Shop, Ken Duncan Gallery
Statement of Significance73 George Street 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.Despite significant changes to its facade the building is a rare surviving example of early public house that remains recongnisable in the urban context of The Rocks. The site was part of land subdivided by Frederic Unwin. The sandstone and brick perimeter walls to therear yard are significant in dating from the middle 19th century and demonstrate the hotel's evolution. The site's development illustrates the way an intensive urban use character evolved reflecting the growth of The Rocks Area generally.The site has important associations at a local level extending back in history to the establishment of the first hospital in the colony in 1788 and also has significant associations with many 19th century historical figures including Surgeon William Balmain, Frederic Garling, Frederic Unwin. The building also has association with the notable building contractor firm Howie Moffat & Co. through its conversion to Ambulance Station.The building and site has been associated with many uses throughout its long history, its original use as a public house/hotel being of predominate significance, and it illustrated the changing social fabric of the area which once had a concentration of public housesdemonstrating the importance of the consumption of alcohol to the economy of the area.The building demonstrates the characteristic elements of Georgian Revival style architecture with Art Nouveau details, illustrating an important adaptation of an early Colonial Georgian style hotel into an Inter-War utility building.The form, scale, detailing and material of the facade contributes greatly to the significant streetscape of George Street North. This is particularly relevant in the context of many nearby buildings in The Rocks of similar architectural styles and periods, which togethercontribute to the area's strong and rich historical character.The construction of the building demonstrates the form of 19th century building techniques and the improved standards pertaining to c.1840s hotels. The size and scale of the building continues to make an important contribution to the streetscape of George Streetand sympathetic relationship to nearby similar buildings. The building fabric retains the potential to be returned to the original configuration and street appearance, in which case it would even stronger complement the highly significant 19th century townscape of George Street.
Ken Duncan Gallery
Ambulance Station, Public House
Construction Years: 1842 - 1843
Physical Description: Ambulance depot, 1928. Older buildings at rear. Sandstone rear wall along back boundary. Sandstone brick wall on side boundary. Various dates to these structures. 1842-1843, 1870; Built By: 1840'sThe building at No. 73 George Street North, The Rocks, the former Ambulance Station, is a two storey masonry walled structure with a cellar and attached roof over a rear yard enclosed by sandstone boundary wall on two sides (now demolished). The building used to cover the entire site between George Street and Kendall Lane at the rear. The single pitched gable roof is of corrugated iron and is screened from George Street by parapets.(Sheedy 1991: 18)Style: Georgian Art Nouveau; Storeys: 3 including basement; Facade: 1928 Modelled Facade; Side Rear Walls: Sandstone brickwork; Roof Cladding: Corrugated Iron; Floor Frame: Timber, Concrete; Ceilings: 1st floor pressed metal.
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: The subject site initially formed part of the grounds surrounding the first hospital and its associated surgeons' dwellings. The first hospital was established soon after the First Fleet's arrival in Sydney Cove and John White, naval surgeon was the first hospital surgeon. William Balmain, one of his assistant surgeons, took over following White's retirement in December 1794. In 1795, the Surgeon Balmain was granted a 14 year lease of land comprising immediately to the north of the hospital area. Balmain's lease includes the subject site and is identified on Meehan's 1807 plan (with later overlays).Following the initial lease for the land comprising 73 George Street, Governor Macquarie granted a 21 year lease in January 1810 to the auctioneer William Gaudry. This was a substantial portion of land and the land records describe it as: All That piece or parcel of land or allotment of Ground situate lying and being in George Street in the Town of Sydney bounded on the east side by the street bearing south one quarter degree East 60 feet west 1 degree north 16 feet and south 1 and 2/3 degrees west 83 feet on the South side by a line bearing west 10 1/2 degrees north 348 feet on the west side by Street bearing north 33 112 degrees east 94 feet and on the north side by Cornwall Lane bearing east 304 feet containing 135 Rods. The terms of the lease required that Gaudry construct a house on the property within a specific time frame. The details were outlined as: "a good and sufficient dwelling house thereon of Brick or Stone within 5 years from the date thereof which house shall not be less than 36 feet in length from out to out and not less than 14 feet in width'. Only two years later, in 1812 Gaudry had mortgaged this property and soon after was unable to pay his debts