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Sep 05, 2017 built & urban heritage
Harrington & Argyle Street, The Rocks

Project overview

  • Conservation Management Strategy for the public domain
  • Undertaken in 2015
  • Approximately $20K


  • Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority


This project was developed as an initial pilot study, limited to the public domain on Harrington Street and Argyle Street (east) only. The aim of the study was to map historic and archaeological features in the public domain to assist with planning for regular infrastructure maintenance and conservation works.


The Rocks is the historic neighbourhood on the western side of Sydney Cove. It rises steeply behind George Street and the shores of west Circular Quay to the heights of Observatory Hill. It was named The Rocks by convicts who made homes there from 1788 right on the rocky sandstone outcrops. Surrounded by water on three sides, The Rocks was associated with seafaring, waterside workers and the maritime trades for most of its history. It was the link with the wider world, a place of new ideas, things and fluid movements of different people.

The Project

Extent was commissioned by Sydney harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) to undertake a detailed fabric analysis and inspection of the public domain on Harrington and Argyle Streets as a pilot study. The aim of the project was to provide general recommendations for facilities management and the installation of public infrastructure. In addition, the project sought to demonstrate the benefits of this style of historic analysis for understanding areas with a rich extant historic record mixed into a very urbanised environment. Tasks included:

  • Fabric analysis of historic and archaeological features (i.e. sandstone rock cuts, trachyte kerb and gutters) in the public domain.
  • Collation of all available historic maps.
  • GIS cross reference of historic and current maps.
  • Creating new maps which place all identified historic and archaeological features.

Download the Project Sheet here