What is significant?
The Former New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Company Ltd Building was built in 1909-10
The four storey red brick and freestone building was designed by Oakden and Ballantyne and built by Swanson Brothers. The walls are red brick, sitting on a granite plinth, with render around the windows and sandstone ashlar blocks at the bottom part of the wall and in some areas around the windows. The building’s prominent corner site is accentuated by a heavy corner tower with oriel windows. The windows of the ground and first floor are slightly recessed within extended arches featuring stone voussoirs, while balconettes separate the third and fourth floors.
How is it significant?
The Former New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Company Ltd Building is of architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Former New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Company Ltd Building is of architectural significance for its unusual and eclectic style which is symbolic of a transitional time in Victorian architecture. Its free and eclectic use of Classical elements, oversized and ruptured details, broken pediments, over-scaled keystones, balustraded balconettes, oriels, combination of contrasting red brick and stone, metal clad cupola with ventilation turret and circular and arching windows with stone voussoirs demonstrates a move away from the exotic art-nouveau/romanesque back towards more conservative Classical styles just prior to WW1. The use of the Free or Edwardian Baroque styles in commercial buildings was unusual in Melbourne, and this building is now a rare example. The building, particularly the King and Collins Street facades and the cupola with ventilation turret and flagpole on the roof, represents an example of excellent early twentieth century craftsmanship, and is a major contributor to the Collins Street streetscape.
FORMER NEW ZEALAND LOAN AND MERCANTILE COMPANY LTD BUILDING - History
Contextual History:History of Place:
The site had a varied history prior to the construction of this building. Between 1860 and 1890 it hosted a police station, a gaol and an Immigrant Depot. After 1890, uses included a pawnbroker, a warehouse, a woolbroker, a grainbroker, some general carriers and a commercial traveller's residence. At the turn of the century this site was occupied by a brick store and wooden shop. Both were owned by Eva Wright.