More Heritage Protection For Sydney’s Inner West Music Venues
Over two dozen significant music venues in Sydney’s inner west are to be given heritage protection to protect them from developers.
They include the Vic on the Park in Marrickville, Annandale Hotel in Annandale, the Lewisham in Lewisham, the Cat and Fiddle and Town Hall Hotel in Balmain, the Milestone in Leichhardt, Websters Bar and Kelly’s on King in Newtown, Bridge Hotel and the 3 Weeds in Rozelle and the Duke of Enmore and Queens Hotel in Enmore.
The venues are among 27 new pubs that the Inner West Council voted to protect, in addition to 31 other operations which were already protected. They were chosen for the “highest architectural, historical and social significance”.
The 31 pubs which were heritage listed earlier included the music showcasing the Botany View and Sydney Park Hotel in Newtown, Sly Fox and the Golden Barley in Enmore, the Town and Country in St Peters, Petersham Inn in Petersham, the Bald Faced Stag in Leichhardt, and the Exchange Hotel in Balmain.
Discussions have begun with pub owners, patrons and the community.
Mayor Darcy Byrne said protecting the pubs would help to preserve the “unique character of the Inner West.”
“Our pubs are community institutions, many of which have been serving local patrons for more than a century,” Byrne said.
“It’s time for new heritage protections to make sure that our Inner West pub culture is still here for another 100 years to come.”
The move will also serve as a protection for the buoyant live music scene in the area.
The findings of the “Inner West Live Music and Performance Census 2019” by the Live Music Office and Sydney Fringe led them to ask, “Is Inner West the NSW live music capital?”
In September and October 2019 there were 2,496 gigs and 1,842 events in the Inner West, with 93 venues showcasing live music, with pubs twice as likely to host live music as clubs, bars and theatres.
The move for extra protection for venues comes from music venue operators as well as mayor Byrne, a long-time live music activist.
This toughening-up of rules come as cashed-up developers are buying and selling hotels in Sydney and NSW for millions of dollars, and turning them into apartments and retail.
Heritage listings mean a hotel’s façade and interior are protected as are special features.
Inner West Council learned the hard way from the saga of the Town Hall Hotel in Balmain. It was in a heritage conservation zone but was not heritage listed. It allowed the owner to remove the front bar to convert the pub into a gym and massage centre.