Elsie Terrace (and Shop): 2-8 Portman Street, Zetland. Sydney, New South Wales

While much of Zetland is undergoing urban renewal as part of the Green Square project, a small pocket of the original Waterloo estate developed mostly in the 1885 stands much as it did, the Zetland Conservation Area1.  The row of three double storey Italianate terrace homes is named “Elsie Terrace” and was erected in 1886 as indicated on its central pediment.

"Elsie Terrace" and Shop: 2-8 Portman Street, Zetland. Sydney, New South Wales

Elsie terrace was, by 1967, run down with extensive damage to its verandah roofing, number 6 was extensively damaged, with missing iron lacework fringes and brackets number 4 still had its verandah unenclosed at this stage.2

The corner shop is splayed to the street and has a lion on its pediment with the face of a bearded man also on it framed by an unusual mannerist composition of ionic columns and elongated decorative scrolls.  Both pediments sit above a prominent string line cornice.  

The terrace pediment is topped by a seashell motif and flanked by unusual urns (only one of which remains intact) and decorative stencils.  While the doors and windows of the corner shop have round arch drip mouldings and ledges of the Sydney Italianate style, the houses feature plain openings with the doors featuring plain transoms.  The party walls are decorated in unusual stencil patterns.   The double storey verandahs bullnose out.  All but number 4 retain their detailed balustrade lacework patterns.  The typical postwar enclosed verandah treatment is evident on the terrace in question.  While the ground floor patio is enclosed with a palisade fence to meet the property line.

The row and shop is heritage listed by the City of Sydney.3


  1. City of Sydney Heritage Development Control Plan CA53 Zetland Estate
  2. Hillier, Rob. ‘Let’s buy a terrace house’. pg. 24
  3. City of Sydney heritage database file 2421140

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