Oswald Bond Store | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Oswald Bond Store

Item details

Name of item: Oswald Bond Store
Other name/s: Hentsch's Bond Store
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Warehouse/storage area
Location: Lat: -33.8579857389 Long: 151.2031450890
Primary address: 1-17 Kent Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Parish: St Philip
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP737194
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1-17 Kent StreetMillers PointSydneySt PhilipCumberlandPrimary Address
Windmill StreetMillers PointSydneySt PhilipCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Kamirice Pty LtdPrivate10 May 99

Statement of significance:

The Oswald Bond Store are of State significance as an outstanding example of a turn of the century bond store in the Free Classical style. The Store has a strong architectural presence, its scale and facade contributing to the streetscape. The timber driveway doors are part of a rare avenue of industrial openings along Windmill Street, which are a reminder of the commercial use of the area. The storey post system supporting the internal floors is typical of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Trust during this period.
Date significance updated: 07 Nov 03
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: A.L. & G. McCredie
Builder/Maker: J.R. Locke
Physical description: The Bond Store is an example of late Victorian (1892-3 facades)/ Federation (1904) and Free Classical style warehouse structure [Tropman 5.3]. The existing building is essentially in sound condition, there is some cracking and water damage identified on Level 3. Only part of the original 1892-3 brickwork facades survived the 1903 fire. The existing building dates from 1904 when it was rebuilt to original detail after the fire, with the omission of the two upper levels and with other fire prevention measures. The internal timber structure was rebuilt using the original storey post system.

The Australian Builder and Contractors News September 1892 stated of the original Bond Store prior to the 1903 fire that "The facades, of sensible and tasteful design, are of colonial brick, with cement mouldings and dressings the construction generally is of brick, with iron-bark storey-posts and girders, hardware joists and floors and galvanised iron roofing" [ABCN Sep 1892 as cited in Tropman 4.5.2].

The building is irregular in shape and has sandstone kerbing. It is a prominent landscape as a streetscape and can be viewed from many major locations including Observation Hill, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.

External timber doors open out onto Windmill, Argyle and Kent Street and provide access to the courtyard. These doors were adapted to be mechanically operable in the 1980s [Tropman 5.3].

The external structure is brick on the lower levels, Level 5 is reinforced concrete and set back from the facades, massive brick walls separate the interior spaces. On levels 1 to 3 timber floorboards rest on herringbone strutted joists, which in turn are supported by large timber floor beams. Levels 4-5 are of recent construction though original and early brick external facades and pediment have been retained [Tropman 5.4].
Modifications and dates: The early internal structure comprises solid brick walls and hardwood storey posts on sandstone footings, hardwood beams and deck. Storey posts on upper floors were destroyed in the 1903 fire. External timber doors on Kent, Windmill and Argyle Streets originally provided access through driveways into the courtyard where the atrium space now is. Of these driveways, only two have been retained since the late 1980s major refurbishment works for access to the basement car park.

The late 1980s works converted it to office uses and included reconstruction of two upper floors (4 & 5). The early post system was retained but reinforced with a concrete and steel structure supporting a new concrete and steel storey previously known as Level 5 (now 4), which was set back from the original store facades. The atrium dates from then too and involved glazing over the 'roof' space of the courtyard, new large glazed openings with concrete heads and lintels to internal brick walls. These works included new services and extension into a previously undeveloped western portion of the site. This portion is the current lift lobby with fire stair, services rooms and two modern lifts with motor room. The building has been significantly partitioned on the upper levels for corporate tenants under previous ownership and generally consists of plaster board on stud frames, glazed partition walls, suspended ceilings to some rooms and workstations. These are the subject of the current internal strip out to bring the building to its warehouse special qualities.

Where there are no ceilings, the underside of joists are exposed with herringbone strutting. The main roof was altered by the late 1980s refurbishment works and is sheeted with metal; however the lower Argyle Street wing features a slate roof. Originally there were four hydraulic lifts, one of which has been preserved and another has been partly retained. Modern stairs have been installed between levels 4 & 5 (City Plan Heritage, 2010, 4-5).
Current use: offices
Former use: wool bond store

History

Historical notes: The Oswald Bond Store is situated on a block of land bounded by Kent Street, Windmill Street and Argyle Street on the east, north & west and south respectively. The block is rhomboid in shape and in the south-east corner is the Lord Nelson Hotel. It was erected in 1892, later badly damaged by fire in 1903 and rebuilt immediately in mostly the same style. [Tropman 4.1.1 - 4.1.2]