and lost the property. In November 1815, Edward Smith Hall, the later banker and newspaper editor somehow acquired the property, and sold it to Frederick Garling. Garling and his wife with their five children had emigrated from London in 1815. Garling was the second free solicitor to arrive in the Colony, and was the second solicitor admitted to practise in any court in New South Wales. In December 1815, Governor Macquarie appointed Garling a magistrate of the Colony and also the acting deputy judge advocate. Garling acted as deputy judge advocate 'with zeal, impartiality and integrity' according to Macquarie, until October 1816 when John Wylde arrived and took up the duties of that office. Garling then reverted to the position of crown solicitor, in addition to which he enjoyed a large private practice. He was no doubt a man of means.It is apparent from the 1835 plan and recent sources that Garling constructed a dwelling on the property, described as "a substantial two storey house with a verandah overlooking Sydney Cove". It was constructed on the site of the (later subdivided) land comprising 75, 75a and 73 George Street. Presumably the house and gardens were demolished prior to the construction of Unwin's Stores and the Kings Head Inn. In the early 1830s an attempt was made to formalise the leases and a series of section maps was prepared by Robert Russell. The outline of Garling's House is depicted, on the site of what later became 75, 75a and 73 George Street. The plan includes a substantial walled garden to the south of the house. Garling himself became involved in debt by 1820, owing a large sum of money to John Plummer, of the London agency Plummer Barham & Co. Under the terms of the debt, if Garling could pay it off with interest, the property would revert back to him. By 1837 Garling's debt was owed to Plummer's creditors, the local Sydney solicitors William Carr and John Rogers. In order to pay off Plummer's creditors the property was to be sold either whole or in smaller allotments. Due to the expiration of the lease, the Governor of the time was required to issue a grant. Accordingly, the subject site, part of Allotment 2 of the Sydney City Section 85, was granted to William Carr and George John Rogers by Governor Gipps Crown grant in October 1838. The land referred to in the grand now encompassed 2 roods and 25 perches (0.265 hectares), one third less than the original grant made by Governor Macquarie to Gaudry in 1810. The terms of the grant included a similar condition to the former grant, that is, that "a permanent dwelling house store or other suitable building thereon" be erected. In February 1839, Frederic Wright Unwin and his wife Ann King purchased the allotment for £2750. They subdivided the property into different allotments. 73 George Street was included in the area of allotment 8 with a 25 foot frontage (7.62 metres) to George Street.On the adjacent allotments to the north, Unwin built his stone stores. In February 1842, allotment 8 was sold to Matthais Hooper of the Kings Head Inn in Argyle Street for £625. Hooper mortgaged the property back to Unwin for £437, presumably to finance his purchase. In September 1842, Hooper mortgaged the property through the Savings Bank of New South Wales for £1050. This was probably to pay out Unwin and to construct the inn, as Hooper erected a public house in 1842-43 on the 73 George Street site, which was also called the 'Kings Head'. Low's City of Sydney Directory for 1844-45 confirms that the Kings Head was located in George Street and that Matthias Hooper was the publican. The building was recorded there as being of three storeys with ten rooms and constructed of brick walls with a slate tiled roof. The public house was also described as having 'every convenience'. The building occupied the full frontage to George Street, 25 feet (7.62m) wide (the width noted in the land titles) and was 40 feet (12.19m) deep. Hooper remained the publican of the 'Kings Head' until he conveyed the property to William Carss and his wife Helen in December 1849. They employed Edward Hancock to manage the public house during 1850. In March 1853, they sold the 'Kings Head' to William Anthony Wright. Wright leased the hotel to George F Ewen, publican, who managed the inn from 1854 to 1859.During 1855 Wright erected stores behind the hotel, situated along the southern boundary to Mrs. Samson's Cottage. On January 21, 1856 Wright conveyed the public house to Thomas Goudie, a confectioner of Sydney. The property attracted a good price; Goudie paid £2500 for the land encompassing 8 perches (0.020 hectares) and described in the land titles as: All that piece or parcel of land commencing in George Street at the North East corner of lot number nine then by a line bearing West eight degrees thirty minutes North eighty seven feet to a reserved passage ten feet wide dividing it from number nine aforesaid on the west by that passage twenty five feet to the North West corner of lot number seven and on the South by a line East eight degrees thirty minutes South eighty six feet to the commencing point on George Street dividing it from lot number seven aforesaid Together with the capital messuage or inn thereon erected called or known by the name of "The Kings Head Inn" and all other houses and buildings thereon erected