Record Chambers - 479-481 Collins Street. MELBOURNE [Walking Melbourne Building Information]
Walking Melbourne

Record Chambers: 479-481 Collins Street, MELBOURNE

Record Chambers

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Building Profile

Name : Record Chambers

Location

Address: 479-481 Collins Street
City: MELBOURNE

Postcode: 3000


Construction Details

Built: 1887
Original use: Office
Current use: Office

number of floors : 4

Built in the Victorian period in the Academic Classical style

Notable features

The facade, which is the most significant part of the building, is an expression of free classicism. It is arranged as four bays, the central two projecting slightly towards the street. Engaged columns and pilasters define each bay. A caryatid terminus (half-female figure on a pedestal) takes the place of the central column on the second storey. The four large arched windows to the first and second storeys contrast to the eight smaller windows on the third storey. A prominent cornice and a segmental pediment crown the second storey. The top of the building is decorated with a bracketed cornice, with balustraded parapet and four urns. The words Record Chambers are inscribed in the centre balustrade.

History

The printing and publishing firm of McCarron, Bird & Co. was established in 1872 in Flinders Lane west. Among their early publications was the Australasian Insurance and Banking Record, founded in 1876. The Record, which later gave its name to the Record Chambers building, was pre-eminent amongst insurance and banking journals in Australia. Other publications by the company included Alexander Sutherlands Victoria and Its Metropolis (1888), and numerous journals, including Australasian Trade Review and Manufacturers Journal, Australian Brewers Journal and Temperance News. In 1887 the partnership moved to their own purpose built premises, the Record Chambers building, designed by J A B Koch and built by G B Leith of Flemington. Koch was from Germany and many of his designs betray German Baroque roots. The printing works incorporated lithography, engraving and bookbinding. The ground floor served as a retail stationary shop. The Collins Street facade retains the original ground floor arrangement of two entrances (one pedestrian, one vehicular) flanking a large shop window. The iron gate, which gave access to the laneway leading to the rear, is now fixed in an open position. An entrance lobby replaced the shop window in the 1980s. The lobby serves the new office tower located at the rear of the building, as well as office space within the Olderfleet, Record Chambers and South Australian Insurance buildings.

Architect: J.A.B Koch




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