London and Lancashire Building: 400 - 402 Collins Street, MELBOURNE
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Building ProfileName : London and Lancashire Building
LocationAddress: 400 - 402 Collins Street
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1940
Original use: Bank
Current use: Office
Built in the Forties period in the Palazzo style
The facade of stone is severe Italian Renaissance in style, the first and second floors being the original 1865 building. Decoration includes rustication in the form of quoins, segmental pediments over the first floor windows, and a bracketted cornice at the top surmounted by a balustraded parapet. The importance of the facade is the part it plays in the streetscape near the Collins Street-Queen Street intersection. Its crowning cornice aligns neatly with the leading edge of the adjacent bank on the corner and the similar monumental nature and restrained texture of the facade make it an important companion to the bank and a buffer from less harmonious buildings further to the west.
History: In 1865 the Rate Book records a large stone building (of seven rooms) in course of erection for the Australasian Insurance Company. This company was to own the site during the whole of the nineteenth century under a variety of titles including the Australian Alliance Insurance Company and at one stage the building was known as Australian Chambers. At the time of building the Bank of Australasia owned the corner site to Queen Street. The building shows clearly on illustrations of the period as an imposing office structure. The original architect is unknown. In 1940 A S and R A Eggleston were architects for considerable extensions and renovations including adding three top floors in matching design (the demarcation line is still evident), a new and monumental grey stone facade to the ground floor, extensions to the rear of the site, provision of lifts and new stairs and extensive restructuring and partitioning. The extension of the building was very successful, for while changes were made at ground floor, the style of the original facade in the upper two floors was maintained and continued up the new facade.Architect: A S and R A Eggleston
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