Hamilton’s heritage character to be preserved

09 Sept 2019

The unique character of Hamilton’s residential streetscapes will be preserved for future generations following the creation of the City’s first substantial heritage conservation area in 20 years.

In July last year City of Newcastle proposed to the State Government to protect the historically significant Hamilton Residential Precinct, a four-block area between Donald and Tudor Streets bounded by Gordon Avenue to the east and Murray Street to the west. This proposal has now been approved by the Minister for Planning.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said it is crucial to recognise and retain Newcastle’s unique heritage.

“The City of Newcastle is dedicated to preserving our city’s rich history, and this new conservation area allows us to safeguard the significant aesthetic characteristics of Hamilton,” she said.

“The Hamilton Residential Precinct is typical of the late Victorian and Federation periods in Newcastle’s urban development, featuring small lot housing of one or two storeys.

“Opening the railway and train station back in 1887 saw an influx of residents move from the city centre to Hamilton, and the style and age of the housing reflects this growth.

“Retaining our suburb’s character helps preserve our Novocastrian cultural identity and demonstrate our sense of pride in heritage places.”

The establishment of the heritage conservation area was welcomed by Hamilton resident and passionate history buff Rod Noble, who has lived in one of Lawson Street’s grand Victorian two-storey terraces for the past 27 years. The row of five adjacent freestanding terraces were built in the early to mid-1890s.

“The Hamilton heritage precinct is steeped in history that is important to our city, with the first land sales in the area dating back to 1857,” Rod said.

“The majority of the original Victorian and Edwardian housing stock has survived and many unique dwellings from the period are contained within the precinct.

“I welcome the City of Newcastle’s decision to establish this heritage conservation area as it is important to preserve its special character for future generations.”

Establishing the Hamilton conservation area includes amendments to the Newcastle Local Environment Plan, which ensure future developments complement the original character of the suburb by clearly defining acceptable new developments as well as alterations and additions.

Hamilton’s architectural character dates from the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century, featuring late Victorian terraces and cottages, Federation cottages and bungalows in the popular styles of the time, with Italianate, Queen Anne, Edwardian, California and Spanish Mission influences.