Sydney Architecture Images- Leichhardt and area

Leichhardt Fire Station


Walter Liberty Vernon   designed by EL Drew, Assistant Government Architect. 


Marion Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040




Federation Arts and Crafts




Built in 1905-6 under the direction of WL Vernon, Government Architect, designed by EL Drew, Assistant Government Architect. The tender was let to JC O'Brien of Petersham on 19/06/1905. It is one of a series of similar fire stations with small differences in detail. The design reflects the then current interest in the work of Voysey in England and Richardson in America (McMonnies 1988). 
Leichhardt Fire Station was one of a series of stations designed for horse drawn vehicles by LE Drew of the Government Architect's office between 1905 and 1909. The new buildings were distributed according to response time principals developed in London and put into effect in Sydney by Chief Officer (1805-1909) Alfred Webb as part of his professionalisation of the fire service. The brigade was originally formed in 1887 as the Leichhardt Volunteer Company, but this was disbanded when the current station was opened and permanent staff were engaged (RNE 1993).
Federation Arts and Crafts style: a two storey building with a ground floor of dark red brick, separated by a brick cornice from the cream rough cast on the first floor. The roof is of slate and is hipped and gabled, with tall chimneys of rough cast, sandstone coping and tall terracotta chimney pots. The front (southern) elevation is divided into three bays, the two bays on the western end, housing the fire engines, are protruding. The large openings have segmental arched lintels in brickwork and aluminium roller doors. The eastern bay on the ground floor is recessed and has three small multipaned timber framed windows with stone reveals and an awning over. The first floor has two parapet gables flanking a lower roofed section with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters and wrought iron brackets. The two gables have two pairs of semi-circular arched windows, with multipane top sash, in each. Matching arched chinks are under the apexes. The western gable has a stucco chimney on the extreme west, has sandstone coping and a circular sandstone apex stone. The gable on the east is similar in detail with a large frustrum apex stone. The eastern elevation has an arched entry with a circular window above and an oriel window with a florid Art Nouveau influenced railing detail. The gabled and hipped roof form relates strongly to the surrounding cottages. This building is close to the historic Town Hall and Post Office precinct (McMonnies 1988). 
Interior: ceilings are of pressed metal throughout the ground floor areas, patterns being plain narrow corrugations in the office areas, and more decorative pattern, with beams emphasized in the appliance bays. The first floor has been converted into flats, and is reportedly in original condition (1988) (RNE 1993).

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