The site is situated on high ground falling steeply away to the north; the western end was named Walsh Bay in 1919. To the west and south the land is elevated. This is of strategic importance as it is adjacent to Walsh Bay, the Millers Point promontory and the northern-most past of Darling Harbour to the east. [Tropman 4.2.1] The road is also significant as the Bond Store site stands at the conjunction of three important roads. [Fitzgerald and Keating pp. 27-9 as cited in Tropman 4.2.4]

In 1834 a Land Commission was set up by the government to sort out the tangle of Crown grants, permissive occupancy and squatting, characterising Sydney's land pattern. The Millers Point district was a larger of such problems. In 1836 the Commission made William Wells the owner of section 92 allotment 15. Wells erected the Lord Nelson, adjacent to the now Bond Store and a landmark of the district. [Tropman 4.3.1] By the 1850's the rhomboid block on which the Bond Store now stands became occupied by local mariners and tradesmen. [Tropman 4.3.3]

The 1880s began a period of significant change at Millers Point as the shipping patterns were altered - the size and frequency increased as the wool trade boomed. The town became primarily a place for a working class population as the wealthy mercantile families moved to suburbs. There were plans to embark on wharf reconstruction, which would be reinforced by the building of a range of bond and wool stores on the higher ground behind the renovated and enlarged wharves. The block was an obvious location for bond stores as it stood on several streets and was close to the wharves. [Tropman 4.4.1 - 4.4.3]. Sydney Storage Company employed architects for a new bond store, which would be later known as the Oswald Bond Store, on lots 14-15 of the block. It was designed to occupy the whole of the eastern side of the block. [Tropman 4.4.4]

On 31 May 1901 the newly formed Sydney Harbour Trust (set up in order to control the spread of the Bubonic Plague through rats) resumed the entire block including the Bond Store. [Tropman 4.6.1 - 4.6.3]

A significant date in the history of the Bond Store was Friday 20th March 1903. A fire broke out in one of the upper rooms when the building was unattended, damaging much of the property as it then stood. There was no loss of life in the fire and little property damage beyond the Bond Store, but the fire had spread rapidly due to the vast window space and open lifts. Kent Street Wall and Windmill Street Wall were partially saved, but the interior was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire was unknown [Tropman 4.7]

It was agreed by the Commissioners that they would rebuild the store in substantially the same style and form. The Trust was content to give an appearance of continuity by rebuilding in the traditional late-Victorian warehouse style. Their intention was to make the store 'up-to-date' and essentially fireproof. Therefore, in rebuilding it, the structure was reduced to 5 storeys, and its north front was extended along the full length of Windmill Street. The Lord Nelson was to remain intact. [Tropman 4.8.2 - 4.8.4]

In 1904 it became known as the Oswald Bond Store, built to its original detail, but without the two upper floors. The lifts were replaced and in addition concrete fire stairs were installed. Some window openings were replaced with a brick infill to reduce the risk of fire spreading due to excessive fenestration.[Tropman 5.3]

The Oswald Bond Store was reopened for business in March 1904. By 1905 there were complaints made that the Store was competing too successfully with the stores controlled directly by the commissioners, "The renewed Bond was back in business" [cited in Tropman 4.8.8]

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Ancillary structures - wells, cisterns-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Trading between Australia and other countries-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Warehousing and storage for commercial enterprises-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Storing goods for bond and customs duties-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Role of transport in settlement-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing civic infrastructure and amenity-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Planned towns serving a specific industry-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in urban settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Urban landscapes inspiring creative responses-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on the waterfront-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in factories-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and operating public infrastructure-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
It is an example of a warehouse in the Victorian/ Federation Free Classical style. It contains intricate architecture of the time including sandstone kerbing and guttering, examples of original and early polychromatic brickwork facades with sandstone detailing.

The internal structures are typical of the construction style of the Sydney Harbour Trust.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementFmr Oswald Bond Free Store CMP Conservation Management Plan endorsed by heritage Council 11 April 2002 for a period of five years, expires 11 April 2007 Apr 11 2002
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0052702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0052715 May 87 802345
Local Environmental PlanOswald Bond Free Store20509 Dec 05 154 
National Trust of Australia register Suburban Register - Oswald Bond Free Stores9186   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCity Plan Heritage2010Proposed Stage 2 Works - Heritage Impact Statement - Oswald Bond Free Store (former)
WrittenHendry Group (NSW) P/L2010Building Code of Australia Assessment Report of DA Drawings for 1 Kent Street, Millers Point
WrittenJackson Teece Architecture2010Statement of Environmental Effects - Proposed Fire Safety Upgrade & Minor Works Project - Building at 1 Kent Street, Sydney
Management Plan (HC endorsed)Tropman & Tropman Architects2002Former Oswald Bond Free Store Conservation Management Plan

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045357
File number: 10/3537; S90/02269 & HC 31311


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