Main Births etc

New South Wales, Australia

Population: 11,088 (2006 census)
Density: 11088.0/km² (28,717.8/sq mi)
Postcode: 2009
Area: 1 km² (0.4 sq mi)
Location: 2 km (1 mi) west of Sydney CBD
LGA: City of Sydney
Parish: St Andrew
State District: Sydney
Federal Division: Sydney
Suburbs around Pyrmont:
Balmain Balmain East Millers Point
Rozelle Pyrmont Darling Harbour
Glebe Ultimo Haymarket

Pyrmont Wharves

Pyrmont is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 2 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Sydney. It is also part of the Darling Harbour region.

It is Australia's most densely populated suburb.[1]

Pyrmont was once a vital component of Sydney's industrial waterfront, with wharves, shipbuilding yards, factories and woolstores. As industry moved out, the population and the area declined. In recent years it has experienced redevelopment with an influx of residents and office workers.


Before European settlement, the Eora tribe of Indigenous Australians inhabited the area. Their Aboriginal name for this area was 'Pirrama', which is still the name of a road on the Pyrmont waterfront.

Pyrmont contained a mineral spring of cold water bubbling out of a rock and was thus named for a similar natural spring in Bad Pyrmont, close to Hanover, Germany.[2] Thomas Jones was granted 55 acres (22.3 ha) of land on the peninsula in 1795. Land was sold to Obadiah Ikin in 1796 for 10 pounds, which he then sold to Captain John Macarthur in 1799 for a gallon of rum.[3]

Pyrmont was the site of quarries from a fairly early stage because of the quality of the sandstone. Charles Saunders, licensee of the Quarryman's Arms hotel, became the biggest quarrymaster, with three quarries established in the area from 1853. The work was continued by his son and grandson till circa 1931. The quarries were nicknamed Paradise, Purgatory and Hell Hole by the Scottish workers employed by Saunders. Steam-powered equipment was used there for the first time in Australia. The sandstone was used in many of the most significant buildings in Sydney.[4] Saunders Street, near the site of the Paradise quarry, was named after Saunders.

The area was also the site of the first Presbyterian Church in the colony, built in 1864 and situated in Mount Street.[5] The congregation eventually outgrew the premises and had to move to a new church at Quarry Street, Ultimo, in 1883.[6] In the 1870s, a small Methodist chapel was built in Harris Street on land owned by Charles Saunders. In the 1920s, it was converted to the Maybanke Free Kindergarten, named after Maybanke Anderson, a feminist and educationist. It was still used for that purpose as of 2013.

Pyrmont became a working class industrial and port community. A major sugar refinery was operated by CSR Limited. In 1900 the area had a population of around 30,000.[7] The first Pyrmont Bridge opened in 1858. A larger bridge with a swinging span opened in 1902, but was closed to traffic in the 1980s. It was subsequently turned into a pedestrian precinct.


Pyrmont was regarded as a slum area in the 19th century.[8] It started to decay seriously after World War II, when industries closed down, and the residents moved to the suburbs. In 1963 the Ultimo Powerhouse closed down as well. Its population declined to only 1,800 by 1978.[7]

By 1990 the population had dropped to around 900.

Redevelopment in the 1990s[]

In order to rejuvenate the area the government initiated the Better Cities Program. In 1992 the City West Development Corporation has been created with the mission to renew the precinct. In 1999 this responsibility has been transferred to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.[9]

This led to a larger community of 13,000 by 2004 and also an increase of trade with businesses moving back into the area, totalling 22,000 employees.[9] Almost all industrial function is gone from the area now, replaced by low and high-rise residential developments. The sugar refinery closed down and some of the buildings, including The Cooperage and Tablet House, were restored as residential and office space. Both are heritage-listed.[10][11]

Following the redevelopment the suburb became more multicultural, with only 35% of residents born in Australia, followed by 8% born in China.[9]

Tram history[]

Services commenced at Railway Square, travelling southwest on Broadway, turning right onto Harris Street, passing the former Darling Harbour Goods Yard. At Pyrmont a separate line branched off from the main line on Harris Street, turning left into Miller Street, turning right into Bank Street, crossing the former Glebe Island Bridge. It then travelled along Commercial Road turning right onto Victoria Road, then right onto Darling Street, terminating at the Darling Street Wharf.[12]


Pyrmont Fire Station in Pyrmont Street was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon, in 1907. It is an example of the Federation Free Style, predominantly made of brick with sandstone trimmings, and with Art Nouveau elements. It is now on the Register of the National Estate.[13]

The public school in John Street was designed by W.E.Kemp and built in 1891; a brick building, it features a bell tower, belfry and slate roof, and is on the Register of the National Estate.[13]

Union Square is a major heritage precinct. It includes the Post Office in Harris Street, the Harlequin Inn pub, two bank buildings in Union Street, the homes from 4-20 Union Street, all buildings from 99-125 Harris Street, the terrace from 135-141 Harris Street and terraces from 1-21 Paternoster Row. All of these buildings are listed on the Register of the National Estate.[14] Also on the Register is the Waite and Bull building at 137 Pyrmont Bridge Road.[13]

Commercial areas[]

Star City casino, front

The Star casino dominates the Darling Harbour waterfront of Pyrmont and the Sydney Fish Market is located on Blackwattle Bay. Jacksons Landing is a residential and commercial property development located on the northern part of the peninsula.

Pyrmont is home to the headquarters of several corporations including American Express Australia, Vodafone, Fairfax Media, Accenture Australia, Google[15] the Network Ten News studios and department, and radio stations Nova 96.9, Smooth 95.3, 2GB and 2SM.


Pyrmont is linked to the city by the Pyrmont Bridge, a swing bridge used only by pedestrians, and the Anzac Bridge, a large cable-stayed bridge spanning Johnstons Bay between Pyrmont and Rozelle, which replaced the Glebe Island Bridge.

Pyrmont is also served by State Transit buses, Sydney Ferries and a light rail service. There are four light rail stations in Pyrmont at Pyrmont Bay, Star City, John Street Square and the Sydney Fish Market. The Sydney Monorail formerly ran between the city and nearby Darling Harbour across the Pyrmont Bridge before its closure in 2013.



  1. ^ Packed-in Pyrmont is Australia's most densely populated suburb. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  2. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon, (Angus and Robertson) 1990, page 213
  3. ^ Early Pyrmont Powerhouse Museum
  4. ^ Powerhouse Museum
  5. ^ Mustard Seed
  6. ^ Mustard Seed
  7. ^ a b Bounds, Michael and Morris, Alan: High-rise gentrification: the redevelopment of Pyrmont Ultimo, in Urban Design International, nr.10, 2005
  8. ^ Boyce, Francis Bertie (1844 - 1931) Biographical Entry - Australian Dictionary of Biography Online
  9. ^ a b c Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority: Ultimo+Pyrmont - A Decade of Renewal, 2004
  10. ^ State Heritage Register
  11. ^ State Heritage Register
  12. ^ Gregory's Street Directory, 1955, Map 6, 2, 1
  13. ^ a b c The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/88
  14. ^ The Heritage of Australia, pp.86-88
  15. ^ "Google Offices." Google. Retrieved 12 July 2009.

External links[]

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Coordinates: 33°52′30″S 151°11′47″E / -33.87497, 151.19635

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Pyrmont, New South Wales. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.