The State Bank in Swan Street Richmond was constructed in 1907 for the Commissioners of the State Savings Bank by Reynolds Bros of Fitzroy to a design by the architects Billing, Sons and Peck. It is an accomplished example of Picturesque composition applied to fenestration. The strongly axial facade has an asymmetric display of different openings.
How is it significant?
The State Bank in Swan Street Richmond is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The State Bank in Swan Street Richmond is of architectural significance as an outstanding Edwardian-period example of Romanesque art nouveau design in a commercial building. Australian architecture at the start of the 20th century was deeply entrenched in historicism, and the Romanesque art nouveau style, although short-lived, is significant because it marks the beginning of a very slow progression towards modern architecture. This bank is one of the most extravagant examples of the style. As such, the bank suggests the growing independence and confidence of a newly federated Australia. It appears to be the only surviving work of Billing, Son and Peck.
The State Bank in Swan Street Richmond is of historical significance as evidence of the rapid expansion of the State Savings Bank. The Richmond bank was constructed in the early years of the State Bank's most expansionary period, as it established itself as a major influence on the development of the State for much of the 20th century.