Statement of SignificanceThe terraces and site at 132-134 Cumberland Street are of State heritage significance for their historical and scientific research cultural values. The sites and buildings are also of State heritage significance for their contribution to the Long's Lane Precinct and The Rocks area as a whole. The relationship between Nos. 132-134 Cumberland Street and their neighbours in the Long's Lane Precinct is clear and still within the historic street pattern.The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street are associated with the historical demand for housing in close proximity to the waterfront and the commercial centre of Sydney and are representative of speculative, developer built terraces constructed in the late nineteenth century in the inner suburbs of Sydney. It is significant as a survivor of three major phases of demolition that took place in The Rocks in the twentieth century at the time of government resumptions (early 1900s), construction of the Harbour Bridge approach (from 1924) and excavations for the Cahill Expressway (1955-1957). The considerable loss of housing stock in The Rocks and general decline in residential occupation in the area enhances the historical significance of 132-134 Cumberland Street, especially the retention of residential use for which the buildings were originally constructed circa 1891. While 132-134 Cumberland Street does not have individual social significance, it is representative of the 1970s Green Bans and community action to preserve historic buildings and the residential community in the area.Architecturally, 132-134 Cumberland Street are relatively modest examples of late nineteenth century terrace buildings, however present a variation to typical terraces constructed in rows, being constructed as a pair that together demonstrate the density and character of the early nineteenth century subdivision pattern and the practice of inserting terrace houses into the dense layers of existing housing stock in The Rocks where space was available. They are significant as they demonstrate the historic planning, in particular the rear kitchen, toilet and bathroom volumes - the survival of which is rare. The terraces are rare as the only examples of the 'ground floor verandah' terrace type dating from their era of construction in The Rocks and for having retained the original form of the principal elevation.The terraces have aesthetic significance for their contribution to the townscape of The Rocks and the Long's Lane precinct, complementing the human scale and historic character of the area. The works undertaken to the buildings in the 1990s conserved significant fabric and added a modern layer to the building. This work is significant in the evolution of the site, as it reinstated a significant use and enhanced the aesthetic significance of the building via careful restoration and reconstruction work, in particular on the interior.The archaeological potential of the site is high. The site is in close proximity to a State significant archaeological resource at the Cumberland Street Dig Site and there is evidence that the pre-1820s quarry uncovered on the Dig Site extends along beneath 132-134 Cumberland Street (between 130 and 138 Cumberland Street). There is also potential for subfloor archaeological deposits within the buildings. The potential archaeological resource of the terraces and site at 132-134 Cumberland Street is of State significance and relates to early pre 1820s development of The Rocks as well as late nineteenth and twentieth century development.
Residential buildings (private)
Construction Years: 1891 - 1891
Physical Description: 132-134 Cumberland Street is a part of the 'Long's Lane Precinct'. Long's Lane is a cluster of nineteenth and early-twentieth houses, rear yards, and laneways between Gloucester and Cumberland Streets, the Rocks. These two storey residential terraces are typical of the 1880's building style. The two five room terraces are built of stuccoed brick with an iron roofs, and have moulded string courses and arched windows on the upper level. They relate in style to the three storey Italianate terraced buildings on either side at Nos130 and Nos 136-8 Cumberland Street. An unusual feature of this infill development is the reduced scale of the building and set back relative to these two adjoining properties. The set back has allowed the incorporation of a front porch. The incorporation of a central passageway between the two to the rear of the buildings is a relatively rare feature on the terraces of Sydney. (Clive Lucas Stapleton 1991: 56; Karskens 1981)Style: 'Italianate' late Victorian terrace; Storeys: 2; Facade: Rendered brick; Roof Cladding: Iron
|Lot/Volume Number||Section Number||Plan Folio Code||Plan Folio Number|
Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: Occupation on this site is known from c1822 when George Cribb constructed a row of tenements along Cumberland Street to Long's Lane. These were demolished and replaced by a row of single storey terraces around 1834. The first official land grant on the site of 132-134 Cumberland Street (referred to as Allotment 11 of Section 74, comprising 4.5 perches, in the Land Title records), was a Town Grant to Isaac Moore in January 1839. Moore had purchased the two adjoining dwelling houses on this allotment in 1833 from John Jones. These dwellings were built prior to the first Council Rates being collected in 1845, at which time the houses were described as single storey stone dwellings with two rooms apiece. These adjoining houses were pulled down in 1880, and the land remained vacant until at circa 1891. The existing conjoined two-storey terraces were constructed by 1892 and according to the Council Rates records; they were two-storey, five roomed brick and cement dwellings with iron roofs. The two adjoining buildings incorporated a common passage way between them. As the plot did not extend as far as the mid-block lane at the time of their construction, this was used from the 1840s to provide access to allow for removal of waste from the rear service yards. 132-134 Cumberland Street remained in continuous family ownership from 1833 until their resumption by the State Government in the early 1900s. The first owner, Isaac Moore, was the brother-in-law of Edward Brady (owner c1840-1867) and his niece was Mary Ann Smith, nee Brady (owner c1877-1902). Moore sold to Edward Brady in 1840, according to Land Title records. On Brady's death in 1869, his will stipulated that Isaac Moore's sons, Edmund, William and Thomas Moore were trustees and were required to provide for Mary Ann Smith during her life, and for her children after death.In 1903 the land and buildings were resumed by the NSW Government as part of the Darling Harbour Wharves Resumption Act 1900. The Sydney Harbour Trust, formed in 1901 to take over The Rocks and adjacent wharves on behalf of the State Government, managed the waterfront clean up, including inspection of the resumed properties and repair of the more substantial and fireproof buildings that were to be retained. Many of the demolished buildings were of poor construction with inadequate foundations. 132-134 Cumberland Street was spared from demolition owing to the quality of its construction.The buildings at Nos. 132-134 Cumberland remained tenanted as residences until the 1970s. The buildings were boarded up in the 1980s, and for the next ten years, squatters intermittently occupied the buildings, and a period of vandalism ensued during which much of the joinery and many of the fixtures were stolen. The timbers were subject to termite activity during this time.The original internal plans of the buildings have remained largely intact together with some of the original architectural detailing. The Sydney Cove Authority undertook extensive work in the precinct in the mid 1990s. The work included the conservation and restoration of the buildings and rear yards of 103-117A Gloucester and 130-142 Cumberland Streets, the construction of four new sensitively sited and designed infill dwellings, and the conservation and reopening of the two historic laneways, namely, Long's and Caraher's Lanes. The work involved the retention of as much of the significant fabric as possible from the various stages of the buildings' lives, and was carried out in a number of stages from 1992-97.
