Shop, Zia Pina Pizzeria
Statement of SignificanceThe site known as 93 George Street has historical significance as part of an important place for the Gadigal people, and as a place continuously occupied by Europeans since 1788. The land was part of the first hospital in the colony, and was the site of the Assistant Surgeon's house, later occupied by Francis Greenway. Following acquisition of the land by Frederick Unwin, it was leased to Michael Gannon, a former convict, who constructed a building on it, and a hotel on the corner site next door, in the early 1840s. Gannon's buildings were demolished in 1890 and replaced by the present buildings, with No 93 being slightly narrower than the previous building on the site. No 93 has been continuously occupied and used for commercial purposes since then, with alterations to the building especially at the rear. It was among the early properties to be conserved by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, following the Green Bans which halted the proposed wholesale demolition and redevelopment of The Rocks area, and is still occupied by the original tenants. It thus has social significance for The Rocks community.93 George Street has aesthetic significance as a well preserved commercial building of the late 19th century which makes an important contribution to a 19th century commercial streetscape of State significance. Its strong design relationship with the neighbouring former hotel at 91 George Street demonstrates the functional and ownership relationship of the two buildings at the time they were constructed.The site has research and archaeological significance as part of the first hospital in the colony, with potential for the presence of remains relating to this and to the second period of development in the 1830s, as well as possible remains of the Gannon buildings of the 1840s.
Shop and dwelling
Retail and Wholesale
Construction Years: 1891 - 1891
Physical Description: The Victorian Italianate style building is a two storied, brick built and cement rendered shop, constructed as part of the adjacent former ASN Hotel. (CLS&P 1999) It has an unusual garland decoration below the parapet. The shopfront was altered by Tooth &Co. in 1928. In 1983, as part of the work to adapt the adjacent hotel to a police station, the shopfront (1928) was removed and an "1890s shopfront" constructed. (Note: the 1983 shopfront is not a reconstruction of the original shopfront, the details of which are unknown (2001))Style: Victorian Italianate; Storeys: 2; Roof Cladding: Corrugated Iron; Floor Frame: Timber
|Lot/Volume Number||Section Number||Plan Folio Code||Plan Folio Number|
Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: To the Gadigal people of Sydney the western shoreline of Sydney Cove (known to them as Warrane) was called Tallawolladah. The Gadigal traditional lands ranged from Darling Harbour in the west to the Heads in the east and included Manly. No evidence of Indigenous occupation is evident in the immediate vicinity due to the extensive nature of subsequent building activity. With the outbreak of Smallpox among the Indigenous people in 1789-90 many came or were brought to the hospital on the site of the future Police Station.When the First Fleet arrived in 1788 and area roughly bounded by George, Globe, Harrington and Argyle Streets was set aside for the colony's first hospital. The hospital operated on this site until 1816 when it relocated to Macquarie Street. The hospital began as two buildings roughly constructed in February 1788, the lands also included a herb and vegetable gardens. A portable hospital arrived with the 2nd Fleet in 1790 and was constructed straight away, on completion it was filled with around 500 people, convicts who were maltreated on board the 2nd Fleet convict transports.The first development on the subject site was the Assistant Surgeon's residence and garden, the house was run up in a hurry almost as soon as the First Fleet arrived. It was a large house and sometimes described as a barrack. . By June 1796 Collins recorded that many of the earliest buildings were already falling into decay, and that extra work gangs were being organised to remedy the shortfall. He included the observation that houses were to be built for the assistant surgeons, 'those which had been erected soon after our arrival being now no longer tenable'. This suggests a date for the house of around 1796, although no specific reference to it being built has been found.When the new hospital was completed in Macquarie Street in 1816, the Assistant Surgeon, William Redfern, vacated the house on the corner of George and Argyle Streets, and it was made available to the Colonial Architect, Francis Greenway as part of his stipend. Greenway later claimed that the land had been granted to him by Macquarie in August 1820, however nothing came of this claim and successive Governors tried to evict him. Green way managed to remain in the house until c1836. Greenway sold part of the land to Fredrick Wright Unwin in 1832, even though Unwin probably knew that Greenway did not have the right. It appears Unwin purchased the land to strengthen his position to gain the land officially once Greenway left. Unwin purchased the block and acquired the title deeds in 1837, the year Greenway died.Frederic Wright Unwin, solicitor and merchant, was subsequently granted the land in 1838. Unwin had extensive landholdings in the city, particularly along the western side of George Street. On 1st July 1839, Unwin leased an area of land to Michael Gannon, carpenter, for a period of 21 years. Gannon had arrived in the colony as a convict on the Almorah in 1820 and was granted a conditional pardon in 1835.The terms of the lease required that Gannon:'shall and will within a reasonable time and within two years at the furthest build and erect on the line of frontage to George Street as many houses as will occupy the said frontage of such dimensions as said Michael Gannon may think fit so as such houses are of three stories exclusive of cellars and built substantially and of good materials.'It is unclear from the