The NSW Housing Act of 1912 allowed the City of Sydney to borrow money to build housing for workers. The Ways Terrace complex, completed in 1925, was one of the few projects flowing from this source before the City authorities changed their approach to public housing.
The building was designed by Leslie Wilkinson, professor of architecture at Sydney University, who had proposed to build several smaller apartments as well.
What is distinctive about the Ways Terrace flats is that each has a view of the harbour and each was unique, promoting a sense of pride in the tenants. As the apartments backed onto the Watkinson Reserve, they provided a wider and much greener play area than most other Pyrmont children enjoyed.