The buildings at 82 and 84 Dixon Street represent a Chinese connection with the street that commenced well before the official recognition of Chinatown in the 1930s.
The City of Sydney Council was aware of the possible significance of the buildings and the potential for demolition under the existing zoning. Hector Abrahams Architects were appointed to make a Heritage Assessment to inform the City’s decision on whether the buildings were worthy of a local heritage listing.
A local heritage listing was recommended and awarded by the City, following community-initiated engagement with the Chinese community. In response, the Chinese community asked HAA to write a submission to the Heritage Council of NSW, requesting 82-84 Dixon Street to be included on the NSW State Heritage Register.
Representing one of the earliest land acquisitions by a Chinese person in what would become known as Chinatown, the buildings also hold high cultural significance for the Chinese community. 82-84 Dixon Street embody key aspects of Chinese community economic activity, as the operating base of the Kwong War Chong trading company from 1910 until 1987 and the site of a long running Chinese restaurant. The buildings are also significant for being the headquarters of Xiangyi Long Du Tong Sen Tong, a mutual benevolent society which provided accommodation and remittance transfers to families back in China.
The buildings are a time capsule, filled with ephemera reflecting the long occupation of Chinese business and living requirements. HAA has documented the items, both photographically and with detailed descriptions.