documentary evidence whether the Assistant Surgeon/Greenway's house had been demolished by the time Gannon took on the lease. However, by 1844, when the land was conveyed to RAA Morehead and Matthew Young, Gannon had constructed a number of buildings on the land, including the New York Hotel at 91 George Street and a three-storey building at 93 George Street, as well as the terrace 95-99 George Street. Gannon built 93 George Street in c. 1840 as a separate structure from the larger building at what is now 95-99 George Street, with a passageway between. Like that building, the one at No 93 too was originally three stories high, as was his New York Hotel next door on the corner of George and Argyle Streets, creating a unified streetscape. Although Gannon was only required to erect buildings along the George Street frontage, the plan accompanying the conveyance in 1844 shows that the site also contained buildings along Argyle Street, and a workshop and stables accessible from the yard, all also presumed to be constructed by Gannon.The building was initially used as a shop with upstairs accommodation, but by the 1850s it was run down and being run by William Boddy as the Seamen's Boarding House. In 1860 Morehead and Young had it repaired, along with the public house next door and the two cottages around the corner in Argyle Street. These were all advertised for rent 'having undergone a thorough and complete repair, with alterations and improvements,' and were promoted as 'well situated', with 'a convenient access in rear entering from Argyle Street'. At the same time the owners had decided not to repair 95-99 George Street, which were demolished in the early 1860s, leaving No 93 with a derelict site next door for several years. The upgrade included replacing the shingled roof with iron and probably improving the quality of the ground floor shop which was tenanted by various fruiterers, grocers, and at one stage by Claydon the butcher, who later moved next door to No 95. The upstairs floors continued to be operated as a boarding house, with the Assessment Books listing various names, including Sun Lee Kee and Co in 1869. At this time the Chinese had established a strong presence on George Street with produce stores that doubled as boarding houses for Chinese passing through to the goldfields. Around this time the building was being described as having 13 rooms, while at other times the number was recorded as lower. The meaning of 'boarding house' varies, but accommodation offered to both seamen and Chinese tended to be at the lower end of the range, and this might have been more a doss house than anything else. The assessment books for No. 93 are particularly sketchy concerning tenancies in this building, the occupancy of the upper floors frequently not recorded and the rates pegged low. In February1890 the City Building Surveyor, George MacRae notified the City of Sydney Improvement Board that the building was 'in a ruinous condition and dangerous to the public.' The Board was only empowered to deal with buildings considered to be structurally dangerous, so that was always the stated concern, although the City may well have had other concerns with this building. It was now owned by John Gill's son Robert Gill, and was leased to the brewing company Tooths which had the lease over the hotel next door, but it was sublet and continued to be used as a boarding house, with 25 beds crammed into five rooms. Nevertheless it was also ruinous. Michael Gannon may have constructed this building with more care than he had given 95-99 George Street, as it had lasted for fifty years, but George MacRae's evidence to the Board was damning: 'I noticed that the foundation of the back wall appeared to be of rubble, the inside portion had fallen completely away, & was lying on the floor of the cellar. I could see nothing supporting the wall above but a few rough stones which formed the outer portion of the wall. These stones are fretted away and very much decayed, so that daylight could be seen between the joints. I failed to see what is keeping up the wall. Portion of the flooring at the back is also extremely dangerous, the joists have quite rotted away, leaving no support.'The building was condemned, demolished and rebuilt as a two storey shop with a cellar by 1891. Tenders having been called for demolition of the ASN Hotel next door in 1890, it was demolished and rebuilt at the same time. Both new buildings were constructed in the Victorian Italianate style with decorative features common to both. The new shop was tenanted by a firm of outfitters called O'Neill & Co which remained at 93 George Street until 1907 when it became refreshment rooms, and it remained so until the mid-1920s. As with its neighbours on George Street, the tenancies of this run of shops were often in the hands of non-Anglo tenants, with names such as Maurice Galucina and Spiro Colivas.In 1925, an application was made for a new shopfront, possibly the reconfigured one that survived into the 1970s. In 1928 the hotel at No 91 was given a modern makeover, including construction of an awning, which remained for the period that it was administered by the Sydney Harbour Trust and Maritime Services Board. The building was taken over by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority in 1970.In 1976 the building was tenanted by the Terruzzi family and in 1977 plans were approved for conversion as the Zia Pina Pizzeria. The conversion works, including an addition at the rear but no alteration to the shopfront, were completed in 1978. In 1985, the pizzeria shopfront and awning were reconstructed to their 1890s appearance, and in conjunction with the shops at 95-99 George Street the building was given a new painted signage treatment of traditional design. Zia Pina Pizzeria remains today, making it the longest tenancy in the building and cementing the association of this building with the provision of meals. Today the customers are primarily tourists, while previously the refreshment rooms here would have served a similarly temporary clientele of people passing through -sailors and visitors.
