Sewer Vent - Marrickville

  • Number
  • Primary address

    24 -26, Premier Street Marrickville, 2204. NSW
    LGA: Marrickville
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Sewer Vent
  • Former use
    Cottages and Sewer Vent
  • Item type
  • Item group
    Utilities - Sewerage
  • Item category
    Sewage Pipe
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: PORTION
    Lot number: 17, 18
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 1142
    Updated: 18 June 2018

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined by the easement shown on ots 17 and 18 of DP no.1142, as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
  • AMG northing
  • Statement of significance
    The Premier Street Sewer Vent is an item of significance for the State of NSW for the following reasons: The excellent aesthetic and technical qualities of the masons’ craft of the classicist late-Victorian vent stack, the likes of which are not likely to be produced again. The vent is now only used to ventilate the sewer below when work is being done in the merging chamber below the vent. The vent is usually blocked to prevent odours from affecting neighbouring properties. The two cottages in remain residences but are in provide ownership and no longer belong to Sydney Water. The vent and the cottages represent a rare architectural composition in NSW consisting of a special sewer vent and a pair of cottages built by the Water Board for accommodation of maintenance staff. For its role in an important stage of development of the sewerage services to the Inner Western Sydney suburbs area. The aesthetically appealing historic vent stack (and associated pair of cottages) contribute significantly to the understanding of the development of design of special sewer ventshafts in Sydney and NSW. The item demonstrates historic circumstances of its creation, including the once common practice of the Water Board to create a cottage purposely built for accommodation of the maintenance staff on important sites. The Premier Street ventshaft is also of significance as a prominent local area landmark, and although now reduced in height it remains identifiable from a further distance and a notable element of the Marrickville landscape.
  • Endorsed significance
  • Designer
    New South Wales Public Works Department
  • Builder
    New South Wales Public Works Department
  • Year started
  • Year completed
  • Circa
  • Physical description
    A pair of Queen Anne Revival workers cottages, flank the 1898 brick sewer vent stack, which is sited amongst detached late-Victorian and turn of the 20th century dwellings. The brick stack is constructed of moulded bricks, with an overall classical proportion, detailing and entasis to the shaft. The shaft is presently fitted with steel bands as extra support fitted in the late 20th century. The construction of the cottages is load bearing brick in English bond with original timber joinery including windows, doors, turned timber verandah posts and boarded verandah ends, Marseilles pattern terracotta tiles, brick chimneys and terracotta chimney pots. Internally the cottages are also substantially intact, retaining much of their original finishes and joinery. The front fence is a conservation of the original. No.24 is the western cottage to the ventshaft. The lattice in the front garden of No.24 is from the late 20th century. The cottages and ventshaft are integral to the streetscape characteristics of the immediate area, and are in themselves excellent examples of their type, design and construction from that period. Both the cottages and the shaft are substantially intact and are still used for their original purposes as dwellings and ventshaft.
  • Modifications made
    In 2017, the Premier Street Vent Stack was truncated by approximately 10m. The reduction of height was necessary for the vent to meet current earthquake and wind loading codes. A large crack had developed along the truck of the vent. During the works to reduce the height of the vent the crack was 'stitched' together and the brickwork was repointed. The metal bands were reinstated on the vent to retain the historic fabric. In 2018, Sydney Water sold the two cottages. The vent was retained with Sydney Water placing an an easement over the land containing the vent and the access to the vent. Some of the curved and decorative bricks salvaged from the truncation works to the brick vent were re-used in the front fence to the two cottages and the vent. The Premier Street ventstack was refurbished in 2000, when the decayed metal ladders and platforms were removed from the penstock chamber. The relatively simple penstock chamber underwent few other modifications over its history, and its role as the merging chamber for the three conduits remains unchanged. The 1975 ventstack ventilation fan was also removed as part of this refurbishment. Not in Sydney Water's ownership. (sold 2018) The residences of 24 and 26 Premier Street have undergone changes since their initial construction, including creation of the rear additions comprising untiled bathrooms with elementary fittings. These rear additions were created around the 1930s. A comparison of the historic plan diagrams, the 1938 measured drawings and the today’s layout of the cottages indicates that there was another wave of additions after 1938, creating a fibro extension located at the rear of the original cottages. The cottages are however substantially intact in general layout and architectural organisation. In the early 1990s the cottages underwent a program of conservation works including internal and external works and reinstatement of the authentic colour scheme. The works particularly affected the prominent verandahs on front (Premier Street) elevations of the cottages. The front fence of the property was sympathetically repaired in the 1990s and modified in 2017. While the cottages are substantially intact and remain residential homes they are now in private ownership. The two cottages are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. The truncated but largely intact sewer vent maintains connected top the SWSOOS as a ventilation but is only operational when work is occurring the merging chamber below the vent. The vent is generally blocked to prevent odours from affecting the neighbouring properties. An early alteration was made to the top of Premier Street main ventilating shaft by removing the decorative cowl.
