Trust Building | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Trust Building

Item details

Name of item: Trust Building
Type of item: Built
Location: Lat: -33.8693325596 Long: 151.2098647580
Primary address: 72-72a Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Parish: St James
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 SP46528
LOT10 SP46528
LOT11 SP46528
LOT12 SP46528
LOT13 SP46528
LOT14 SP46528
LOT15 SP46528
LOT16 SP46528
LOT17 SP46528
LOT18 SP46528
LOT19 SP46528
LOT2 SP46528
LOT20 SP46528
LOT21 SP46528
LOT22 SP46528
LOT23 SP46528
LOT24 SP46528
LOT25 SP46528
LOT26 SP46528
LOT27 SP46528
LOT28 SP46528
LOT29 SP46528
LOT3 SP46528
LOT30 SP46528
LOT31 SP46528
LOT32 SP46528
LOT34 SP46528
LOT36 SP46528
LOT37 SP46528
LOT38 SP46528
LOT39 SP46528
LOT4 SP46528
LOT40 SP46528
LOT41 SP46528
LOT42 SP46528
LOT43 SP46528
LOT44 SP46528
LOT45 SP46528
LOT47 SP46528
LOT48 SP46528
LOT49 SP46528
LOT5 SP46528
LOT50 SP46528
LOT51 SP46528
LOT52 SP46528
LOT53 SP46528
LOT54 SP46528
LOT55 SP46528
LOT56 SP46528
LOT57 SP46528
LOT58 SP46528
LOT59 SP46528
LOT6 SP46528
LOT60 SP46528
LOT61 SP46528
LOT62 SP46528
LOT63 SP46528
LOT64 SP46528
LOT65 SP46528
LOT67 SP46528
LOT68 SP46528
LOT69 SP46528
LOT7 SP46528
LOT70 SP46528
LOT71 SP46528
LOT72 SP46528
LOT73 SP46528
LOT74 SP46528
LOT75 SP46528
LOT76 SP46528
LOT77 SP46528
LOT78 SP46528
LOT79 SP46528
LOT8 SP46528
LOT80 SP46528
LOT81 SP46528
LOT82 SP46528
LOT83 SP46528
LOT84 SP46528
LOT85 SP46528
LOT86 SP46528
LOT87 SP46528
LOT88 SP46528
LOT89 SP46528
LOT9 SP46528
LOT90 SP46528
LOT91 SP46528
LOT100 SP47697
LOT92 SP47697
LOT93 SP47697
LOT94 SP47697
LOT95 SP47697
LOT96 SP47697
LOT97 SP47697
LOT98 SP47697
LOT99 SP47697
LOT101 SP49274
LOT102 SP49274
LOT103 SP49274
LOT104 SP49274
LOT105 SP49274
LOT106 SP49274
LOT107 SP49274
LOT108 SP49274
LOT109 SP49274
LOT110 SP49274
LOT111 SP49274
LOT112 SP49274
LOT113 SP49274
LOT114 SP49274
LOT115 SP49274
LOT116 SP49274
LOT117 SP49274
LOT118 SP49274
LOT119 SP49274
LOT120 SP49274
LOT121 SP49274
LOT122 SP49274
LOT134 SP90001
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
72-72a Castlereagh StreetSydneySydneySt JamesCumberlandPrimary Address
155-159 King StreetSydneySydneySt JamesCumberlandAlternate Address

Statement of significance:

The Trust Building is of State significance as one of the major buildings erected in Sydney in the pre-World War I period. It is an unsurpassed example of architecture in the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style. The exterior of the building is the leading example of the first generation skyscrapers in Sydney. It is also a rare commercial purpose built building surviving in Sydney from the Edwardian Period.

The Trust Building is the site of the former Daily Telegraph offices, the highest circulating daily newspaper of the time. This building is one of four surviving newspaper offices built between 1900 and 1930.
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.


Designer/Maker: Robertson & Marks
Builder/Maker: Stuart Brothers
Construction years: 1914-1916
Physical description: The Trust Building located at 155 King Street, on the corner of Castlereagh Street Sydney. The Building is a twelve story concrete and steel framed building with three additional basement levels. The building has stone exterior walls and a steel mansard roof (originally slate). The base courses were originally rock faced trachyte and the upper floors were dressed Pyrmont sandstone. The interior was a combination finish of marble, tiles and plasterwork. (Abrahams and Stapleton, 1989, p14)

The Art Deco banking chamber, two foyers, corridors and lift lobbies are substantially intact.
Current use: Westpac bank
Former use: Newspaper offices, hotel, bank multi-purpose offices


Historical notes: The Trust Building was constructed between 1914 and 1916 to home the offices of the Daily Telegraph, the leading broadsheet newspaper of the day. (Daily Telegraph Newspaper Co. Ltd. Annual Reports, 1912). The building was designed by the firm Robertson and Marks architects in the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style. The building was erected by the Stuart Brothers (Abrahams and Stapleton, 1989, p10).

