Thursday, October 7, 2010

Darlinghurst: Heritage Items: Darlinghurst Public School

Darlinghurst Public School
- Register of the National Estate, City of Sydney Council Heritage List
Within the grounds of Darlinghurst Public School, near the old lunch bell, is a stone embedded in the ground, carved with 1883 - the year that construction began on this Victorian Romanesque-style building at 350 Liverpool Street.
Darlinghurst Public was one of three schools designed by Charles Mayes (Forest Lodge PS, near Glebe, and Double Bay PS, in Sydney's east, were the other two) during a boom time of government school construction, following the introduction of the Public Institution Act in 1880.
The act made attendance at school compulsory for the first time and introduced the structure of Superior Public Schools, High Schools and Evening Public Schools.
The schools built during this period were designed to demonstrate the supremacy of state education over denominational education and Darlinghurst Public School was an example of this.
The two-storey school building was officially opened by Minister for Education and Member for Darlinghurst George Reid in 1884, and by 1931 the school had over 1200 enrolments.
Additional two-storey, inter-war buildings were added to the grounds in the 1920s.
Between 1939 and 1942 the school was the first in the state to provide special education for migrants, most of whom were German refugees.
Today the school has only 173 pupils, showing just how different the suburb is from the early 20th Century, when there were probably a lot more children living in the area.
If I ever have children I imagine I will send them to Darlinghurst Public but the one drawback is the large Plane trees, which are spotted throughout the site and whose Spring pollen is a major irritant. I think any child of mine will have to take themselves to school during those months.
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Darlinghurst Public School
350 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 9331 4295

2 comments:

Lynne said...

I attended Darlinghurst Public School Womerah, Barcom Aves & Liverpool St., from from 1953-59. likewise Larry Wright author 'Razor'.

Alex Shean said...

I went to Darlo Public in 1985/86, when it was in danger of closing due to lack of students. The area was different back then, a lot tougher, but I never had a single problem with the school or area, and I still live here today, after starting off in Rosebank St in '85 when i was 8 years old until i moved out in '96(briefly to Surry Hills), came back to Rosebank St, then 285 Forbes St, to 10 Royston St, to 16 Kings Cross Rd(where my daughter was born), and back across to 186 Forbes St for 7 years and finally back to 12-20 Rosebank St, into the same apartment i grew up in, which i now share with my wife and 2 daughters, the eldest who has been at Darlo Public for the last 5 years. I think that it is one of the best public schools around, and its been great to watch it grow from strength to strength over these past 5 years, especially with Ms Rachel Privett as principle, and not to mention Ms Claire Shepherd, who is just amazing.
Unfortunately, I seem to be the only parent who grew up in the area and went to school there myself