Date Built: 1906
Centre of CSR operations. Administration office built 1906.
The site of Refinery Square looked down towards the shore, where O’Brien’s quarry dug up ballast for sailing ships, and Thomas Chowne’s shipyards built at least 13 vessels between 1840 and 1860. Passers-by could have enjoyed views of Low and Meeks tin smelters, Goodlet & Smith timber yard and (from the 1860s) the City Iron Works.
Workers in these industries built cottages nearby, probably including this site: by 1850 Pyrmont boasted 130 dwellings. Spiritual and temporal services followed the growing population: a Presbyterian Chapel in 1842, St Bartholemew’s Anglican Church in 1850, a school in Mount Street in 1857, and St Bede’s Catholic Church in 1867. Pubs sprang up as well, and in 1864 a police station opened for business.