Shops and Residences
Statement of SignificanceStatement 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.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
Construction Years: 1913 - 1913
Physical Description: It was erected in 1913 as 'Quay Chambers' and is also a face brick three storey building with typical Federation period characteristics; face brick, sandstone banded dressings and keystone and gabled parapet. Other features include a stone bracketed cornice and use of decorative metal work in the rainwater goods and awning support brackets. There are strong similarities in the way that the double level balcony opening is designed to that in the adjacent 147 George Street. In both cases the floor slab between levels is designed to emphasise the double height opening. W A Grubb & Co. butchers were the first tenants of the building, occupying the shopfront for many decades. The appearance of the shopfront was later modified by the conversion of a central door bay into a window and the application of tiles up to the window sill line, prior to complete removal and reconstruction as part of the mid-1980s redevelopment. Also removed at this time was the awning which had a soffit lining of Wunderlich pressed metal which also appears to have continued onto the adjoining awning at 147 George St.; Style: Edwardian (NT: 'Neo Georgian' ); Storeys: 3
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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 149-151 George St was located between the first hospital and gaol. The plan made of Sydney by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1792 shows two small buildings in the vicinity, but does not indicate what they are. The buildings may have been associated with the hospital. Meehan's plan of 1807 notes two lots which cover the now, DFS and 149-151 George St site. The lot (4) next to the future Globe Street is noted as belonging to 'Mr White'. This is very unlikely to have been the Surgeon John White, as he had left the colony 13 years prior in 1794. The other allotment (5) noted on Meehan's 1807 plan, which covers the subject site, was held by Capt William Raven. William Raven (1756-1814), master mariner and merchant, entered the navy as master of the sloop Tobago on 24 March 1779. In 1792 he sailed to New South Wales as captain and part owner of the Britannia, with stores and a three-year fishing licence from the East India Co. He remained based in Sydney until 1799, much of this time was spent being chartered by the Government and the officers of the NSW Corps to bring stores to the colony. In 1795 he had been given a grant of 100 acres (40 ha) at Eastern Farms, and in 1799 received another 285 acres (115 ha) there and a lease in Sydney. Raven's house was put up for sale in August 1807, it was described as: "That excellently situated Dwelling house in the High Street, Sydney, belonging to and formerly occupied by Captain Raven, the whole painted red and in good repair; and occupying a lease whereof nine years are unexpired."Further research is required to ascertain who purchased the property, however it may have been William Chapman who was granted a licence to the "Kings Head Tavern" in 1807 on or close to the site of the future 149-151 George St. After his death in 1810, his wife Ann, took over the licence and ran the tavern until at least 1813. She may have sold the licence to the tavern as it is listed in 1817 as belonging to Samuel Fowler in Hunter St. Ann Chapman ran a boat service between Sydney and Parramatta until 1819, the location of the former tavern just opposite the Hospital Wharf would have been the logical location to run it from. She may have remained on the site until her death in 1823. Her son later opened the Marine Hotel which would become the Orient Hotel, just a block down the road.The other alternative is that Thomas Moore purchased the property and leased the house to the Chapmans. 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 eventually had the entire block between the lanes and beyond to the south. Further research is needed.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 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. Allotment No 7 is the subject site and was owned by Joseph Underwood. The plan shows three structures of brick and/or stone built on the George St frontage. Underwood died in 1833 and the Conservation Management Plans prepared for the New York Hotel notes that "around 1835, Mrs Underwood was the owner of a row of three-storey stone shops and houses each with seven rooms on the subject site" however there is no reference for this included. The 1845 Rates Assessments list five buildings between 639 & 649 George St owned by Mrs Underwood. Four of them are "in bad repair' and the final one, which is most likely on the site of the future 149-151 George St is a 3 storey, 8 roomed house & shop of stone with a shingled roof and 'with every convenience'. In 1848 the Rates Assessment notes that these buildings had been replaced by a three storey terrace of 8 brick and shingled shops still owned by Elizabeth Underwood. This very elegant looking terrace is drawn on the streetscape of George St in Joseph Fowles 'Sydney in 1848'. The Brown Bear Hotel next door is also drawn on the streetscape.Elizabeth Underwood is still noted as the owner of the terrace in the Rates Assessments until 1856, but not in 1858, the year she died. The 1858 Sands Directory only lists three occupied buildings in the block between Globe St and Essex Lane, they are: Daniel Reily with a boarding house, then Wm S Ogilvie, clothier and draper, and just before Brown Bear Lane is the American Hotel run by William Newlands.Ogilvie may well have moved into Mrs Underwood's terrace by 1856. In January 1857, his assistant was charged with assault on a sailor after a disagreement with about purchasing slops from "Mr Ogilvie's Outfitters on George St'. The chain of ownership and occupiers becomes confusing around this time and requires further research. It may be that Ogilive leased the entire terrace and then rented the individual shops. There was a notorious Chinese lodging house in the loft which Henry Le Appa sublet from Ogilvie in at least 1860. The death of a recently arrived Chinese man in the loft called attention to it and it was widely and rather