Dundee Arms Hotel - part of Commercial Group
Statement of SignificanceErected by John Robertson around 1860, the Dundee Arms is of state heritage significance as a rare surviving example of a licensed public hotel of the mid nineteenth century in the Victorian Regency style. The building provides a positive contribution to the heritage values of Sussex Street and its traditional associations with shipping and the trade in produce and goods.
Construction Years: 1860 - 0
Physical Description: Typical early pub design of Victorian Regency style painted and/or rendered sandstone with slate roof; pre 1860s largely original three storey building with sound exterior and two small terraces of roughly the same date attached at the side rear facing former market lane. First floor verandah has been removed but some original interior work remains
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: The Dundee Arms Hotel was constructed pre 1860 and is one of the oldest surviving pubs in the area. It is a feature of the development of Darling Harbour as an overwhelmingly industrial and maritime suburb, the hotel serviced the working class people employed nearby and sailors from the ships docked in the harbour. Throughout the 1870s and until 1888 it was managed by Thomas Ricketts, the hotel's longest serving publican. Pubs like the Dundee Arms were a focus for the local and visiting populations' social life. The Hotel has been in continuous operation and is now incorporated into the Four Points Hotel, and is still functioning as a bar.
Historical significance: The Dundee Arms meets this criterion at a local level as it demonstrates the development of commercial trading activities in the western zone of the Sydney Central Business District since the mid nineteenth century. The buildings historic use as licensed premises initiated by John Robertson was followed by periods when used as a restaurant, a boarding house and then as offices associated with dealers in produce and goods. While the 1960s heralded a period of prolonged neglect, the most recent use was initiated in the late 1980s and it represents a conscious acceptance of adaptive reuse of existing building stock by government and private enterprise, which reflects the changing attitudes to heritage development in Sydney.
Aesthetic significance: The Dundee Arms meets this criterion at a state level as an excellent example of a modest licensed hotel erected in the mid nineteenth century NSW. The key architectural features of such a building type, both internal and external, are represented in the Dundee Arms either through restored original fabric or skilful reconstruction. The key plan form of such a building as evolved into the early twentieth century is demonstrated by the range of interconnected bars and parlours as a place of public entertainment, the cellar as an area of food and beverage storage and preparation and the upper two floors as bedrooms for guests and proprietors. The building is constructed in sandstone, which is the quintessential Sydney building material. Stylistically, the building is an example of Victorian Regency. The building provides a positive contribution to the heritage values of Sussex Street given its proximity to the so-called Corn Exchange (1887) and the so-called Central Warehouses (1860s and 1880s). The building demarcates the truncated Wharf Lane, which is an element of some townscape value in being representative of the laneways and byways that led to the wharves.
Rare assessment: The Dundee Arms meets this criterion at a state level as it is a rare surviving example of a mid-nineteenth century licensed hotel sited within the former, and now largely redeveloped, Darling Harbour shipping and warehousing precinct; this significance is enhanced by the programme of reconstruction completed in 1991 and the continuing use as licensed premises.
Representative assessment: The Dundee Arms meets this criterion at a state level as the original use as licensed premises is demonstrated by representative examples of key design traits of a traditional hotel and the subsequent evolution of historic uses is representative of similar buildings managed by government authorities concerned with portside Sydney over the twentieth century.
Intact assessment: The building is substantially intact and retains significant original fabric.
Physical condition: Archaeological potential of the building may be good as there has been minimal subsurface disturbance.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing cultural institutions and ways of life||Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities.|
|Developing cultural institutions and ways of life||Activities associated with recreation and relaxation.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0149||Dundee Arms||21/03/1978||1943|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||00416||Dundee Arms Hotel||22/04/1999||1546||27|
|National Trust of Australia Register||6506||Dundee Arms/Kernac House|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|