The former Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company building, 51 Moorabool Street, has significance as one of few intact mid 19th century commercial buildings with a largely intact shopfront in Geelong. Built in 1856 for Smith Brothers, leather merchants to a design by the Geelong architects Backhouse and Reynolds, it was later owned by the Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company. The building appears to be in good condition when viewed from the street.
The former Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company building at 51 Moorabool Street is architecturally significant at a LOCAL level. It demonstrates original or early design qualities of an early Victorian Free Classical style. These qualities include the crowning rudimentary parapet with the raised central rectangular section, moulded parapet stringcourses, arched first floor tripartite windows openings, decorative first floor window architraves supported by elaborate consoles, decorative keystone that punctuates the central window arch, and the ground floor facade with its flanking smoothly-rusticated pilasters capped with rectangular heads having projecting arched rustication, and the three-bayed composition of arched openings supported by rectangular stop chamfered pilasters on rectilinear pedestals. Other intact or appropriate qualities include the timber framed double hung first floor windows, central arched ground floor doorway with timber and glazed French doors and timber framed and arched transom window above, arched timber framed and fixed, 12 paned ground floor windows with arched timber framed 3 paned transom windows, rendered base panels below the ground floor windows, plain rendered north wall, hipped roof form clad in galvanised corrugated steel, rear brick wall construction, shallow arched window opening with brick voussoirs and the rear timber framed double hung window.
The former Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company building at 51 Moorabool Street is historically significant at a LOCAL level. It has associations with the early development of commercial buildings and companies in Geelong in the mid 19th century, and is a relatively intact and unusual legacy of these developments. In particular, this building has associations with the Smith Brothers, leather merchants and original owners who instigated construction in 1856. The building has further associations with the early Geelong architects, Backhouse and Reynolds, who were responsible for the design. There are also long-term associations with the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company between 1872 and c.1960. Overall, the former Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company building is of LOCAL significance.
L. Huddle, 'Architects in Geelong 1840-1860', vol.2, Humanities Research Report, School of Architecture & Building, University of Melbourne, October 1979, vol.1, pp.63-68.
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