Historical significance: The site of 93 George Street has an important association with the historical development of Sydney, and the metropolitan area, since European settlement in 1788, and earlier with the Gadigal people of Sydney Harbour. To the Gadigal the site formed part of a strip of land along the western shore of Warrane (Sydney Cove) which they called "Tallawolladah". The fact that this area was named denotes it as a special or particular place for the indigenous peoples of Sydney Harbour before the coming of the Europeans.This land became part of the site of the Assistant Surgeons' house and associated garden within the first hospital compound established in 1788. The site is therefore important as being part of the earliest European settled part of Australia, with specific importance in the establishment of medical practice. When the general hospital relocated to Macquarie Street in 1816, the Assistant Surgeons' house was allocated to Francis Greenway by Governor Macquarie. The Assistant Surgeons' land was sold to FW Unwin in 1838 and was immediately leased to William Reynolds and Michael Gannon, who were both convicts who made their way in the colony through building construction and both of them have residences known by their names on the block in which 93 George Street stands - Gannon's house and shop in Argyle Street and Reynolds' Cottages in Harrington Street. From the 1840s ownership of the property passed from FW Unwin to Moorhead & Young in 1844, and to the absentee landlord Gill family in 1885.93 George Street was first built by Michael Gannon c1840 as a three storey single 'shop and dwelling'. By the 1850s it was being used as a boarding house and as the decades wore on probably housed more and more marginal residents. In 1890 it was condemned by The City of Sydney Improvement Board and demolished. It was replaced by a smaller two storey house and shop, following the pattern of the other buildings constructed by Gannon on this street front which were also all demolished and rebuilt. This is the building which remains today. The 1890 rebuild occurred in tandem with rebuilding the adjoining hotel and both buildings were unified through exterior decoration. No 93 was leased along with the hotel to Tooth & Co, one of the city's oldest and largest brewers, and used initially as a boarding house connected with the public house. From 1892 it was tenanted first by a large clothier and then by refreshment rooms or restaurants catering to the passing trade of this waterfront area. In the early decades of their existence these buildings were much more substantial than those in other parts of the block on which they stand. However, while other parts of the city rebuilt and upsized, these buildings remained as economic depression in the 1890s and repositioning of the Rocks as a 'slum ' in the twentieth century allowed them to be bypassed for redevelopment. Under the administration of Sydney Harbour Trust from 1901 and the Maritime Services Board from 1934 the building remained as a tenanted shop and house. Proposals by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority to demolish this whole area in the 1960s were shelved following community protests supported by trade union Green Bans which changed the direction of government thinking concerning the future of The Rocks. The Authority renovated the building in 1976 and in 1885. It has been tenanted since 1976 by Zia Pina Pizzeria which has become a Rocks 'institution' and is still trading at the present time, making it the longest tenancy in the building and cementing the association of this building with the provision of meals. It remains under the administration of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.There is a coherence to the whole run of buildings from 101 to 93 George Street that exemplifies a scale and simplicity common to commercial developments during the 1840 -90 period. It shares these qualities with other blocks fronting George Street in The Rocks and contributes to the heritage value of the precinct.93 George Street meets this criterion at a STATE level.The historical significance of 93 George Street is demonstrated by:·The site's association with the first Hospital and the Assistant Surgeons' house.·Its reflection of poor early building practice and with the history of building regulation through the work of the City of Sydney Improvement Board. ·It being representative of commercial buildings associated with the maritime trade of Sydney ·Its continuity of use as small commercial premises from the 1890s to the present.
Historical association: NB. Since the Conservation Management Plan was adopted this criteria has been upgraded to STATE.93 George Street is associated with the colony's first hospital. Early colonial illustrations of the site give prominence to the hospital precinct. The site formed part of the land on which the Assistant Surgeons' house or barrack was built, which was occupied by Dr William Redfern, D'Arcy Wentworth, William Balmain and others. The site is associated with Francis Greenway who is recognised as the first significant NSW architect and lived on the site for a time. Under the patronage of Governor Macquarie, Greenway was instrumental in creating buildings and town planning schemes which have left a large legacy. Many of his buildings that remain today are amongst the best loved buildings of Sydney and of the surrounding early town settlements. The site is also associated with Michael Gannon, an early builder and developer in The Rocks.The current building at 93 George Street, and the one on the site previously, are associated with the provision of board and lodging for mariners and for other mobile groups of poor people. As Zia Pina Pizzeria since 1976, the place has long been associated with conviviality and tourism. 93 George Street site meets this criterion at a STATE level.The associational significance of 93 George Street site is demonstrated by:?The site's association with the Assistant Surgeons' house, occupied by a number of surgeons including William Redfern, D'Arcy Wentworth, William Balmain and others and later by Francis Greenway who lived on the site for nearly twenty years. ?Association with early builders and developers including Michael Gannon.
