House at 34 Carrington Street, Adelaide

House at 34 Carrington Street, Adelaide

This building was erected for William Tomsey Cooper in 1866 as a house but it is now used as legal chambers. The change of use ensured the survival of not only this building but also much of the city's remaining early housing stock.

Cooper was born in London in 1826 and arrived in South Australia in 1853. He was appointed private secretary to the governor, Sir Henry Edward Fox Young. In 1860 he moved to the Waterworks Department becoming assistant accountant, then valuator in 1873, a position he held for almost thirty years. The Observer noted that:

Mr. Cooper was most painstaking and conscientious in the fulfilment of his public duties, and by the fairness to property holders and his courteous manner gained the confidence and esteem of his fellow-colonists.

He lived there until about 1885 when he leased it to Dr Niesche for a number of years. During Cooper's occupation, in about 1881, the property was significantly altered and enlarged. The building well illustrates a typical development of the 1860s. It has an early appearance, with raised gable ends, a parapet to the single storey section and restrained detailing. The unshaded facade and the simple surrounds to windows are distinctive components of the structure which is typically constructed of bluestone rubble with stuccoed enrichment and red-brick trim.

The integrity of the two storey section of the building is high. The front fence has been altered although the piers are probably original. The single storey addition to the east has been extensively rebuilt.


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This house is an excellent example of a typical residential style.

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Images of House at 34 Carrington Street, Adelaide

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Building materials
Brick, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1866 -
Architecture and design features
red brick, gable
Engineering features
South East Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
William Tomsey Cooper
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
14560 - Law Courts
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5879/90 F182393 A741
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA registered
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
2.4 City Dwellers: City, state and business leaders
3.7 Working Men and Women
3.7.1 Public Servants
Dr Niesche
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments, Smith Survey 1880; Observer, 13 February 1904; South Australian Directories.

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