Sue Wah Chin Building

Historical Sites and Heritage Locations

The Sue Wah Chin Building, also known as Stone Houses, was built in 1888 by Kwong Sue Duk (also known as Sun Mow Loong) and featured hipped roofs. It is a single storey building divided into five commercial premises. Each shopfront has an identical pattern of openings with a central door and a window each side. The tenancy at the far left of the building was fortified to protect the opium held there at Kwong Sue Duk’s distribution centre. The building is one of only a handful of nineteenth century buildings of any sort that survive in the Darwin city centre and represents a time in the development of the Northern Territory that saw the establishment and expansion of the Chinese population as a significant component of the Darwin community. It has close associations with the well-known Chin family, who owned the building from 1921 until 2008. As for others, this building survived cyclones in 1897, 1937 and 1974 as well as bombing raids during World War II. Following Cyclone Tracy, the badly damaged hipped roofs were replaced with a flat roof. Folklore says the building was in five discrete parts to accommodate Kwong’s wives. That was never the case.

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