SIGNIFICANCE: Probably always a commercial office rather than a shop, the recent restoration has highlighted the building's features.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Office of Francis Punch, architect
73 Gray Street
This building has local significance for its architectural interest as a Victorian building with Edwardian alterations and for its historical associations with Isaac Routledge (1823-1902), listed in the Hamilton Rate Books as a bootmaker ([i]) and in his obituary as a hotel keeper and a director of the Hamilton Gas Company formed in 1877 with the journalist, G H Mott, as chairman. ([ii]) Another former Hamilton bootmaker, Henry Cooke (c1819-1882), later held a licence for the Racecourse Hotel. ([iii]) A building on crown allotment 12, the site of 73 Gray Street, was rated first in 1872 as a shop owned by W J Gaffney, publican, and occupied by Isaac Routledge, bootmaker. ([iv]) The year before the site was rated as a building site. ([v]) Routledge became the owner/occupier in 1877 and remained there until his death in 1902. ([vi]) The property remained in the hands of the Routledge family, bootmakers, and in 1904 was owned and occupied by A A Routledge, bootmaker. In 1910 it was owned by Routledge and occupied by Frank and Fred Williams, bootmakers. ([vii]) Routledge also owned a substantial house built in 1890 on land on the corner of Ballarat Road and George Street, purchased in 1888, known first as Rokeby and later as Booriyalloak. ([viii])
The building has been extended at the rear and possibly renovated some few years after its construction when it changed hands after Routledge's death in 1902. The Art Nouveau pressed metal is relatively rare in Hamilton. It is significantly intact and in excellent condition.
[i] HamiltonRate Book 1872, No. 152.
[ii] Garden, Don, Hamilton, p 97; Hamilton Spectator, 29 April 1902 (obituary).