The Rum Store

Date Built: c1879, Renovated 2000

Architect: Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke

5 storeys, 13 warehouse style apartments. Site of CSR boiler house precinct.

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Rum Store


Pyrmont Point 1836 St Bartholomew's church 1870s The Brothers Goodlet & Smith Saw_Mills_Wharf Pyrmont 1858

So the rustic charm of Pyrmont was soon shattered. The land was unsuited to farming, but colonists took timber for houses and public buildings, and spread from Sydney to build cottages on the eastern shores of Pyrmont. When John died, his estate was subdivided and industries grew up on the waterfront. Thomas Chowne bought this land in 1840. His shipyard built 13 vessels over the next twenty years. Shipyards were the hub of local economic development, attracting industries such as Goodlet & Smith timber yard (across the bay from this site), Low and Meeks tin smelters (next door), City Iron Works and Fyfe’s Foundry.

Inland there was more heavy industry. During Australia’s golden age, Sydney architects demanded yellowblock sandstone for the city’s grand new buildings.  Large-scale quarrying began, and horse-drawn wagons hauled vast quantities of stone through the peninsula to the city’s building sites.
Many workers lived near their jobs: by 1850 Pyrmont boasted 130 dwellings. Pubs opened: so did Churches – 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.
Roads were built, bridges were built to Glebe and to the city; in 1856 the railway reached Darling Harbour. In 1864 a police station protected a precinct that had been incorporated into Sydney since 1844, but centred on the anchorage of Elizabeth Macarthur Bay.

Commercial quantities of rum may never have been stored in the Rum Store, unless the site was a hotel, quenching the thirst of shipwrights and residents. As the site overlooks Elizabeth Macarthur Bay, surrounded by industrial activity and workers’ cottages, it would have been well placed as a public house or hotel.