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Argyle House


City of Albany

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


42-50 Stirling Tce Albany

Location Details


Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1890

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Some/moderate


Contributes to the heritage of the locality.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category B

Category B

• Requires a high level of protection. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • A more detailed Heritage Assessment/Impact Statement to be undertaken before approval given for any major redevelopment. • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Parent Place or Precinct

14922 Stirling Terrace Precinct, Albany

Statement of Significance

Stirling Terrace Precinct:

Stirling Terrace Precinct, a predominantly late Victorian and Federation period townscape set along a segmented crescent plan overlooking Princess Royal Harbour, Albany and containing a diverse range of building types and styles, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
the historic precinct is a fine and relatively intact example of a late nineteenth century and early twentieth century townscape, dating primarily from 1867 to 1915, demonstrating a range of activities and support infrastructure associated with the foundation and development of a prominent nineteenth century town;
the historic precinct is rare as a prominently located townscape with a town plan dating from the foundation of the settlement with a set of finely designed Victorian and Federation period buildings;
as the original commercial heart of the town, the historic precinct was an important part of the development of the region and the State to varying degrees from the 1830s until World War One when Albany was a prominent town in the Colony and Australia, due to its role as the Colony’s coal depot for the international mail and passenger service, which linked Europe to the eastern colonies. This role was expanded with the addition of regional railways and interstate telegraph links;
viewed from the harbour and from the western approaches to the town, the historic precinct as a whole is a landmark, strengthened by the strong vertical accents of the Royal George Hotel and the former Post Office;
the historic precinct is highly valued by the local community for its aesthetic values and historic associations and, along with the defining topography of the Princess Royal Harbour, Mount Melville and Mount Clarence, is as one of the elements that contributes to the local community’s sense of place and to the identity of Albany;
within the precinct, G.T. Poole’s designs for the Post Office and Court House demonstrate creative excellence and J.T. Hobbs’ design for the Sandover & Co store, which later became Drew Robinson & Co.’s store, at 108-110 Stirling Terrace makes innovative use of large plate glass windows;
the historic precinct includes buildings designed by prominent architects James Manning, Lt. General Sir J. T. Hobbs, J. Herbert Eales, and George T. Poole, and was historically the location of businesses founded and run by significant Albany and regional identities including Thomas Sherratt, Alexander Moir, John Robinson, Charles Drew, Frank Dymes, Edward Barnett, J.F.T. Hassell, and E.G. Everett.

Physical Description

Some of the notable features of this place include:
• Set along major commercial strip on Stirling Terrace
• Two storey building
• Rendered brick façade
• Hipped corrugated iron roof only just above parapet wall
• The words ‘Argyle Buildings’ appear in bas-relief on raised pediment
• Arched windows in a single line connected by string course across second storey of building
• Single rendered chimney stands at one end of the building
• Two shops with recessed doors

Some obvious modifications include:
• Original verandah removed/replaced with cantilevered box verandah – also removed and new skillion verandah supported with posts installed (2014)
• Shops fronts have changed significantly
• External colour scheme

Refer also to: Considine & Griffiths Architects in association with Kris Bizzaca, Stirling Terrace, Albany, Conservation Plan, October 2000.


Argyle Building
This building is situated on what were originally the Hassell family’s paddocks and later the site for a shop run by Mrs James (Emma) Gorman and called ‘Mrs Jas. Gorman’s Confectionery, Fruit, and Fancy Goods Store,’ located opposite the court house’, appears in advertisements in January 1883. The husband was a barber and the wife boarded visiting ships and sold fresh fruit and vegetables. Mrs Gorman returned ashore with exotica for sale in the shop, such as fresh bananas, perfume and lace. By March 1883 she was the proprietor of the ‘Albany Temperance Boarding House’ in lower Spencer Street close to the jetty.

Argyle Buildings is thought to have been constructed in the early 1890s, in a style matching the adjacent Edinburgh House and Glasgow House. The construction date is not clear, but it is known that the Adelaide Steamship Company was a tenant in 1897. The owner in 1901 was Mrs Elizabeth Dunn, and the tenants included George Wills & Co., agents for the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company Ltd, George Johnson Architect, and the Adelaide Steamship Company.

Photographs of Stirling Terrace in 1911 and 1912 indicate that a double storey balcony with timber balustrade and timberwork detail was attached to the Argyle Buildings. Around this time, it was operating at Jones Private Boarding House. It was also tenanted by Albany Electronics then The Classical Music Shop and café.

Over the years, there have been various changes to the verandah and the façade of the building, and all but one of the upstairs windows appear to have been replaced. The cantilevered verandah which was built in 1960 – replacing the 1912 verandah - was replaced in c2014 with a simple contemporary style verandah mainly to provide amenity and ameliorate the structural pressure on the building caused by the former verandah.

Stirling Terrace Precinct
Stirling Terrace is one of the City of Albany’s most significant heritage assets, both as a streetscape and as a collection of Victorian and Federation period buildings overlooking Princess Royal Harbour. Stirling Terrace is located in visually striking topography and its segmented crescent plan form remains basically as it was when first recorded by Surveyor Hillman in 1835. The mature trees and the harmonious architectural composition of diverse building types and styles provide additional visual interest.

Stirling Terrace was developed from the 1830s following the establishment of Albany as part of the Swan River colony, and was an important part of the development of the region and the State to varying degrees from the 1830s until World War One. The 1835 Hillman survey plan set the scene for the emergence of Stirling Terrace as the prime location in the town, with a rich variety of social, commercial, leisure, institutional and service functions. The majority of the built fabric which remains today was completed in the period 1867 to 1915. The buildings were designed by some of the State’s most eminent architects and many were built for prominent citizens and institutions.

Over the years the commercial focus of Albany has moved to York Street, with many institutions, such as banks and the post office relocating there. Free of substantial development pressure at a critical time, Stirling Terrace has managed to retain many of its historic structures and features. Viewed from the harbour, and from the western approach to the town, Stirling Terrace has a landmark quality as a whole.

Refer also to: Considine & Griffiths Architects in association with Kris Bizzaca, Stirling Terrace, Albany, Conservation Plan, October 2000.


Integrity: High
Authenticity: High/Moderate




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
K Bizzaca; "Stirling Terrace, Albany, Draft Conservation Plan". Considine & Griffiths Architects 2000
L Johnson; "Town of Albany Heritage Survey". 1994
Heritage TODA Y Site visit and Assessment 1999

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex
Present Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

27 Jun 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

18 May 2022


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.