retail and residential development in Sydney from the earliest settlement of the colony.?Urban renewal and infrastructure development following The Rocks Resumption after 1900.
Historical association: The site has associational significance with First Fleet Surgeon John White's family, Thomas Moore, the Anglican Church and Alderman Francis Mitchell. 145-151 George Street has associations with a number of retailers that occupied the sites over a considerable amount of time:?WA Grubb & Co, butchers at No.147 (1907-1910) and No.149-151 (1912-mid 1980s);?Nicholas, A & Co, fishmonger at No.151 (1898-1911) and No.147 (1911-at least to 1933);?Downton & Dyer Ltd, grocers at No.145 (Dyer, J from 1895-1917, Downton & Dyer 1918-mid 1980s) and No.147 (1879-1891).Of the above companies, WA Grubb & Co is well known as a butcher, operating branches throughout Australia, and who started his company from the George Street address.
Aesthetic significance: The buildings of 145-155 George Street are aesthetically significant as an intact streetscape grouping of late nineteenth and early twentieth century design. Individually the items are distinguishable from one another and are contributory items to the historic streetscape of The Rocks, collectively the grouping is significant for their landmark qualities. As a part of the George Street townscape, the item provides landmark significance and a historic urban backdrop as seen from the eastern side of Circular Quay and First Fleet Park and theSydney CBD, thus contributing to a defining spatial edge for the precinct.The building located at 145 George Street has local significance as a representative example of a commercial building designed in the Victorian Regency style. Stylistically, the building is an example of the transition between late Victorian and Federation periods.The East Elevation of 147 George Street, although substantially modified is a representative example of a commercial building designed in the Federation Free Style. This item is of local significance as a contributory item of this collection of buildings.The items collectively meet this criterion at a STATE level.The aesthetic significance of 145-155 George Street is demonstrated by:?Individually the items are of local significance. Collectively they are of state significance as a coherent and intact elevational composition within the historic streetscape of The Rocks.?Landmark qualities that functions as the gateway to The Rocks on entering the precinct from George Street.?The retention of late 19th and early 20th century fa?ade detailing provides scale and contrast to the backdrop of the CBD, and 'bookends' the George Street frontage of buildings that comprise the historic precinct of The Rocks.?The items have significance as a backdrop to the Circular Quay precinct, providing a built edge against First Fleet Park.
Social significance: The site has social significance in the development of democracy in Australia. In 1843 the first parliamentary elections in Australia - for New South Wales Legislative Council were held. Only men with a freehold valued at 200 pounds or a householder paying rent of 20 pounds per year could vote. One of the polling booths was set up in the building which covered 145-147 George St.The site may also have social significance to the Anglican Church which owned the land and collected revenue form leaseholders from 1840 until the plague resumptions in the early 20th century. The site may also have social significance to the staff and students of the Moore Theological College who's original benefactor Thomas Moore owned and lived on the site.
Research significance: The buildings at 145-155 George Street may retain evidence of the earliest phase of building on the subject site constructed by c1795. These early buildings, located along the George Street frontage, comprised the stone Underwood Buildings, an adjacent shop to the north and Thomas Moore's house.There is some probability of locating extant archaeological material from the Underwood Building and shop complex either beneath or within the curtilage of 153-155 George Street.It is likely this has been disturbed to some extent and may take the form of structural, cultural or landscape features.Archaeological evidence from a series of cottages erected on the southern section of the site during the 1820s-1830s may have survived later nineteenth and twentieth century developments.During the works for the DFS Galleria the area to the west of the item was excavated and will not have any archaeological potential. The area under the item footprint will have had disturbance as the current floor slab has been placed on ground. The items meet this Criterion at a LOCAL level of significance.The research potential of 145-155 George Street is demonstrated by:?Potential for remains of the earliest structures dating back to c1795, which were of substantial stone construction.
Rare assessment: 147 George St is relatively unusual at a local level, for the use of an arch as such a dominate feature of its fa?ade. It is also unusual for the 1980s intervention, significantly modifying the ground & 1st floor levels, not only physically but also in its use, perhaps as a 'bold' approach reflective of its time. As the ground floor had been previously degraded with vehicular access, there was a rationale for using this narrower section of the block as a main entry point for the whole DFS development, thus enabling the ongoing commercial use of the whole block.The buildings of 145-155 George Street are not rare in NSW or locally and as a group the item does not meet this Criterion. The site however, was one of the first to be developed in the colony with Thomas Moore's house dating to c1795, this house was used as a polling place in the first elections ever held in the country.
Representative assessment: The shops and shopping district of The Rocks are representative of the continued commercial use of the area, and the change to tourism. 147 George St is one of a group of shop buildings that operated in The Rocks from the end of the 19th century until the late 20th century. 147 George st is a representative example of this group.This item meets this criterion at a Local level
Intact assessment: Potential archaeological resource beneath the buildings on George St
Physical condition: Archaeology Assessment Condition: Destroyed? Assessment Basis: Modern development. Basement car parks. No archaeological work appears to have been undertaken for this site although the 1986 Assessment indicated a potential, and important, resource. The subsequent building operations appear to have obliterated much of this resource. Possible deposits survive beneath shops on George St frontage. Investigation: Historical research and assessment of archaeology
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services.|
|Building settlements, towns and cities||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.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0380||Edwardian Commercial Group||21/10/1980||14265|
|Local Environmental Plan|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7716||27/02/1978|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01585||10/05/2002||2868||85|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7384||09/11/1981|