hysterically reported that there was anything from 400 to 800 Chinese in 6 rooms with 6 inches of filth on the floor. This case was raised in the NSW Parliament in March 1861 during a discussion about the numbers of Chinese arriving in NSW, which could have been prompted by the Lambing Flat anti-Chinese riots going on at Young at the time.There are also several clues that Ogilvie was running a bowling alley from one of the shops around 1860, this is 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.Further research is also required for the properties during the 1860s, Sands and the Rate records don't agree in some aspects. However the general picture is that the building was used for small retailers downstairs, who may have lived above their shops, and lodging houses run by several people upstairs, including Chinese men for their countrymen. On 24th August 1870 John Connor transferred the licence from the 'Connor Family Hotel' on the corner of Argyle St to 147 George St. About a fortnight later on the 7th Sept 1870 he transferred his licence to William Andrews and the sign changed to the "Nil Desperandum Hotel". Andrews ran this hotel for a number of years, his son's funeral left from the hotel in Dec 1874. He is still listed in occupation in the 1877 Sands Directory, which means he was there in 1876. The hotel and terrace was put up for sale in May 1875 and at that time they were owned by William Daley. William Daley was a locally educated at the Fort Street School, he became a politician. He was a Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly as member for Sydney/Gipps Ward from 1 June 1901 until 16 Jul 1904 and then member for Darling Harbour from 6 Aug 1904 until 19 Aug 1907. The advertisement describes the Hotel as "containing bar, bar-parlour, 8 apartments, and kitchen with large cellars in the basement. Attached to the hotel in the terrace and also for sale was 149 and 151 George St, they were described as 'two shops and dwellings containing respectively shop, 4 rooms kitchen and cellar and shop, 6 rooms, kitchen and cellar. A small shop adjoining 151 George St was also advertised in this sale. The land covered by the sale was described as "The whole have a frontage of 85 feet to George St with a depth of about 73 feet, extending to a lane at the rear.' The Rates Directory of 1880 notes that James Pattern was the owner of the shops and Hotel.Although the premises were sold, William Andrews remained in the Nil Desperandum until sometime in 1876. Who was running the Hotel becomes a little confusing between 1876 and 1878, the Sands lists T Barnwell in the hotel in 1877 (which means 1876) and the next directory of 1879 has William Andrews back in the Hotel. The Percy Dove Plans of 1880 show the site as the 'Nil Desperandum' but not who was running it, the information for the Dove Plans was collected a year prior to their publishing. The SMH began running an advertisement for the sale of the Nil Desperandum and the business premises attached, No 149 and 151 George St in September 1879. As the sale drew closer the advisements in October 1879 described the properties as: "George Street North, All that valuable block of city land, having 85 feet frontage to George Street North, with a depth on the south side of 73 ½ feet, upon which are erected those range of brick built business premises on stone foundations, Nos 147, 149 and 151 comprising: The Nil Desperandum Hotel, containing bar, 9 rooms and kitchen. Two Shops and Dwellings, containing respectively 6 rooms and Kitchen and 4 rooms and kitchen." The sale date was 17th October 1879, however, it is unknown at the time of writing if the Hotel and shops were sold, it was still the Nil Desperandum in April 1880 when there was a rather small advertisement for its sale. Interested parties were to apply to William Andrews at the Hotel, indicating he was still running the hotel. It is not known exactly when the hotel and shops were sold. The 1880 Rates Records listed them as owned by James Pattern. The street numbers changed at this time, 147-151 George St became 155-161 George St. The 1882 until 1902 Rates Record notes Robert Miller as the owner of the shops and Hotel,As a response to the Plague outbreak of 1900 the entire Rocks, Millers Point and Darling Harbour areas were resumed under the Observatory Hill Resumption Act. In 1906 or 1907 the almost 60 year old buildings contain the Hotel and shops were demolished.In 1911 the tenements to 149 and 151 George St were replaced by the current building which became known as the Quay Chambers. WA Grubb is the longest tenant on the site, a butchering company with stores throughout Sydney. They operated at 147 George St from 1905 until 1910 and when 149-151 George St was built, they moved into those premises in 1912, remaining there until the 1980s when the site was redeveloped.The buildings just south of the subject site were demolished in 1937 and the site acquired by the Public Transport Commission in 1946 for the City Rail Link to Circular Quay, the line became operational in 1956.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 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 a maintenance depot and staff quarters 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, the removal of a barrel-vaulted awing, the reinstatement of the current flat awning, new stairs, a vaulted galleria, and retail fitouts to the interior of Louis Vuitton Store (149-151 George Street). The complex still operates as the DFS Galleria as at 2013.
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 East elevation of 149-151 George St has high significance at loacal level as a representative example of a commercial building in The Rocks designed in the Late Victorian and early Federation style.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 façade 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: 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 buildings of 145-155 George Street do not have representative significance in NSW or locally and as a group do not meet this Criteria
Intact assessment: Potential archaeological resource beneath 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||7384||09/11/1981|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01594||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||7716||27/02/1978|