inHerit Logo

Drew Robinson & Co (fmr)


City of Albany

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


130-140 Stirling Tce Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Harris Scarfe, Boans

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1891

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 Considerable


Very important 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 in a group of significant commercial buildings in Stirling Terrace
• Two storey construction
• Top storey has high integrity while the lower storey has been significantly altered
• Top storey has a number of typical characteristics of a Federation Free Style building
• Asymmetrical
• Paired groups of arched windows with classical pillars and prominent architraves
• Top and lower entablatures across building
• Parapet wall concealing roof

Some obvious modifications include:
• Single storey extension to eastern end
• Tower demolished (c1970)
• Cantilevered box awning removed and replaced with contemporary timber and metal skillion verandah
• Brick frontage on lower storey with aluminium framed windows
• External colour scheme

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


Drew Robinson & Co.
This building is one of a group of significant places on Stirling Terrace. It was built for Drew Robinson and Co and included an adjoining bank premises originally for the Commercial Bank on the west side. The building was designed by John Talbot Hobbs and constructed by builders John Hurst & Son. An existing single storey building to the west was demolished to make way for the new building. It was opened in 1891 and has had a number of different names but has operated almost continuously as a type of department store. By 1910, a bullnose verandah had been added to the department store end (east).

John Robinson had arrived in Albany in 1878 as branch manager of the National Bank of Australia. In 1883 he bought into J McKail & Co the company owned by W. G. Knight and J. F. McKail. J McKail & Co was liquidated in 1887, and in 1888 Robinson purchased this company with partner Charles Drew and took over the business renaming it Drew Robinson & Co. By 1910 the company also had branches at Broomehill, Norseman and Ravensthorpe with the head office being in this building in Stirling Terrace but the company also occupied other significant buildings in Stirling Terrace.

Advertising pre-World War I included the statement that Every Ship that comes to Albany is laden with Cargo for Us. Items available at the store included drapery, millinery, English and Continental groceries, household and furnishing ironmongery, furniture and rattan ware, boots and shoes, confectionery, pharmacy etc.

By 1914, the two storey eastern wing was added to the building surmounted by an arch windowed tower taking the height to around 60ft. A 14ft flagpole was installed on top of the tower. A new verandah was also added to cover the length of the store building. This was later replaced by a cantilevered awning.

In the 1970s the tower above the two storey eastern wing was demolished. Also removed at some time was the open balustrade at parapet level, with piers at each end topped with urns, a raised panel buttressed by scrolls and tympanum.

In 1994 Stirlings occupied the building. Prior to this it had been known as Boans. In 2000 it was occupied by Harris Scarfe then later Rivers. A new verandah was installed c2014.

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: Moderate




Name Type Year From Year To
John Talbot Hobbs Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
R Apperly, R Irving & P Reynolds; "A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture". Angus and Robertson 1989
K Bizzaca; "Stirling Terrace, Albany, Draft Conservation Plan". Considine & Griffiths Architects 2000
L Johnson; "Town of Albany Heritage Survey". 1994

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
Present Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex

Architectural Styles

Federation Academic Classical

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

17 Mar 2000

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

26 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.