Shops/Warehouses - part of Commercial Group
Statement of SignificanceOwned by the Bray family throughout the nineteenth century and possibly designed by architect Albert Bond, the No. 139-151 Sussex Street group is an elegantly proportioned grouping of two mid Victorian commercial warehouses (No. 139-145 and No. 147-151 Sussex Street) that make an important contribution to the heritage character of Sussex Street and the historical association of this street with the working harbour of Port Jackson. The staged development of the buildings and boundary wall reflects the evolving and varied demands for secure commercial premises within the east Darling Harbour wharf precinct, with a particular association with the citys produce agents. Albeit extensively renovated as part of the Hotel Nikko redevelopment in the late 1980s, both buildings are fine examples of commercial warehousing of their respective era that continue to demonstrate key design aspects of traditional wharf-side development in Sydney. No. 147 Sussex Street is of particular significance for its historic association with the Hunter River New Steam Navigation Co. (later the Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Co.).
Other - Commercial
Construction Years: 1850 - 1850
Physical Description: Rendered brickwork warehouses with iron roof built during mid 1850s. Single storey to Sussex Street and three storeys at rear. Simple facade with largely original windows and shopfronts. The design and detailing matches that of 149-153 Sussex Street.
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical significance: The No. 139-151 Sussex Street group meets this criterion at a state level as it demonstrates the development of commercial trading and shipping activities in the western zone of the Sydney Central Business District since the nineteenth century. The buildings historic uses as shipping office and warehousing for produce agents were followed by a period of neglect in the decades following the Second World War before an adaptive reuse development for commercial and retail tenancies. The most recent use represents a conscious acceptance of adaptive reuse of existing building stock by government and private enterprise, reflecting the changing attitudes to heritage development in Sydney.
Historical association: The No. 139-151 Sussex Street group meets this criterion at a state level for its historic association with the Hunter River New Steam Navigation Co. (later the Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Co.) This company was associated with the site from 1854 and utilised No. 147 Sussex Street as its head office from the mid 1880s. The Hunter River New Steam Navigation Co. is significant in the history of coastal shipping in maintaining regular goods and passenger services between Sydney and the Hunter River ports, the two major ports in the State, for around one hundred years. The historic association with the Bray family should be acknowledged at a local level although their significance in Sydney hitherto has not been raised.
Aesthetic significance: The No. 139-151 Sussex Street group meets this criterion at a state level for it demonstrates staged nineteenth century warehousing development in wharf-side Sydney. The expansive and homogenous street frontage to Sussex Street with its shop/office uses contrasts with the functional warehouse design of the former wharf frontage to the west. The articulation of the former goods bays and flanking windows over two buildings of different age and construction provides a built element of intrinsic interest. The Sussex Street façade with its Free Classical details contributes to the defining of the heritage character of Sussex Street. It is possible that one or both buildings were designed by architect Albert Bond.
Rare assessment: The No. 139-151 Sussex Street group meets this criterion at a state level for the earlier warehouse in sandstone represents a rare example of its type for its date (c.1865) within the Darling Harbour precinct of Port Jackson that historically was the principal trading port in New South Wales. Collectively, both former warehouses are rare in this context.
Representative assessment: The east and west elevations retain features that characterise the respective nineteenth century functions of commercial warehousing and office/shop fronts. The compartmentalised interior of the Sussex Street level tenancies continues to inform on the nature of nineteenth century produce stores.
Intact assessment: Exteriors appear sound
Physical condition: Exteriors appear sound.
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - Revoked||00413||09/08/1985|
|National Trust of Australia Register||6499|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||00413||02/08/1990|
|Register of the National Estate||001938||21/03/1978|
|Management Plan||Tanner Architects||2009||Warehouses 139-153 Sussex St, Darling Harbour|