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North Adelaide Railway Station, War Memorial Dr, North Adelaide, SA, Australia

Photographs View Photo Database Record
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (30/06/1992)
Place ID 18345
Place File No 3/03/001/0262
Statement of Significance
The North Adelaide Railway Station is the third oldest surviving in South Australia (after Bowden and Alberton, 1856). Though in deteriorated condition it is almost unaltered. It is a rare and unusually intact survival which has strong associations with the earliest period of South Australia's railway development - a development which was extremely important to the State's history (Criterion A.4). Bowden, Alberton and North Adelaide stations together have added significance because, being the oldest in South Australia, they are also the oldest in Australia (matched only by St Kilda, Melbourne - 1857, now in poor condition). The first railways in NSW, Victoria and South Australia were opened within a few years of each other in the period 1854-57, but in NSW and Victoria expansion and replacement has meant that no original buildings of this period (except St Kilda) survive; only in South Australia do the oldest lines still retain their original alignments and a sample of unaltered buildings (Criterion A.4). The design is of interest to architectural history for the way it combines a typical mid-Victorian four room cottage under the same roof with the Station's business functions, in a way that presents a symmetrical front to both portions. This variation on the station with residence theme may be compared with early NSW and Victorian stations which, if they did incorporate residences, were usually two storey (eg on the Geelong-Ballarat line, 1862) and it contrasts with later nineteenth century station buildings where standard designs with detached residences became more common. It also contrasts with Bowden and Alberton stations, which had no attached residences. This creative approach to a design problem surviving in such an early (for Australia) railway building is important both to railway history and to architectural history generally. The surviving garden area on the south side reinforces the residential character of this part and is evocative of the lifestyle of the isolated nineteenth century station master (Criteria B.2, and F.1). The building has an austere but well proportioned character, dominated by rendered quoins, that is typical of mid-Victorian Adelaide building. Its position on the edge of the North Adelaide parklands retains the character of an isolated wayside stop, a character that has been lost in other places where early railway stations and their associated villages have been engulfed by suburbia (Criterion E.1).
Official Values Not Available
South Australia's first railway, from Adelaide to Port Adelaide, was built from 1851-56. The Colony's second line was opened to Gawler in 1857 and to Kapunda in 1860. The North Adelaide and Gawler stations were opened in 1857. The North Adelaide building is the third oldest railway station in South Australia after Bowden and Alberton on the Port Adelaide line (both 1856). The original railway station buildings at Gawler were replaced in 1879. In 1878 alterations were made to windows, doors and the west facing platform verandah. The building was slightly extended and the signal box built in about 1880 (demolished 1980s).
The station building (which incorporates a residence) is situated on the up (Adelaide bound) platform on the eastern side of the main north line. The site is an isolated one on the western edge of the North Adelaide parklands, with views of the parklands to the east and flat parkland and wasteland towards Bowden to the west. The building has an austere mid-Victorian architectural style, with modest Decorative pretensions in the stucco work to quoins and openings and the symmetrical three bay front with recessed central bay to the platform side. Construction is of bluestone rubble, now painted, with painted and stuccoed brick quoins and surrounds to openings, all on a rendered base course. The hipped roof is of corrugated iron with slatted eaves and non-original quad profile gutters and the chimneys are rendered with modest decorative mouldings. Windows are large pane sashes with rendered brick sills and the main double doors to both platform and forecourt have fielded panels and plain transom lights. The recessed bay on the platform side has a board soffit under a straight eaves alignment. On the platform side is a simple slightly concave verandah on chamfered timber posts with beaded-edge bargeboards. A covered stair leads to a cellar under the residential portion. The residential entrance faces south with a symmetrical three bay front; this is concealed by an iron clad lean to. The interiors are plain, with generally original skirtings, joinery and doors and non-original fibrous sheet ceilings. Fireplaces have been removed but chimney breasts are intact. The office area has intact partition walls of horizontal boards with timber framed ticket window. The outbuilding to the north (store and privies) is of similar rubble stone construction on a rubble base course, with painted brick quoins, internal walls of plastered brick (English bond) and a cellar. A doorway has been bricked up. Iron infill between the buildings has been demolished except the concrete floor (1980s).The garden of the residence is a narrow rectangular plot lying between the railway platforms and War Memorial Drive. It is derelict but retains various mature exotic trees including cotoneaster, phoenix palm and orange and its past residential character is obvious. It is bounded by a corrugated iron fence parts of which are missing. Significant elements are the station building and outbuilding and the garden. The present platform structure is concrete wall, concrete slab overhanging coping and asphalt surface. Comparison with Bowden shows that this is not original. Whether any original structure is buried behind is unknown.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
General condition of the building is fair to poor, with roof leaks and the effects of vandalism. The outbuilding to the north is in poor condition having lost its roof. The garden is derelict.
War Memorial Drive, including Station building, outbuilding to its north and fenced garden, North Adelaide.

Report Produced  Tue Sep 2 16:48:16 2014