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Moore Park Toll House Restoration

Sustainable Parklands Project

Project name: Moore Park Toll House Restoration – Stage 1

Location: Corner of Anzac Parade & Cleveland Street, Moore Park

Project timing: August 2017 to 2nd Quarter 2018 (weather permitting)

Project background

Centennial Parklands (before it was the Parklands we know today) featured two toll houses.

  • Toll House #1: was located in at the intersection of Anzac Parade (formerly Randwick Road) and Alison Road on a small triangular pocket of land now called Tay Reserve in 1847. It was later demolished in 1909.
  • Toll House #2: was located in Moore Park at the intersection of Anzac Parade and Cleveland Street, adjacent to Moore Park Golf and opened in 1860 – where it still stands today.

The Moore Park Toll House is the only surviving metropolitan toll house and the only two-storey toll house in New South Wales. In its original sandstone form, it is representative of Victorian, gothic-style architecture, featuring a T-shaped configuration with a central bay to allow a line of sight for the oncoming traffic.

The introduction of the rail system in the 1870s led to the decline of relevance of the toll house. Road use declined and traffic congestion made the collection of tolls inefficient and frustrating for road users. Toll collections ceased in 1890, and from 1913 to 1926 the toll house was transformed into a clubhouse for golfers at Moore Park Golf. Read more about the history of the Toll Houses here on our blog.

While it has had a number of periodic uses, the building has been modified and added to over the years, and most recently used as a support depot for staff from NSW Public Works until 1999, then a maintenance depot for Moore Park Golf. In 2000 the building was listed on the State Heritage Register.

Without investment and conservation this rare example of a toll house will be lost from the fabric of historic Sydney buildings.

While the site has been secured, the physical fabric of the Toll House complex has a high risk of ongoing deterioration, resulting in total loss of heritage values associated with the complex. A window of opportunity now exists to restore the historic building and selected ancillary structures.

Image: View of the Moore Park Toll House in 1929 (from Moore Park Golf House). In the distance you can make out the Hordern Pavilion.

Project description

The 2003 Draft Conservation Management Plan outlined various urgent repair works and a range of urgent remedial works necessary for the conservation of significant built elements associated with the building complex.

Since then the NSW Government and the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust have been working together to raise funds for the restoration of the Moore Park Toll House and NSW Treasury has contributed $2.3 million to the project.

Stage One of the Toll House restoration project will commence with an extensive historical investigation to design the reinstatement of key heritage features to the Toll House and surrounding buildings while ensuring they reach the required National Construction Code Compliance.

Restorative works to the Toll House will then commence following a rigorous tender process, which we anticipate to be completed in the first half of 2018. Following completion of restorative works and subject to a successful Expression of Interest (EOI) process, Stage Two approvals process and public consultation will commence in relation to adaptive reuse works of the building.

Following completion of restorative works Stage Two approvals process and public consultation will commence in relation to adaptive reuse works of the building.

Project Timing

  • Investigation and Design phase – September 2017
  • Approvals – October to November 2017
  • Tender November to December 2017
  • Restoration works January to September 2018

The timing of works on site are as follows:

  • Construction zone: 3 April – Fencing and site establishment commences.
  • Remediation works: 4-17 April – site remediation and site clear out.
  • Demolition fuel store: 18 April – 3 May - this works demolishing the back fuel store which is not part of the Toll House building itself.
  • Excavation works: 23 May – 30 June – general trenching throughout and construction of ramp/stairs to courtyard.
  • Restoration works: July to September 2018.

Project works 

The Toll House complex is comprised of the original 1860 Tollhouse sandstone building surrounded by the 1921 brick clubhouse additions to the north, west and south facades incorporating dressing room and toilet facilities. The complex also features a courtyard to the west of the Toll House; a rectangular depot building constructed in 1924 on the western side of the courtyard and a fuel depot building, constructed between 1949 and 1985, between the 1921 extension and 1924 building to the south of the courtyard.

The conservation works include:

  • General repairs and maintenance throughout
  • General conservation works throughout
  • Repainting internal and external
  • Stone repairs throughout
  • Window and door repair or reinstatement to original details
  • Reinstatement of slate roof to original toll house building
  • Removal of intrusive elements and reinstatement of original elements
  • Demolition of the fuel depot
  • Upgrading of services to the site for future use.

New or alteration works to provide accessibility and servicing upgrades to the site include:

  • Demolition of the back fuel store and reinstatement of rear facades of toll house wings and former store to original façade / early configurations. The fuel depot building appears to have been built in ad-hoc manner to the southern end of the courtyard between the Club House building and the mat storage building. The building detracts from the overall significant character and setting of the other buildings.
  • Installation on new access to the courtyard from the east including stairs and fully compliant DDA accessibility ramp.
  • Install 1 x new DDA compliant bathroom to existing bathroom areas.
  • Installation of new below ground stormwater drainage and servicing
  • Upgrading of electrical supply (external and internal).

New works to the site would be minimal as these are conservation works which are conserving the original elements of the building and enhancing the overall heritage character. The works have been designed with the specific intent of removing intrusive elements and repairing and conserving the significant fabric for the future.

Operational Impacts

There are no operational impacts to visitors to Moore Park Golf or the public while these works are underway. All works will be contained on site.