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J McKail & Co.


City of Albany

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


82-84 Stirling Tce Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Albany Light Opera Company Building
Drew Robinson & Co (fmr)
Dylan's on the Tce, Adelaide Steamship Co Bld

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1880

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
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.

Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Considerable


Very important to the heritage of the locality.

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 amongst a group of significant buildings along Stirling Terrace
• Two storey structure
• Roof concealed by parapet wall with decorative accents on skyline
• Symmetrical façade richly modelled in masonry with classical decorative motifs
• Arched windows framed by classical columns (meant to resemble classical temples)
• Cantilevered awning finished with timber filigree

Some obvious modifications include:
• Removal of the original verandah
• Central window has been blanked off
• Lower storey windows
• Additional colour detailing added to external colour scheme
• Automated front doors

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


The J. McKail & Co. store was built on Town Lot S22 that originally had two street frontages, Stirling Terrace and Frederick St. The original owner of this land was merchant, builder and entrepreneur John McKail. Before this store was constructed there were other buildings/warehouses on his land running from Stirling Terrace to Frederick Street. McKail died in 1871 and the business of J McKail & Co was then carried on by William Jenkins Gillam, William Grills Knight and John Frederick McKail.
This building was built as a new J McKail & Co. store in 1880. The builder was Charles Donat Keyser – who also built the National Bank building next door (1881), Union Bank (Albany House) (1884), and the store for Edward Treasure on York Street (Treasure’s Building, 137-139 York St) (1882) the latter being an identical copy of this building. The imminent opening of the new store was reported in the West Australian on 19 March 1880, also noting that its fine design had already caught the eye Edward Treasure:
Messrs. J. McKail & Co.'s new store is completed and stocked, and will open on Saturday next. It is the handsomest building in the town, having a beautiful front to Stirling Terrace… Mr. Edward Treasure, one of our most enterprising sheep farmers, has become so struck with the architectural magnificence of this new building, and with the lucrative nature of storekeeping, that he has given the builder, Mr. C. Keyser, orders to erect him a store in York street, on exactly the same plans in every respect. The work is progressing, and in a short time we shall see another building erected which will be a credit to the owner and an adornment to the town.

The exterior of the building was painted soon after it was completed and plans for the erection of a National Bank premises next door were also underway, which would also be built by Keyser:
McKail & Co's. new store, recently finished, has been painted outside, and the pretty little structure now presents an appearance that would not disgrace any of the neatest buildings in the other colonies. I hear the National Bank intends to build on a piece of ground close to McKail's, and if they put up a building that will compare with the one next door, it will be a wonderful improvement to the "terrace." (The Herald (Fremantle) 5 June 1880 p. 3)

Drew Robinson & Co.
When Gillam retired in 1883, he was replaced by John Robinson former bank manager of the National Bank. J McKail & Co. was liquidated in 1887 and in 1888 Robinson purchased the company with Charles Drew who together had formed Drew Robinson & Co. Early photographs show advertising for the company painted on the eastern side of the building. A later 1890s photograph shows a sign for the Adelaide Steamship Company on the eastern face. Tenants in 1897 included Victor Elliot, Hairdresser and Tobacconist. A 1902 photograph advertises Offord’s Engineering and Carriage Works and Central Coffee Palace. In 1936 the building was called the King’s Albany Hostel and in the 1960s was used by Tom the Cheap (grocer) and as home to the Albany Light Opera Company. At one time it was also known as the Crystal Café.

In the late 1970s the building was under threat of demolition due to its poor state of disrepair and the proposed sale of the property by the liquidators of Tom the Cheap. However, in 1978, the Albany Town Council determined not to allow demolition of the building to go ahead under the provisions of Part VI of its Town Planning Scheme No 1.

In 1983 the owner of the building restored the place. Plans were made to replace the 1960s cantilevered awning with a verandah based on the original built c1910. The new structure was, however, still an awning with timber filigree work. The building became known as “Dylan’s on the Terrace”.

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/Moderate
Authenticity: High/Moderate




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

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
7665 Design parameters for Stirling Terrace heritage areas. Heritage Study {Other} 2000
5038 Stirling Terrace, Albany : conservation plan. March 2001. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2001

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Theatre or Cinema
Present Use COMMERCIAL Restaurant

Architectural Styles

Victorian Free Classical

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Cultural activities

Creation Date

27 Jun 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

26 May 2022


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