SIGNIFICANCE: Unusual architectural detailing in the windows and parapet. Also for its historical associations with notable locals.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
58 Gray Street
This shop has local significance for its architectural interest which lies in its late Victorian Classical style and its combination of Mannerist and Gothic details. It also has historical associations with a number of well known Hamilton townsmen, including solicitors, a local architect and auctioneer. In the 1890s the buildings were associated with Louis Horwitz (1858-1919), who. after a brilliant beginning as Hamilton's youngest Mayor (at age 24), in the 1890s became the centre of a local financial scandal. ([i]) A wine shop on the site was owned at first by Horwitz and at the turn of the century by Myer Silberberg of Melbourne. ([ii]) By c1907 the property was owned by another wealthy Hamilton solicitor, John B Westacott (1868-1944), who also became Mayor of Hamilton. ([iii]) Westacott extended the buildings c1908, letting offices to George Holgate (auctioneer), Horace Destree (accountant), and Frank Hammond (architect), who designed many of Hamilton's most prestigious buildings. ([iv])
The building has lost its original verandah and shop front but otherwise remains substantially intact. It is in good condition. Along with its neighbours it is a significant part of the streetscape as one of a group of three.
[i] Garden, Don, Hamilton, pp 122, 173, and 185.
[ii] Hamilton Rate Book 1894, No. 249 (Thomas Tucker, owner/occupier); 1900, No. 248 (Horwitz owner, wine shop, NAV 45 pounds); 1905, No. 275 (M Silberberg, owner, wine shop, NAV 56 pounds).
[iii] Ibid., 1907, No. 284 (J B Westacott, owner, shop and dwelling, NAV 55 pounds); Garden, Don, Hamilton, p 173.
[iv] Hamilton Rate Book 1908, No. 292-295 (J B Westacott, offices, NAV 75 pounds).