Aesthetic significance: No 93 George Street is significant as a well-preserved commercial building of the late 19th century, providing an important contribution to a 19th century streetscape of State significance. It was rebuilt in conjunction with No 91 George Street in the 1890s, and shares many decorative details with its larger and more prominent neighbour. The reconstruction by the Authority of the 1890s shopfront and awning has enhanced the contribution the building makes to the streetscape.The item meets this criterion at a STATE level.The aesthetic significance of 93 George Street is demonstrated by:?The late 19th century scale, form, detailing and decoration of the George Street frontage of the building and the main rooms on the ground and first floors.?The strong design relationship (reflecting the former functional and ownership relationship) between the building and the former ASN Hotel at No 91 George Street.
Social significance: 93 George Street is an integral part of the precinct of The Rocks which is valued for its overall heritage significance and for its links to the Green Bans movement of the 1970s. It was also among the earlier buildings to be restored under the auspices of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, and has maintained the use then established until the present time. It therefore has social significance for present and past members of The Rocks community (including the existing tenants).93 George Street meets this criterion on a LOCAL level.The social significance of 93 George Street is demonstrated by: ?Its role in supporting the working population of the waterside economy until the 1970s and the tourist population since. ?It being part of The Rocks precinct where the Green Bans resulted in altering the way that the NSW government, the people of Sydney and the wider Australian community understood and valued the history and heritage values of Sydney's first settlement.
Research significance: The site has archaeological potential relating to the two phases of the Assistant Surgeons' House from 1788 to c1837. The site has potential to yield further information regarding its occupants, notably Dr. William Redfern, D'Arcy Wentworth, William Balmain and architect Francis Greenway. It is also possible that building fabric from this first phase of occupation may survive, including a stone wall located east of the house and running parallel to its facade that could contribute to an understanding of the use of the yard area surrounding the house.Further archaeological evidence may also exist of the original 93 George Street building constructed in c.1840, the footprint of which extended further to the north than that of the present building. The site has research potential regarding this phase of construction, including potential deposits below the floor of the present cellar. Sub-floor and inter-floor deposits have the potential to yield further archaeological evidence about the site's use and occupants from 1890 onwards. While mostly disturbed, the site area of 93 George Street has the potential to yield evidence of indigenous and contact archaeology within its former rear yard area.The item meets this criterion at a STATE level.The research significance of 93 George Street is demonstrated by:?Archaeological potential relating to the two phases of the Assistant Surgeons' House, including the yard areas?The potential evidence of the house's occupants, notably Dr. William Redfern, D'Arcy Wentworth, William Balmain and Francis Greenway ?Possible evidence of earlier building phases of the original c.1840 building?The archaeological potential for sub-floor, inter-floor and wall cavity deposits The archaeological significance of 93 George Street is demonstrated by: ?The area of potential remains relating to the two phases of Assistant Surgeons' House built shortly after settlement in 1788 and reconstructed c1796, and possible remnants of the 1840s building and yard area. Archaeological remains of rear sheds and associated features are likely to be present beneath the former yard area, now beneath the kitchen and garbage room for Zia Pina.
Rare assessment: The present building at No 93 George Street is not considered to be especially rare, as it is typical of numerous commercial buildings constructed during the last Victorian period of development in Sydney, many of which survive in The Rocks and in other parts of Sydney.
Representative assessment: No 93 George Street has many typical features of small commercial buildings of the late 19th century, including a two storey form with a parapet facade, and a simple plan with two rooms each on the ground and first floor, connected by a stair at the rear. The rendered brick walls, timber floor and roof structures and joinery are also good examples of their kind. The building also contains evidence of typical early materials-handling arrangements, including the former cellar opening to the street, and the hatch in the ground floor.The item meets this criterion at a LOCAL level.The representativeness of No 93 George Street is demonstrated by:?Its two storey rendered facade, with decorative stucco and parapet, and timber windows and shopfront?Its plan arrangement in the 1890s front section of the building.
Intact assessment: Potential archaeological resource
Physical condition: Archaeology Assessment Condition: Mostly disturbed. Assessment Basis: Floors level with George Street, but below that of Greenway Lane. Cellars below.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services.|
|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||1/12/036/0382||Commercial Buildings||21/10/1980||2184|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7096||09/11/1981|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01591||10/05/2002||2868||85|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7716||27/02/1978|