The foundation stone for the Trust Building was laid by the president of the Daily Telegraph newspaper company, Mr. J Randall Carey in February 1914 (Sydney Morning Herald, 23/2/1914). The Daily Telegraph began operations within the building in 1916 and the first tenant occupied the upper floors in 1917 (Sands, Daily Telegraph Annual Report, 1913-32/33).

The original designs of the building incorporated all the functions of a newspaper production office. The basement floors were occupied by giant printing machines that could be seen working from the street through small windows.
The main entrance to the building was at the corner and it opened into a large advertising hall (Drawings submitted to Sydney City Council).

The Daily Telegraph offices remained at the Trust Building until 1929. After the newspaper left the building, floors 5-8 were leased to various architects, dentists and financers with the majority of the offices going to solicitors. A leading pastoralist and entrepreneur Sir Rupert Clarke leased out the 7th floor. (Sands, 1913-32/33)

After the relocation of the Daily Telegraph Newspaper Co. Ltd. in 1929 following its sale to Associated Newspapers Limited, the building was purchased by a Sydney consortium named King Street Freehold Limited. King Street Freehold Ltd. set up the Hotel Savoy there in 1929 (Sydney Morning Herald 2/9/1936).

The building was refurbished from designs by Ross and Rowe. The lower ground floor became a two level bar in the ‘Spanish Style’ of the time. The ground floor became the main lounge and the upper floor was divided into smaller rooms where bathrooms were added. There was also a lounge room added to each floor. The original corner entrance was removed and a side street entrance was constructed (Drawings submitted to Sydney City Council).

The Hotel Savoy failed three years later at the height of the Great Depression. The Trust Building was then sold and became the insurance premises for the Southern British National Trust after it was refurbished by the architect Samuel Lipson. New entrances were added at both King and Castlereagh Streets and the lower floors were remodelled in polished trachyte. The new interior was in the “Art Deco” style. Other additions to the building included a new conference room, banking chamber and upper storey corridors. The remaining interior fabric of the building up until the last recorded survey in February to April 1989 (Abrahams and Stapleton, 1989) is from this time. All this work was completed by 1934 and the building was named the Trust Building. In 1936 the building was bought by the Bank of New South Wales, presently known as the Westpac Corporation (Abrahams and Stapleton, 1989, p15)

Architects Robertson and Marks were reassigned to the building. They added lower ground floor shops including Cornelius Furs which was still present there in 1989 at the time of the last survey. Auxiliary columns and an electrical substation were added to the basement in 1938.

In 1985 new classical lift interiors were installed. The lift lobbies have been altered by the installation of new lift doors and surrounds. The clocks and bronze indication frieze have been partially reproduced to resemble the Trust Building’s appearance in 1934. Minor repairs and alterations have continued to occur up until 1989 at the time of the last survey of the building (Westpac archives Drawings). Tenants, primarily solicitors and jewellers, have remained on the top floors since c. 1936.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Banking-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Communicating by the printed word-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating travellers and tourists-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Interwar Commercial Palazzo-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Robertson and Marks, architect firm-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Trust Building is of State significance as the former offices of the Daily Telegraph, Sydney's highest circulating daily newspaper at the time of its construction. It is one of four surviving former newspaper offices from the period 1900-1930.

The Trust Building is of significance as the Sydney office of Sir Rupert Clarke, a leading Victorian pastoralist and entrepreneur.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Trust Building is of State significance as a leading example of the first generation of Sydney skyscrapers.
SHR Criteria f)
The Trust Building is of State significance as a rare surviving commercial building of the Edwardian period.
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
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):

The maintenance of the item where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material.
Sep 2 1988
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):

(1) The maintenance of the item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing materials.
(2) Change of use of the building.
Aug 25 1989
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):

(a) alterations to the interior of the building on floors 2 to 10 (inclusive), except insofar as such work would affect:
(i) the lift lobbies and stairs;
(ii) the marble lined and glazed internal corridors,
provided that such alterations are carried out in a way that has regard to the heritage significance of the building, will cause minimal damage to the significant fabric , and is reversible;
(b) conservation and restoration works in accordance with the Draft Conservation Analysis and suggested Conservation Guidelines approved by the Heritage Council of New South Wales;
(c)the maintenance of the item where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing materials;
(d) change of use.
Jul 17 1992
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
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.

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


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0067602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0067618 Aug 89 895056
Heritage Act - Interim Conservation Order - Lapsed  17 Jul 92  5062
Local Environmental PlanCSH LEP 4 07 Apr 00   
Register of the National Estate  28 Sep 82   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenClive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners1989The Trust Building 155 King Street, Sydney NSW Australia: Draft Conservation Analysis and Suggested Conservation Guidelines

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

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045394
File number: S90/03328 & HC 87/2421

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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