Historical significance: The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street are good and largely intact examples of late nineteenth century inner city residential terraces that make an important contribution to the understanding of the historical development of The Rocks and Millers Point, particularly of the areas' residential use.The terraces are associated with the historical demand for housing in close proximity to the waterfront and the commercial centre of Sydney.As a pair of terraces, not a row, the residences demonstrate how at the time of their construction the density of The Rocks was increased by the insertion of terrace houses into the layers of existing housing stock.The size of the block provides evidence of the density and character of the early nineteenth century subdivision pattern in The Rocks. The site, Allotment 11 of Section 74, commenced as a speculative venture in its initial form as a row of tenements in 1822, replaced in 1834. The previous buildings, described in 1845 as being single storey stone dwellings, were replaced by the current 1890s terrace still confined by the scale of the 1830s lot.The terraces, in conjunction with the other buildings in the Long's Lane precinct, have historical significance as survivors of dramatic changes that took place in The Rocks in the twentieth century, namely the government resumptions when substandard buildings were demolished (early 1900s), and major demolitions that occurred for construction of the Harbour Bridge approach (from 1924) and subsequently excavation for the Cahill Expressway (between 1955 and 1957).The terraces have historical significance for maintaining the residential use for which the buildings were originally constructed circa 1891. This significance has effectively been reinstated by the conservation works implemented by the then Sydney Cove Authority (now Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority) following two decades of vacancy from the 1970s and is enhanced by the retention of the planning for the rear service rooms in addition to the main building volume.
Historical association: Nos. 132-134 Cumberland Street have associations with the Moore - Brady - Smith related families from 1833 until resumed by the Government in 1903. This family is reasonably typical of property owning families in The Rocks who also went on to be land owners elsewhere in Sydney, in this case Mosman.
Aesthetic significance: The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street have aesthetic significance for their contribution to the characteristic townscape of The Rocks and the Long's Lane precinct. The buildings complement the human scale and historic character of the area.In themselves, the terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street have some aesthetic significance as modest examples of late nineteenth century terraces with some Italianate pretensions. The buildings demonstrate the aesthetic characteristics of their type and are good surviving examples of the paired terrace type, however they do not demonstrate a high degree of aesthetic, creative or technical achievement. The buildings exhibit mostly modest standards of construction in materials and workmanship.The reconstructed fabric dating from the 1990s has aesthetic significance for reinstating the original appearance of the buildings in areas where the original fabric was missing or damaged.
Social significance: The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street do not in themselves have strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in NSW or The Rocks for social, cultural or spiritual reasons. In conjunction with other historic buildings in The Rocks, however, they are representative of the Green Bans and the successful community action to preserve the areas' residential community.
Research significance: The archaeological potential of the site of No. 132-134 Cumberland Street is high and relates to early development of The Rocks as well as late nineteenth and early twentieth century development. The site may be considered to be an extension of the Cumberland Street Dig site where a major State significant archaeological investigation was undertaken. There is evidence that the worked face of a pre-1820s quarry that was uncovered on the Dig site extends along beneath the properties at 130-138 Cumberland Street. The significance of this evidence is high.Any subfloor archaeological deposits are a significant resource and it is expected that remains of the pre-1890 occupation will be present.
Rare assessment: A great number of residential buildings in The Rocks have been demolished in the twentieth century while others have been adapted for alternate uses. As such, residential use of historic buildings in The Rocks has greatly declined and is a tradition that is in danger of being lost. The retention of the terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street and their continued residential use has rarity value.Within The Rocks, No. 132-134 Cumberland Street sites are important survivors from the late nineteenth century which still retain their historic planning. The retention of the planning layout for the rear wing / service areas, which were conserved as part of the work undertaken in the 1990s, is particularly rare.The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street are late examples of the 'ground floor verandah' terrace type and are the only examples of their type dating from their era of construction in The Rocks.The comparative analysis shows that 'ground floor verandah' type terraces were commonly altered, in particular by the inclusion of a second storey verandah. 132-134 Cumberland Street has rarity value for having retained the original form of its principal elevation.While there are other examples of terraces containing a central passageway, including in Kent and Argyle Streets, it is less common than terraces having rear lane access. It is even rarer for the party wall to occur over the passageway, as for 132-134 Cumberland Street, rather than under the first floor of one of the houses (thus creating one larger room).The buildings have rarity value as surviving elements of the Long's Lane Precinct.
Representative assessment: The terraces at 132-134 Cumberland Street are representative as examples of late nineteenth century modest inner city paired residential terraces. While the terraces are not part of a row, as is more usual for this type of building, in The Rocks density was increased by insertion of terrace houses into the existing housing stock, resulting in paired or single terraces in some cases.
Intact assessment: Archaeological Potential high
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|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||1/12/036/0484||Terraces||21/10/1980||2389|
|National Trust of Australia Register||10327||Terraces||24/08/1981|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01606||10/05/2002||2869||85|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|