inHerit Logo

Commercial Bank of Australia (fmr), Bridgetown

Author

Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number

03582
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

116 Hampton St Bridgetown

Location Details

Was part of P110, until revised curtilage, now to be assessed on individual basis. Was previously P2960

Other Name(s)

Accountants Office
Westralian Bank

Local Government

Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Region

South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1909

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 18 Mar 1983

Heritage Council Decisions or Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 10 Dec 2004

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Classified by the National Trust Classified 09 Aug 1993

Heritage Council
Statewide Bank Survey Adopted 01 Nov 1997

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 2

Category 2

High level of protection appropriate: provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the town planning scheme to conserve the significance of the place.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category B

Management Category B

Conservation of the place is highly desirable. If not already, to be included on the Local Heritage List. Development proposals to be assessed pursuant to State Planning Policy 3.5 Historic Heritage Conservation; a Conservation Management Plan (if one exists); and to reinforce the significance of the place. Record prior to redevelopment, recognise and interpret if possible.

Statement of Significance

The Commercial Bank of Australia (fmr) was the third bank to open in Bridgetown, at a time when the apple industry was in full swing and the mining industry in Greenbushes was strong, attracting labourers, services and families from afar. The Bank was very significant in assisting these industries, as well as becoming a respected landmark on Hampton Street. The building would have been considered substantial in size and aesthetics at the time of construction, with its Federation Free Classical elements.
Aesthetic Value
Although altered, the building’s façade has retained evidence of its original style overall.
It forms an important part of a significant streetscape which contains many fine late nineteenth century and early twentieth century buildings and retains much of the ambience of a pre World War One rural town centre.
Historic Value
The Commercial Bank of Australia (fmr) is of historic value as the third bank to have been established in Bridgetown and for the bank’s contribution to the growth of the town in the early twentieth century.
Research Value
N/A
Social Value
A community meeting place for both employees and clientele.

Physical Description

This is a single storey, painted brick building (built to the street frontage) with an attached former residence (set back from the street). The main façade of the bank features a flat moulded parapet over a projecting moulded string with dentils. Detailing indicates that it was originally face brick with a contrasting rendered string course at window sill height (which can still be seen on the southern side wall and, less clearly, to the now painted main façade).
The place originally had a central door to the main banking chamber (now partly blocked up and replaced by a matching window), flanked by arched windows, all capped by simple label moulds.
The building is split level. The lower front level (behind the original front door of the Bank) was the original customer service area and Manager’s office, where a strong hold room/safe remains in situ. The upper level contains original offices to the right and the protruding wall of the family lounge room to the left, with a central corridor leading through to the rest of the former family residence. A doorway in the hall separated the bank from the rear residence, which included three bedrooms (now offices) and a bathroom. At the end of the hallway the external back door is of very heavy wood with a metal sheet overlay. The formal house entry was from a verandah on the front north side of the bank, leading into the family lounge/reception room.
Additions include a white brick extension beyond the rear external hallway door, a front reception built on the front northern side of the bank (behind which the original verandah area is now a full length enclosed space). Detailing remaining internally includes original skirtings and door surrounds, as well as some wall chamfering.
The original external night safe (not in use) still exists in the front wall.

History

The former Commercial Bank of Australia was constructed in April 1909.
“Bridgetown is becoming quite an important centre. On the 8th. inst. a new branch of the Commercial Bank was opened under the management of Mr. Fretwell late of Donnybrook. This makes the third bank, the other two being, the West Australian and the National.”
Other newspaper articles confirm that it was one of a number of new building erected by the bank in rural towns at that time:
“Perhaps, however, the most noticeable feature in the growth of the country towns is the number of new banks which have been and are being built and opened ….. The Commercial Bank of Australia has been very enterprising in this respect. In the last few months this institution has erected or has in hand a number of branch banks, including new promises in Northam, Subiaco, Pingelly, Donnybrook, Bridgetown, and Wickepin, most of these are large, substantial banking premises, with residences attached, showing that the bank has sufficient faith in the permanency of our agricultural areas to invest a large amount in permanent buildings … These various buildings have been designed by and carried out under the supervision of Messrs. Cavanagh, Cavanagh, and Parry, architects.”
The former Commercial Bank of Australia, Bridgetown was built two years after its Donnybrook counterpart and of the same design. The Donnybrook building retains its central front door and parapet balustrading and some façade banding.
The original residence was adjoined directly behind the front office, not protruding to the north side as it now does. This alteration/addition seems to have included removing a rear chimney, as evidenced in an early photo, in which the parapet above the dentils can also be seen as an open design.
The front windows may have been somewhat altered in December 1911, after a fire which completely destroyed Toyer’s Drapery on the opposite side of Hampton Street caused the front windows of the Commercial Bank to crack and the window frames to warp.
The building has been occupied by an accounting company since 1989.

Integrity/Authenticity

Medium
The original use of the bank can still be readily interpreted and the place continues to be used for commercial purposes.
Medium
Alterations to the facade have diminished its authenticity.

Condition

Good

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Cavanagh James, Michael & Parry, George Architect - -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
The Blackwood Times (1905 - 1920) Tuesday pg3 19/12/1911
Bunbury Herald 17/04/1909
Contemporary newspaper reports (trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper)
Western Mail 18/06/1910

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
A4981 Assess No (Shire Ref)
No.B17 MI Place No.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5706 Bridgetown : a selection of historical buildings. Report 1989

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg
Present Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg

Architectural Styles

Style
Federation Free Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Tin

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

13 Mar 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

15 Jul 2019

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.