This pair of stone buildings is among the earliest surviving houses in Sydney, built between 1829 and 1830. They occupy a block of land between George, Argyle, and Harrington Streets and Suez Canal that formerly was associated with the site of the 1788 Assistant Surgeon's residence, later occupied by the first colonial architect, Francis Greenway. 28-30 Harrington Street was built by convict blacksmith William Reynolds and is an example of early 19th century housing built and inhabited by pardoned convicts who remained in NSW and practised trades or professions. Reynolds was a friend and neighbour of fellow ex-convict Michael Gannon, and the two were responsible for many houses in the vicinity. The property remained in the family's possession until the latter 19th century, and the rear courtyard gained a notorious reputation by the 1850s.
The building's low proportions (emphasised by the raising of the street level around 1907), its simple roof form with eaves, face sandstone construction with dressed stone window and door heads, and multi-pane window sashes all contribute to the building's aesthetic historical qualities. The row from 28-32 Harrington Street, along with the nearby Argyle Stores, contributes a sense of authenticity to the early Colonial streetscape and visual catchment at the corner of Harrington and Argyle Streets.