Railings, Sydney Cove
Statement of SignificanceThe railings at Sydney Cove 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 railings have historic significance as part of the urban improvements undertaken at Sydney Cove at two phases: by the Sydney Harbour Trust as part of its urban improvements at the turn of the century, and by the Maritime Services Board at Circular Quay Concourse as part of the refurbishment of the Wharves in the 1950s. They are aesthetically significant as prominent and attractive urban features of the Cove.
Construction Years: 1900 - 0
Physical Description: Much of the sea wall at Sydney Cove is edged by cast iron fencing comprising vertical posts of two alternating patterns joined by horizontal railings at top and bottom with diagonal bracing and a central medallion at the cross point between. This fencing continues from around Dawes Point to the north boundary of the Park Hyatt Hotel, and continues , interrupted by the decking in front of the Park Hyatt Hotel, the fencing and gates to Campbell's Wharf and then the open area in front of Campbells Stores and by he Overseas Passenger Terminal. It continues again past the palisade gates, fencing and gateposts to the south of the Terminal, along Circular Quay West to the main concourse giving access to the ferry wharves, and resumes at Circular Quay East, terminating at the Portobello Café. The posts are of cast iron while the rails are in steel. The fencing was reproduced and extended for the improvements undertaken in the Bicentennial of 1988. In addition, when they were damaged they were replaced over the years. (McBeath 2000) It is noted that the same railing pattern has been used in the fencing at Pyrmont Point Park, completed in 1997. The Circular Quay Concourse has a different style of fencing with smaller posts and vertical railings enclosed by horizontal railings at the top and bottom, with the top two horizontal rails decorated by a sea horse set in a circle motif. It is noted that sea horses form part of the ironwork decorative scheme of the railway station at Circular Quay. These railings continue along the concourse and return for 2-3 metres at the access to each ferry wharf.
Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: The railings and sandstone gate posts are relics of the main steamer wharf and previous schemes of improvement to Circular Quay. They are some of the last remaining from the 19th century. (City of Sydney 1989) Railings of this pattern are shown on an historic photograph dated 1894-98, continuing from Circular Quay around to Circular Quay West. The configuration of both Circular Quay and Circular Quay West have changed since that date, which would have involved the moving of sections of the railings. As well, additional railings of the same pattern were made as part of the Circular Quay improvement works for the 1988 Bicentennial. Identification of the location of the original railings requires further research and should be clearly recorded. A different railing pattern featuring seahorses has been used along Circular Quay Concourse to the end of Wharf 2, when the same pattern used at Circular Quay West is used along the sea wall at East Circular Quay, terminating at the Portobello Café. It is noted that the same railing pattern has also been used at Pyrmont Point Park and Jones Bay c 1996. The railings were introduced as part of various schemes for urban improvements in the late 19th and early 20th century, by the Sydney Harbour Trust at the turn of the century, by the Maritime Services Board at the time of refurbishment of the ferry wharves and building of the Cahill Expressway in the 1950s-60s, and for the 1988 Bicentennial.
Historical significance: The railings have historic significance as part of the urban improvements undertaken at Sydney Cove in different phases: by the Sydney Harbour Trust as part of its urban improvements at the turn of the century, and by the Maritime Services Board at Circular Quay Concourse as part of the refurbishment of the Wharves in the 1950s.
Historical association: The railings are aesthetically significant as prominent and attractive urban features of the Cove.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Building settlements, towns and cities||Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01572||10/05/2002||2865||85|
|Heritage study||8000 & 8006||City of Sydney||16/02/1989|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|