  • History
    The stack was built by the Public Works Department on the Board's behalf as part of the Western Suburbs Sewerage Scheme, put into service 1898-1900. The steel access door in the base of the stack opens to step-irons leading down to the penstock chamber below. The chamber is the junction of three sewer mains, the Eastern Main Branch (reticulating Marrickville, Petersham, Newtown, Leichhardt, Annandale & Camperdown), the Northern Main Branch (reticulating Marrickville, Petersham, Annandale, Leichhardt & Ashfield) and the Western Main Branch (reticulating Ashfield, Burwood, Drummoyne, Strathfield, Concord and Homebush). The Outfall Main originally led to the sewage farm at Rockdale, but from 1916 has been connected to the Southern and Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer (SWSOOS), terminating at the Long Bay Treatment Works at Malabar. The Premier Street Sewer Vent is sited in an elevated position, and presents a local area landmark since its creation.
  • National
  • State
  • Local
  • National
  • State
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • National
  • State
  • Local
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of sewerage services.
  • National
  • State
  • Local
  • a) Historical
    The Premier Street sewer vent is an element of an important stage of development of the sewerage services to the Inner Western Sydney suburbs area. The adjoined cottages are particularly important in that they demonstrate the custom of Sydney Water’s predecessor organisations to accommodate operational and maintenance staff on the site, combining operational needs and social responsibilities. The lots of Premier Street cottages feature intact original boundaries. The gardens shapes are irregular, adjusted to allow creation of the Sewer Vent. The lots are representative of the original land subdivision pattern of the local area, but do not make an important contribution to that pattern.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The Premier Street sewer vent is one of the finest surviving samples of a brick sewer vent in Sydney and NSW, while the cottages are good examples of their type, representative of the solid quality of the lowermiddle class residences in the late Victorian and early Federation period in NSW and Australia. Technologically, the Sewer Vent is an important remainder of engineering and civil services item created in times when cost of masonry works was relatively low and allowed for manual creation of large scale structures. The dimensions of the stack in themselves are representative of the high technological standards of brick building at times of creation. The cottages however are typical examples of their type and date of construction, utilising domestic materials and construction techniques. It is considered that the Sewer Vent meets this criterion on State level. The cottages do not meet this Criterion.
  • d) Social
    The cottages and vent stack are likely to be held in high regard by members of the local community.
  • e) Research
    The cottages and sewer vent exhibit construction techniques and detailing. The vent is a prime strategic position for the function it plays in the maintenance and operation of the sewer main.
  • f) Rarity
    The Premier Street group is a rare sample of a sewer vent built in association with adjoined residential amenities, in this case the two cottages. The only other like case known to survive in NSW is the Corunna Road, Stanmore, complex consisting of a sewer vent with a single cottage. It is likely that these are the only two such groups ever built in NSW and possibly in Australia. It is considered that the item meets this Criterion on the State level.
  • g) Representative
    The two cottages are representative of the Queen Anne style, widely spread in architecture around the turn of the 20th century. The Premier Street Sewer Vent is representative of the mature stage of design and development of special ventshafts, characterised by highest aesthetic values and craftsmanship characteristic for the Victorian and Federation periods in architecture.
  • Integrity assessment
    Substantially intact.
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Marrickville LEP 2001
  • Gazette number
  • Date listing listed
    18 May 2001
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    State Heritage Register
  • Reference number
  • Gazette number
  • Gazette page
  • Date listing listed
    15 November 2002
  • Title
    National Trust listing card
  • Author
    National Trust
  • Published
  • Title
    Historical Analysis and Heritage Review of Georges River, Cooks River and Port Hacking Catchment Areas Sewerage Systems, June
  • Author
    AWT EnSight
  • Published
  • Title
    Sewer Vent and Cottages, Premier Street, Marrickville CMP
  • Author
    Sydney Water Corporation
  • Published
  • Item reference number in study
  • View showing access door to the vent and pedestrian gate
    View showing access door to the vent and pedestrian gate
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 17 June 1999
  • Detail of the vent shaft illustrating the classical entasis of the shaft
    Detail of the vent shaft illustrating the classical entasis of the shaft
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 17 June 1999
  • Detail of the street frontage
    Detail of the street frontage
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 17 June 1999
  • Streetscape setting of the vent shaft and cottages from the north west
    Streetscape setting of the vent shaft and cottages from the north west
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 17 June 1999
  • The physical curtilage plan for the Sewer Vent and Cottages.
    The physical curtilage plan for the Sewer Vent and Cottages.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 13 July 2006
  • Copy of cottage plan layout to no. 26
    Copy of cottage plan layout to no. 26
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 08 July 1991
  • Data entry status
  • Entered
    10 March 1999
  • Updated
    18 June 2018