Statement of Significance
The Barnett Glass Rubber factory is of historical and architectural significance at the state level as an extensive and thoroughly executed industrial complex which demonstrates both the commercial status of Barnett Glass Rubber and the distinctive form of early twentieth century multi-storey manufacturing building, a type of building developed in British textile mills and reaching its peak by this time. Later textile mills were of single storey saw-tooth roof and clear-span form. While the types of products of the various occupants may still be found, the form of manufacture - labour intensive and in multi-storey complexes - has changed dramatically. (Criterion B2) With its dramatic brick chimney and densely built red brick processing buildings, the works is architecturally notable for its particularly unified design on a massive scale representing the heights of industrial developments of the early 20th century. (Criterion D2) As such the factory is possibly the best example of the multi-storey mill design perfected in Britain in the late nineteenth century to make best use of congested urban sites, but only rarely transferred to Australia. The site therefore demonstrates the diversity of industrial forms which make up the history of manufacturing in Australia. (Criterion A3) The site has a historically significant association with several major industries including an Australian first in rubber manufacture and one of the largest cotton mills in the country.
(Criterion F1) The existing building predominantly reflect the operation of Barnett Glass Rubber under whom the major part of the present works was constructed, and to a lesser extent the activities of Bradford Mills. (Criterion A4) Barnett Glass was one of Australia's more successful entrepreneurs and responsible for the introduction of rubberised clothing and early manufacture of motor tyres. (Criterion H1) Elements of the 19th century industrial complex may also be represented in the chimney and boiler.
Footscray Conservation Study SOS
Architecturally the complex is large, visually interesting and cohesive comprising an internal informal court (entered through a more formal corner portal) and possessing a cohesive architectural treatment on the north and east sides of the complex with a visually related perimeter to the west. Historically it possibly possesses remnants from 19th century industrial complexes (boiler, chimney) but is substantially related to the well-known Barnet Glass company of which little else remains in the way of large factory complexes in the State also, to a lesser extent, the site reflects occupation by the Bradford mills and perpetuates the long history of industrial development along the river in this locality.
Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) criteria
The Australian Heritage Commission criteria consist of a set of eight criteria which cover social, aesthetic, scientific, and historic values. Each criterion has sub-criteria written specifically for cultural or natural values. The relevant criteria are:
D.2 good example of type
A.3 richness and diversity of cultural features
F.1 design or technological achievement .
H.1 association with important person or group
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Physical Description 1
The red brick complex is built around a courtyard and has developed in several stages. The Jute works was a single storey building facing the river on Maribyrnong St. which had a second story added by 1909. In 1926-7 the "Factory block No. 1" was extensively reconstructed according to a design of architect J. Plottel for a massive 53,399 pounds. The buildings today predominantly reflect this period of construction although the chimney with its ornate capping may date from before 1906. The north-east three story block which occupies the site of the original jute works was constructed in 1934-5 in a style sympathetic with the site's Edwardian Character.
The c1906 block on the corner of Parker and Moreland Streets presents a splayed corner entrance gateway at the street intersection with a pediment above (obscured by a bill board).
The Moreland Street facade as two storey with brick pilasters between paired windows, a low parapet with a projecting cope, concrete lintels (or render over steel lintels and brick) and steel industrial windows, The Parker Street section, although similar is elaborated by a central segmental-arched raised entablature at the parapet, with pyramidal pinnacles topping piers at either end and punctuating the four pilaster bays as well as drawing attention to the main pedestrian entrance and office. The roof gable rises from behind the parapet and follows an angled alignment to the west at the cart entrance, where an earlier building may have stood.
Timber framed windows are used in this wing, possibly in reference to the office rather than industrial function.
The brick chimney with its elaborate grown decorated with brick corbel-table and ribbing and its associated corrugated iron boiler house are probably also part of earliest additions.
At the east end the major 1934-5 three storey corner 'store' block also displays the Edwardian stylistic traits such as the pilasters, parapet and central curved entablature, but with multi-paned steel hopper sash windows. Clearly the unity of the design took precedence over adopting the latest styles for this extension. The increase in glazed area identifies the building as advanced in store design using reinforced concrete lintels to span the considerable distance between piers. Internally the framing is of rolled steel joists and beams supported on box-section steel columns with concrete slab floors. To the south and east other one two and three storey blocks dating to the period 1928-40 complete the perimeter around a central courtyard and paved internal lanes.
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Physical Conditions
In good condition although some unsympathetic alterations have occurred.
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Integrity
The Moreland Street and Parker Street facades have been altered with some new aluminium windows and awnings and advertising hoardings have been affixed to one wing. A painted textured render finish over the earliest block is intrusive and a modern brick addition to the south east had been built, but as it follows the general red brick load bearing construction form of the rest of the complex, it serves to continue the visually cohesive external character.
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Physical Description 2
In an industrial zone by the Maribyrnong River and adjacent to the site of the former gas works. An attractive, red brick Edwardian electricity substation in Parker Street relates to the earliest parts of the complex, having evidently been erected to serve this and the contemporary (but now demolished) Maize products opposite.
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Historical Australian Themes
Australian Principal Theme Manufacturing and Processing
PAHT Subtheme: Manufacturing and Processing
Local Theme Industry by the River: Early
Barnett Glass Rubber - Bradmill - Physical Description 3
Creation date(s): 1875 1906 (Barnett)
Heritage Significance state
Map (Melway) 42 D6
Boundary description Extent of the current allotment bounded by Moreland, Parker and Maribyrnong Streets.
Local Government Area: City of Maribyrnong
Ownership Type Private
Heritage Study and Grading
Maribyrnong - Maribyrnong Heritage Review
Author: Jill Barnard, Graeme Butler, Francine Gilfedder & Gary Vines