Sydney Central Local Courthouse situated in Liverpool Street Sydney is of State historical significance as the first purpose built Police Court with the State Justice system and first petty Sessions Court. The building is a fine and intact example of a classically inspired public building designed in the Federation Free Classical style by James Barnet, the last Colonial Architect with construction supervised by WL Vernon, the first Government Architect. The building is an example of a Court that operated in association with a Police Station and significantly has continued to operate with attached Holding Cells complex to present day.
The Central Local Courthouse and Holding Cells are good examples of late nineteenth century courthouse and prison environment that despite alterations and modifications demonstrate certain design philosophies and standards of that time. The form and relationship of the Holding Cells are functional and reflect Barnet’s preference to relate each building to its site and context. The design of the courthouse and its principal façade connotes typical characteristics of this type of building. The buildings remain as a good and intact example of a courthouse and associated facilities designed by the Colonial Architects Office and that demonstrate the growing affluence and prosperity of the time.