stables yards fences ways paths passages and rights and privileges appendants and appurtenances to the same land and Inn or either of them "In September 1870, Goudie sold the Kings Head Inn to Andrew Henry Julius Baass, an accountant, who in the same month sold the property to Joseph George Raphael, a merchant. Raphael changed the hotel's name to the 'Great Pacific Hotel' and in c.1870 the stone perimeter walls were erected to the north and western boundaries of the allotment. In 1884, the Hotel's name was changed again to the 'P & O Hotel' by the new licensee Mrs. Mary A Ferguson, who remained in charge until 1891. Under her administration the inn was known as the P & 0 Hotel, a name it kept until it ceased to be licensed premises, c.1909. In 1910, the Sands Directory listing indicated that Mrs J. Josephs conducted tea rooms on the site.In February 1901, the property was resumed as part of the NSW Government resumptions due to the outbreak of cases of bubonic plague. The Sydney Harbour Trust (now Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority) was established at this time to manage the properties and 73 George Street remained under its management from this time. The next occupier of 73 George Street was the Salvation Army, who leased the hotel from the Sydney Harbour Trust, c.1910, to use as a rest centre, the Salvation Army Naval and Military Home for military personnel on leave. The Naval and Military League states:"Some years ago The Army instituted the Naval and Military League. Its objects were to link together all Salvationists in His Majesty's naval and military services throughout the world, enrol them as Leaguers, and organise them for aggressive Christian work amongst their fellows. They are presented with a pass which introduces them to Salvationists in any part of the world, and by means of correspondence and "Under the Colours," the monthly organ of the league, the men are kept in touch with The Salvation Army. Fourteen Homes for soldiers and sailors are established at the chief naval and mercantile bases of the world. They provide dining, reading, writing, and meeting rooms and bedrooms. When Leaguers are in port they can always be sure of safe and clean lodgings, wholesome, well-cooked food, and a cosy corner at their Home. All sorts and conditions of Service men repair thither for meals and beds, and often in the Home meeting the Leaguers have the joy of seeing their mates brought to God. These homes are in charge of specially selected officers, who also visit the camps and hospitals."Ar the outbreak of the First World War this home was too small and it moved to somewhere in Pitt Street and then later to a building in Goulburn Street, which for some years after 1921 was the headquarters for the Australia Eastern Territory. This information describing the conditions available for servicemen on leave sounds an appropriate description for the existing building and former public hotel at 73 George Street. The cover of the 1991 Conservation Plan for 73 George Street, The Rocks portrayed the building during that phase with a picture from a 1914 history of the Salvation Army. The building was tenanted by various businesses between 1915 and 1927. During 1916-1917 the premises were occupied by the Tung Wah Times newspaper and the 'Chinese Chamber Of Commerce, S. South, Secretary'.The 1918 Sands Directory lists a Mrs Mary Avery as resident at that address and for the following three years there is no entry suggesting that the site was probably vacant. From 1922 through 1926 Hall Brothers, oil engine importers occupied the premises. In 1927 the site was vacant presumably whilst refurbishment took place. In March 1927, Howie, Moffat & Co. submitted plans for alterations to the building and in 1928, after the completion of the facade and internal works, the Circular Quay Depot of the Central District Ambulance Service began operations. The Circular Quay Station was one of the first stations located in Sydney, however Central District became responsible for the other ambulance stations located within the Sydney metropolitan area.The 1904 annual report for the Civil Ambulance and Transport Brigade of New South Wales stated that at that time there was an ambulance station located in Phillip Street at Circular Quay, which during those years was: "frequently called upon to undertake most important cases. Efforts have been made to secure a station in the centre of the Quay but so far without success." In March 1927 the Central District Committee of the New South Wales Ambulance had approved recommendations in an internal report regarding alterations to a property at 73 George Street North, Circular Quay so as to make it suitable for use as an Ambulance Station.The Central District Ambulance Service remained in operation at the 73 George Street site from 1927 until 1990. This was a longer period than that of the hotel, for which the building had originally been constructed. In 1927-28, the Ambulance Service meeting minutes documented that their premises located at 73 George Street North had been transferred from the management by the Resumed Properties Department to the Sydney Harbour Trust. By 1938-39 their correspondence stated that the station was now covered by a lease with the Maritime Services Board.In 1942, the Ambulance Services minutes