23333 Free Press Building 90 Bell St Penshurst 0800
Statement of Significance
Last updated on - December 15, 2003
What is Significant?
The former Penshurst Free Press building is located on the north side of Bell Street between Martin and French Streets in the centre of the township of Penshurst. The building takes the form of a single storey symmetrical red brick structure in the Edwardian Free Classical style. It has relatively small shop windows, divided into four panes and a glazed timber front door. From 1902 to 1930, the building was used as a Butcher's Shop, first by Joseph O'Brien, and later by Ross & Clark's butcheries. After this, it operated as the Penshurst Free Press Printing office, where the townships only paper was produced between 1930-1980. After the Penshurst Free Press stopped operating, the old press was sold to the Ballarat Museum, and the shop was sold to the Southern Grampians Shire Council. No architect or builder has been associated with the building. The former Penshurst Free Press building is in excellent condition, and retains a very high degree of integrity both externally and internally.
How is it Significant?
The former Penshurst Free Press building is of architectural and historical significance to the township of Penshurst and the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it Significant?
The building is of architectural significance as a rare surviving example of an Edwardian Free Classical shop which survives in excellent condition with a very good degree of integrity to its construction date. The building is of historical significance for it uses as a butcher shop, and for its use as the offices of Penshurst's only newspaper, the Penshurst Free Press for over 50 years. Of further historical significance is the changing use of the building, which reflects the changing social and economic focus of the township in the twentieth century, moving away from a community which shopped locally, to the provision of community services.