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Westpac Bank Building (fmr)

Author

City of Vincent

Place Number

08707
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Location

452 Fitzgerald St North Perth

Location Details

Local Government

Vincent

Region

Metropolitan

Construction Date

Constructed from 1938

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 13 Nov 1995 Category B

Category B

Conservation Recommended

Statewide Bank Survey Completed 01 Nov 1997

Heritage Council

Statement of Significance

Westpac Bank (former) is a fine example of the Interwar Stripped Classical style which gives the bank an imposing presence in the townscape and possibly the only such example in the Town of Vincent. Historically, it is significant for associations with the Bank of New South Wales and the growth of the North Perth district and commercial centre.

Physical Description

The two storey purpose built bank building has distinct Classical features including a strong vertical emphasis and symmetry of detail. It has fine stucco detailing on the parapet. The windows and entrance are highlighted with stucco bands. The vertical proportions of openings and spandrels, with the absence of any porch or awning, emphasise the presence of the bank within the townscape. Zero setback in commercial street. Front doors are not original. The tiles at the base are a later addition, and the original window frames have been replaced. Conversion to a residence and commercial premises (late 1990's).

History

The Bank of New South Wales was established in New South Wales in 1817, and opened its first branch in Western Australia in Perth, in 1883. During the Eastern States Depression of the 1890s, the Bank looked to Western Australia as an area of growth, opening four branches in the Goldfields. On 29 March 1927, it merged with the Western Australian Bank, which gave it over 30% of bank business in the State. The bank premise at No. 452 Fitzgerald Street was built in 1938. The building was designed by prominent Perth architects Hobbs, Forbes and Partners and built by Sandwell and Wood for the sum of £5,111. This architectural firm had been responsible for the design of numerous bank premises throughout the State since the 1890s. The opening of the branch in Fitzgerald Street indicated the growing economic optimism of the late 1930s, following the end of the Great Depression. The closure of the branch in the 1990s was one of a number across the country. The closures can be attributed largely to changing technology and the modern propensity for corporate downsizing to maximise profits. More recently a branch of the Bendigo Bank was opened in Vincent House at No. 431 Fitzgerald Street. This bank. whose head office is in Bendigo, Victoria was first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1985. Since its closure the former Westpac Bank has been converted to a residence and commercial premises. The building appears to be the only pre-1940 bank building remaining in the Town of Vincent.

Integrity/Authenticity

Moderate degreee

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Hobbs, Forbes & Partners Architect - -

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg
Original Use COMMERCIAL Bank
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence

Architectural Styles

Style
Inter-War Stripped Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

19 Jun 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

02 Jan 2018

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.