Old Style Justice # 2 - The Rocks Police Station - The HDR Series

Philip Johnson

Newport Beach, Australia

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Artist's Description


*Its a great old building, on its facade is a stone british lion, in its mouth is a old style police baton made out of wood. There was an old urban myth that it was placed there by a prisoner and ever since they can’t get the baton out of the lions mouth. Well it a nice story lol

The Intricate carving of Sydney sandstone is wonderous VIEW Larger to better examine.

The building is highly intact, retaining much of its original form and detail internally and externally. The symmetrical sandstone façade forms the front elevation of two-storey verandah/void. The slate roof is a pitched from behind the stone parapet. The rear of the building is constructed of dry pressed clay bricks which is generally unrendered.

The building has two stories to the front, comprising former offices on both levels connected by a timber stair. Most original joinery and other finishes remains intact,; including stair, architraves, window. The upper level offices (facing street) have access to separate balconies which project across the double height portico space. The balconies are of timber construction with wrought iron balustrades.

The single storey rear of the building is defined by two side boundary parapet walls, from which the two main roof planes pitch down to the middle. A timber framed clerestory window (curved roof over) runs the length of the building, and is located in the centre valley of two pitched rooves. Internally, there is a central corridor off which are a number of single and double cells. The cells retain many of their original (or early) fixtures including, metal cell doors and hardware and window grilles. There are external open spaces associated with the cells.

The Police Station No.4 was erected over part of shop site No. 129 and vacant ground leading the houses and workshops at the rear of the property. The land in George Street North was purchased from Mr Hillyard by the NSW Department of Public Works as a site for a watch-house late in 1879. Land between the George Street North site and the Harrington Street site was later resumed as well. Tenders were called for the erection of the Police Station on 10th May, 1881 and the tender of W Cains and Sons was accepted on 13th June, 1881. The Government Architect, James Barnet, designed the building in the form of a Palladian Water Gate. The police occupied the building in 1883. Sydney Municipal Council in 1891 described the station as being of stone walls and slate roof and being two storeys high with eight rooms. The Police station was closed on the 2nd November , 1974. During 1977 the front balcony was restored by the SCRA, which also provided toilets on the first floor. In the following year the upper exercise yard and part of the old covered yard were removed to make way for Nurses Walk. The restoration work then proceeded the work included the copper roof and the yard, cleaning of walls, stone paving and the steel fence to exercise yard. (SCRA 1980 HP/06)

Artwork Comments

  • Jonathan Bartlett
  • owlspook
  • Tom Gomez
  • eelsblueEllen
  • Hans Kawitzki
  • carlosramos
  • Bev Woodman
  • Sharon Davey
  • Lesley  Hill
  • Sherry Sagle
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