Illawarra Terrace (36 to 40 Burren Street) is located on the western side of Burren Street, about two-thirds of the way down towards Erskineville Road. The first time Illawarra Terrace appears in the Sands Directories is in 1884 – a comparison of the 1883 and 1884 editions shows Illawarra Terrace in the 1884 directory as a row of three on the western side of Burren Street between the existing residences of Mrs Elizabeth Bedford and William Saunder:
Comparison of Burren Street (West side): 1883 and 1884
A reference to Illawarra Terrace appears in early 1884 in relation to nearby ‘nuisances’ -a term used fairly regularly to describe the poor state of Macdonaldtown at the time:
Two additional references to the row as Illawarra Terrace prior to the adoption of street numbering can also be identified:
Here’s an extract of a map of Macdonaldtown from 1886, showing Erskineville Railway Station in its original location north of the Swanson Street overbridge (and opposite Illawarra Terrace):
Here below is an extract of the City of Sydney Map of Erskineville published in 1894, with the houses shown numbered; and Illawarra Terrace highlighted:
It is likely the terrace takes its name from the adjacent Illawarra Railway Line, with construction of both the railway and terrace occurring at the same time. Tenders for the construction of the railway line closed on 12 September 1882; with reports of the construction being well under way appearing by November 1882; and the line opening on 15 October 1884 (about seven months later than planned).