Married Sergeants' Quarters [1903- ]

Submitted by Admin on Wed, 04/10/2013 - 18:24
Current condition
Date completed

The EPD's EIA report notes 1903 as the likely completion date, though notes some confusion about what was re-built or modified between then and 1913:

Previous to the construction of the building, it was part of a piece of land known as Inland Lot No. 215. The land was on the east side of Pottinger Street, the former entrance to the site, and was stepped down some distance from the CPS retaining wall to the south.

In 1896, a proposal was made for new quarters on the site, and the Public Works report for the year reported that ‘it was agreed that the necessary steps be taken for the preparation of detail plans and estimate for the erection of Quarters for the staff of the Victoria Gaol’. Plans were made for the construction of three separate buildings, and the plot of land was acquired for approximately $45,000. In 1899 a contract was agreed, but ‘owing to the configuration and irregular shape of the site, the work of preparing it for building on has been somewhat troublesome’. Further delays occurred due to the ‘dilatoriness’ of the contractor, and the building was not completed until 1903.

There were a total of three buildings, each three storeys in height and constructed of plastered brick with concrete balconies on stone corbels. Block 1 contained six sets of married quarters; Block 2 and 3 contained dormitories, mess rooms and other facilities for Warders – Indian in Block 2 and European in Block 3. Bathrooms and WCs were either partially or completely detached, and in a small detached building were a kitchen and coolie quarters. A survey plan of 1901 shows these buildings in place.

The chain of events from here becomes somewhat unclear. The next available plan of the site from 1913 shows a new set of buildings – the present Buildings 06 and 07, a kitchen block and Armoury – with no evidence of the buildings described above. It is thought that these buildings were in place by 1908, when a report on damages caused by a typhoon refer to the ‘Married Sergeant’s Quarters and Armoury’ having ‘roof badly damaged and jalousies and windows badly knocked about’. If this is the case, however, it would seem that for some unknown reason the buildings put up only a few years previously were demolished to make way for new accommodation. This seems to be unlikely and it is more probable that the existing buildings were adapted to new uses.

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