noted that the lease on the property was renewed for a period of three years at a rent of £5 per annum. In 1950, the Housing Commission was responsible for the leasing of the property, however the rent charged remained at £5 per annum. In 1970-71 the following note was recorded for the property: 'The Executive Director of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority notified on June 3 that it was unlikely any move involving the Ambulance Station at 73a George Street North, Circular Quay would be made within the next two years. With this knowledge, repairs and renovations were authorized to this historical building in order to house two ambulances. In addition to the modifications to the ground floor of the building, in 1971 the rooms on level one were rewired, repainted and refurnished in order to provide teaching and demonstration facilities for recruits for the Central District. Since August 1971, 276 men had been recruited by Central District, who arranged for their introductory training at the George Street North (Circular Quay) Ambulance Station. The following information is taken from The Ambulance Service of Sydney 1894-1976: The upstairs rooms of the Ambulance Station in the historical building at 73a George Street North, Circular Quay, were cleared, painted, rewired and refurbished to provide school and demonstration facilities, together with amenities, for an Introductory Training class of recruits for Central District. Nineteen men attended the first Class which commenced on August 23. Superinendent R.A. McDermott conducted the Class, assisted by sister P. Young of the Board's Training School and selected officers of Central District. The course of three weeks dealt with first aid, ambulance rules and instruction, commercial matters communications etc. Teaching equipment was supplied by the board's Training School whose Supervisor, Mr. Allan Bailey, gave considerable assistance in the preparation of a syllabus and other matters. On completion of the course the men were sent to the Board's Training School for another three weeks of advanced study. Afterwards they were seconded to ambulances which they drove and operated under the care of selected and experienced ambulance officers. During 1971-72 six Classes were held. In 1974 the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority increased the rent on the premises from $960 per annum to $336 per quarter. In the mid 1980s there was a proposal to establish an Ambulance Service Museum on the premises and for a time several old Ambulances were on display at the address. The first intensive care ambulances, two Ford F100 modified vehicles, had also been based at the George Street station with their operations beginning in November 1976 under the supervison of Deputy Superintendent V. McMahon. In 1973 the condition of the George Street North (Circular Quay) ambulance station was discussed by the Ambulance Service District Committee. It was noted that annual rent had been reduced by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority from $2,111 to $960 because Central District Ambulance Service was expected to accept responsibility for "maintenance costs to keep the building in a safe and waterproof condition", plus rates, taxes and insurance. In view of the present condition of the property, it was thought that there should be a discussion to ascertain the cost involved in putting the premises in proper order. By late 1990 an inspection report for the building noted that 'the premises were found to be infested with white ants and the floor boards, particularly on the first floor were unsound and creating an occupational and safety issue. Accordingly, the building was vacated by the Ambulance Service on 9 November 1990 and the lease relinquished to the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority (now the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority). During the 1990s the then Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority undertook a number of studies for preservation, reconstruction and adapative reuse of the building. The Foreshore Authority's files record that the work involved conservation of the ambulance station and adaption of the building to a ground floor shop with a one bedroom residence on level one, together with a courtyard at the rear of the site, linking existing courtyards behind the adjacent buildings to the south, Unwin's Stores. Additionally the works provided for a pedestrian corridor through the building on its southern side, from George Street to Kendall Lane, which was part of a pedestrian link from Circular Quay to the Harbour Bridge. This work also included a new three storey retail and residential building at No.71 George Street, the site of a former petrol station. The subsequent renovations to the building, carried out by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority between 1992 and 1994, aimed to preserve what could be retained of the original or early fabric of the building, while adapting it for reuse from its long term ambulance station use. Since January 1994, the main area of the ground floor of the 73 George Street building, has been trading as the Ken Duncan Gallery, with this tenant also undertaking minor work on level one, which they took over not long after their initial lease.
