Former Commercial Building "Edward Arnold & Co Store" including interior | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Former Commercial Building "Edward Arnold & Co Store" including interior

Item details

Name of item: Former Commercial Building "Edward Arnold & Co Store" including interior
Other name/s: Edward Arnold & Co Store (Former)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Commercial Office/Building
Primary address: 113-115 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
113-115 Oxford StreetDarlinghurstSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The building has associations with the retailing firm, Edward Arnold and Co, which was prominent in the locality for many years and is a rare surviving example of department store architecture on Oxford Street. It has aesthetic significance because of its architectural expression, which is representative of the Inter-war Free Classical style and is distinguished by some unusual details. It has associations associations with the prominent architectural firm of Wilshire and Day.
Date significance updated: 11 Mar 14
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: Wilsthire and Day
Construction years: 1903-1923
Physical description: A substantial five storey Inter-war Stripped Classical Style building on a prominent corner site. The facades which are relatively intact are representative examples of the Inter-War Free Classical style. The first and second floors are regulated by colossal pilasters that divide the façades into “panels” containing facetted bay windows that incorporates unusual diamond patterned highlights. A simple attic storey rises above the heavy bracketed cornice.

(sourced from Rod Howard & Associates Pty Ltd "Oxford Street Heritage and Urban Design Study" 2004)
Modifications and dates: - The original pergola on the roof level has been replaced with a flat roof, glazing has been installed along the Crown Street side.
- Window sashes on the third floor and shopfronts have been altered.
- 2005,soffit replaced with pressed metal as part of the Oxford Street upgrade
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Retail, offices
Former use: Department Store

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today.

The site on which the subject property is located was originally part of the 70 acre grant made to John Palmer in 1794 which he called George Farm. His support of Governor Bligh during the Rum Rebellion in 1808, led to Palmer losing his position as the Commissary General and he spent time in England because of subsequent inquiries. He returned to the colony in May 1814 and his outstanding debts were settled when the Sheriff sold off the Surry Hills Estate on 1 October that year, after which time it was subdivided into 27 allotments by Surveyor General James Meehan.

In June 1819 Edward Riley, a merchant and pastoralist, started to purchase the allotments in an effort to reassemble Palmer's estate. Conflicting wills left after his suicide on 21 February 1825 resulted in the subdivision of the land into 7 portfolios with ownership of the allotments being confirmed by a final decree of the Supreme Court on 5 July 1844.

The site is part of Block F2 of the Riley Estate.

Draper Edward Arnold opened for business in 1862, in what was then known as 91 South Head Road.

The subject site comprises two lots, 113 and 115 South Head Road, later renamed Oxford Street, and the early site history of each lot will be discussed in turn.

113 Oxford Street ( Lot 13 DP 913672)
Two dwellings and other buildings had been built on the site for William Lynch by 1850. The property was conveyed to Alexander Kirker in 1850 and then to Thomas Reynolds in 1863. He then conveyed the property, comprising two houses and shops, to Richard Griffiths of Sydney, a draper. He in turn negotiated a counterpart lease for the property with fellow draper Edward Arnold commencing 1 April 1867 for 20 years.

The pair of shops on the allotment were demolished and replaced with a three storey stone building designed for Edward Arnold by prominent architect Edmund Blacket , which opened on 30th March 1867. The new premises comprised Arnold's living quarters on the upper floors.

Edward Arnold and Co continued to expand. By the 1880s the business had evolved from a drapery store into a successful department store.

115 Oxford Street
Edward Arnold and Charles Robert Crossman purchased 115 South Head Road ( Lot 1 DP 62497) in July 1902. It housed a three storey building which was used as a hotel from 1851 to 1878 ( Union Inn) and then was leased as the Eastern Branch of the City Bank. Edward Arnold and Co commissioned noted architect Henry A Wilshire to design a new building on the site. It was completed in September 1903.

Simultaneously Arnold and Crossman purchased adjoining terrace houses at 241 -49 Crown Street which they pulled down and erected new premises.

Following Edward Arnold's retirement from the firm in 1908, his partner Charles Crossman, became the sole proprietor of the business. Further extensions were undertaken to the combined property of Edward Arnold and Co in 1908.

Under his directorship, Crossman , undertook further extensions to 113 Oxford Street in 1908.

In 1919 Charles Crossman floated the business into a limited liability company, with him as governing director. Three years later Crossman commissioned HA Wilshire and Day to extend and extensively remodel the subject property. Messrs Maston and Yates builders were the successful tenderer for the building works .They commenced with excavation of the basement which was completed by 1st November 1922 ( SMH , 1/11/1922 p11).

In 1923 Edward Arnold Ltd extended the premises by erecting a tea room and recreation ground on the roof. The completed building was officially opened in November 1923.

The store declined as a result of changing patterns of transport and shopping, and closed in 1953, the business being sold to Email Ltd., an electrical manufacturing group ( SMH 20/12/1953 p8) .

The site was sold to Adams Tourist Centre P/L in July 1964 and subsequently named Adams House. A Development Application was approved to use the ground floor of the premises for retail shops, upper floors as offices and the basement for car parking.

The site on which the subject property is located was originally part of the 70 acre grant made to John Palmer in 1794 which he called George Farm. His support of Governor Bligh during the Rum Rebellion in 1808, led to Palmer losing his position as the Commissary General and he spent time in England because of subsequent inquiries. He returned to the colony in May 1814 and his outstanding debts were settled when the Sheriff sold off the Surry Hills Estate on 1 October that year, after which time it was subdivided into 27 allotments by Surveyor General James Meehan.

In June 1819 Edward Riley, a merchant and pastoralist, started to purchase the allotments in an effort to reassemble Palmer's estate. Conflicting wills left after his suicide on 21 February 1825 resulted in the subdivision of the land into 7 portfolios with ownership of the allotments being confirmed by a final decree of the Supreme Court on 5 July 1844.

Draper Edward Arnold opened for business in 1862, in what was then known as 91 South Head Road. His business flourished to the extent that in 1867 the prominent and influential architect Edmund Blacket was engaged to design a three storey building for Arnold, situated close to Crown Street. The business expanded and by the 1880s had evolved into a large department store. Arnold retired from the business in 1906, at which time it was taken over by his partner C R Crossman. The store’s management actively supported the widening of Oxford Street during the first decade of the twentieth century.

In 1922 the architectural firm of Wilshire and Day designed the building that presently occupies the site. The store declined as a result of changing patterns of transport and shopping, and closed during the 1950s.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site represents commercial development in this section of Oxford Street, close to the city centre, in the early 20th century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site has associations with the retailing firm, Edward Arnold and Co, that was prominent in the locality for many years , and with the prominent architectural firm of Wilshire and Day.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building has aesthetic significance because of its architectural expression, which is representative of the Inter-war Free Classical style and is distinguished by some unusual details.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative of the Inter-war Free Classical style applied to a Department Store Building.
Integrity/Intactness: Externally - moderate to high
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.

Recommended management:

The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. All significant fabric should be conserved. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal features including ignificant internal features including pressed metal ceilings and cornices, steel doors to triangular plan strong rooms, timber joinery and flooring should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I39814 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Oxford Street Heritage, Urban Design and Management Study2004 Rod Howard & Associates Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Graphic 1922Building Applications 490/22 and 633/22
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail

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

rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2421047


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