Historical significance: The building at 73 George Street, The Rocks was originally constructed as a public house in 1842. It has historical significance as a greatly altered but identfiable example of the early development in the precinct and Sydney.· The building provides evidence of the changing uses pattern and development history of The Rocks by its uses as: public house; Salvation Army, Naval and Military Home; the Ambulance Station; and the Ken Duncan Gallery.· These consecutive adaptive reuses of the building illustrate the redevelopment of The Rocks, and Sydney since the Colonial period to the present day.· The building allows the historical pattern of the early subdivision made in 1841 by Frederic W Unwin of The Rocks is to be clearly understood.73 George Street meets the criterion on State Level.
Historical association: · The site has associations with significant 19th century historical figures including Surgeon William Balmain, Frederick Garling (senior), Frederick Garling (junior) and Frederick Unwin.· The building was converted for ambulance services by the notable building contractor firm Howie, Moffat & Co, builders of a number of significant buildings including City Ford Head Office (formerly Hastings Deering Building) in Crown Street Sydney, Sydney Water Head Office (1939 building) in Bathurst Street.73 George Street meets the criterion on Local Level.
Aesthetic significance: · The building demonstrates the characteristic elements of Georgian Revival style architecture with Art Nouveau detailing illustrating an important surviving adaptation of a Colonial Georgian style early hotel building into an Inter-War period utility building.· The form, scale, detailing and material of the facade contributes greatly to the significant streetscape of George Street North. This is particularly relevant with the many nearby buildings in The Rocks of the same architectural style, ie circa 1920-30's which all contribute to give the area a strong and rich historical character.· The fine surviving 1880's sandstone perimeter walls and remnant brick walls to the rear and side boundaries are also significant aspects of the sites aesthetic value.73 George Street meets this criterion on Local Level.
Social significance: · Recollections of the former staff of the Ambulance Station who visit the Gallery on regular basis are evidence of its importance to staff members of at least some of health services in Sydney. The former Ambulance Station at 73 George Street was used for training of new staff members and public throughout its occupation of the building.73 George Street meets the criterion on Local Level.
Research significance: · The site provides evidence of all of its development and occupation history particularly on the Ambulance Station phase, which was the longest occupation period of the site. · The sandstone basement walls and remaining two-storey brick perimeter walls with blocked fireplaces, chimney breasts and one modified chimney, timber board floors/ceiling linings, sandstone and brick boundary walls are physical evidence of the original development phase.· All fabric associated with the 1927 facade including door and window openings, architectural detailing, pressed metal ceilings, timber picture rails, and openings to the rear elevation are physical evidence of operations associated with ambulance services.· The site has low below ground archaeological potential due to the significant amount of contaminated soil removal caused by the then adjoining petrol station at 71 George Street.73 George Street meets this criterion on Local Level.
Rare assessment: · Despite significant changes to its facade the building is a rare surviving example of early public house that remains recongnisable in the urban context of The Rocks.73 George Street meets this criterion on Local Level.
Representative assessment: · The building is representative example of the historical development that took place in The Rocks since the early 1800s via its ability to illustrate its early public house or hotel use with significant modifications to suit its successive adaptive reuses.· It demonstrates the architectural characteristics of Georgian Revival type utility buildings with simple Art Nouveau detailing incorporating a Colonial Georgian hotel building.73 George Street meets this criterion on Local Level.
Intact assessment: Archaeology partly disturbed.
Physical condition: Archaeology Assessment Condition: Partly disturbed. Assessment Basis: Floor level with George Street, and terraced up to level of Kendall Lane. Investigation: Monitoring during works 1994. Evidence of deposits.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans.|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7714||05/04/1976|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01589||10/05/2002||2868||85|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|