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Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Woolstores, 36 Vernon Tce, Newstead, QLD, Australia

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List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (30/05/1995)
Place ID 16636
Place File No 4/01/001/0267
Statement of Significance
The AML and F Company Ltd Warehouse, designed in 1912, is significant as two buildings designed in the Federation Warehouse style of architecture which are good examples of warehouse design for the period. The buildings display characteristics of this idiom such as the small paned windows, bays broken between piers, exaggerated keystones and contrasting materials. Their proportioning and the considered but sparing use of decoration provide these utilarian structures with aesthetically pleasing and bold appearances (Criterion D.2 and E.1). The buildings are significant for displaying a combination of architectural design, construction technique and woolhandling equipment and illustrate the high degree of creative and technical development within this most important Australian industry (Criterion F.1). The AML and F Warehouse is significant as being part of the Teneriffe Precinct of woolstores fronting Brisbane river for some 1.5km. The form and fabric of its two buildings reflect developmental stages in the economic history of the wool industry, modifications in technology and changes in marketing as well as the history of quayage and shipping along the Brisbane River. The Woolstore, as part of a precinct, is significant as being central to the wool trade, which was Queensland's most lucrative export commodity at that time. The precinct is Queensland's only grouping of such substantial industrial structures dedicated to a single function (Criteria A.4, D.2 and E.1). The buildings are significant as fine examples of brick and timber woolstores built in Australian ports to serve the wool industry, which involved industrial processes now redundant (Criterion B.2). The Woolstore is significant as the work of Robin S Dods, a leading Australian architect. Dods' use of brick detailing, paired beams and show floor structure makes the AML and F Woolstore a distinctive element in the Teneriffe Precinct (Criteria H.1 and D.2).
Official Values Not Available
Description
The Teneriffe AML and F (Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Company Limited) buildings are four storey and two storey brick warehouses. The lower level of the main warehouse contains the loading bays, which are sheltered by an awning, supported off the building. The exterior of the building has piers of rusticated brickwork, which divide the facade into bays. The windows have segmental arched heads and a pattern of glazing bars in pivoted sashes. The building is topped with a parapet which contains the name of the company in large lettering. The AML and F is a typical example of a warehouse built in the Federation Warehouse style of architecture. Designed by the architectural firm of Hall and Dods, it varies from other warehouses commonly found in Queensland. Its proportioning and the considered but sparing use of decoration provides this utilitarian structure with an aesthetically pleasing and bold appearance. It is not known if Dods designed any other warehouses. Dods' other work include the design of many domestic homes in the Brisbane district as well as a few hospitals and churches. The AML and F, an English-Australian company incorportated in 1863, had offices in London, Sydney, Melbourne and in Brisbane by 1910 when its Vernon Terrace land was purchased. The company employed leading architect R S Dods and builders Walls and Juster to create an elegant but functional woolstore during 1912, thereby taking advantage of the 1910s boom in wool. The building was opened on 24 September 1912 and at the time the store was described as the largest of its kind in the world. The bricks used were reportedly imported from England, being used as balast in the woolships. It was used as a venue for a ball in honour of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 13th April, 1927. The original Hall and Dods architectural plans included a second store, which was built in about 1922 to cope with the subsequent boom of the 1920s. The property was sold in 1980 to Pacific Fire Protection Pty Ltd, which used Level 3 for customer storage, while leasing Level 4 to T L Tourrier and Company Pty Ltd Woolstore. All space is currently leased. The buildings, made up of English bond cream brick have a four storey section along Vernon Terrace and a two storey section along Ethel/Florence Streets. The brickwork is dominated by the projecting piers between windows which have every fourth course of recessed dark brickwork. Dark bricks also form a pattern in the recessed bays between piers.The third floor windows have rendered keystones. The top of the building features a rendered string course with brick corbels and a rendered parapet and coping. On the south side is AML and F Company Limited and on the east side is Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Company Limited. A segmental arched rendered porch was the original entry from Ethel Street near the east side. Each of the windows has a segmental arch and timber centre pivotted sash windows with twelve paned sashes. Sills are brick and there is a three row header course above the segmental arches. The ground level windows along Ethel Street change their sill level as the ground slopes and the sill has maintained a reasonably consistent height from the ground which meant that the lower sash has varied. Along the eastern side is a projecting corrugated iron canopy over a loading area. The loading platform is lower than other woolstores. This canopy is steel framed and suspended by steel rods with turnbuckles. Large openings with timber sliding doors face the loading platform. Some openings have been modified. a cartway with corrugated iron roof canopy over and a series of loading bays exist along the western side. However, some bays are up to 2m above ground level. The roof is a sawtooth design with south facing timber framed lights. The roof is distinguished by roof ventilators and tongue and groove lining. Original panelled refreshment and dressingrooms are also retained on the upper floor. Rainwater heads are just underneath the top string course with downpipes running down beside the projecting brickwork. The internal structure consists of timber columns (about 300mm x 300mm) and timber beams and about 300mm x 100mm joists with two rows of herringbone strutting in between. Beams bear directly onto a small metal "L" section cap sitting on top of the columns and the columns above bear onto the larger beams. Between the beams are timber joists at about 450mm centres. The internal structure of the older section (north side) has twin 300mm x 100mm timber beams in lieu of the usual solid section. This isan unusual detail. The top floor has steel columns consisting of back to back T-sections bolted together with plates between. The roof trusses have a timber top member, a T-section steel strut plus rod tie and hanger. There is a composite truss member between columns with timber struts and steel rod ties. The ceiling is lined with boards and the south lights have boarding below them. Three internal timber stairs have simple details with two timber rails. The masonry wall separating the two stages does not occur on the top floor. A sliding fire door is located across the openings through the wall on the lower levels. The top part of the second floor is partitioned with metal sheeting to create storage areas. The ground floor is concrete, internal brickwork is face brickwork and appears to be sealed. Timber stairs provide access to upper floors.The whole area is sprinklered. The two storey section to the west is about 8m from the main woolstores. These woolstores are a similar construction to the main building but only two storeys high and less detail in the facades. The brick parapet has no detail or relief and is capped. On the west side the parapet is stepped and contains the lettering AML and F Company Ltd. An elevated walkway links both buildings at first floor level. Ground floor windows have bars over them. On the western side there are two large openings with roller shutter doors, rendered concrete lintels and two personnel access doors. One of the doors at the western side has louvre shutters fixed back to the brickwork beside it. Windows to this section consist of pivotted windows, each with two light sashes. The curved heads have three rows of header bricks and the sills are rendered. Between the two buildings and south of the Florence Street facade are brick gateposts of similar design to the piers on the main buildings (ie three courses of cream brick and one recessed dark brick). These gateposts are topped with a sandstone sculptured capping. The building along Florence Street is slightly different. Internally it has columns about 300mm x 300mm and 300mm x 300mm main beams. The beams are supported on a timber capital with a 200mm x 200mm column above. Timber joists 250mm x 50mm are at 500mm centres and the strutting is by solid pieces of timber. A sprinkler system exists and the external walls are painted. An office is located along the west side which has a ceiling.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
The building's use as of 1992 was a mixture of retail outlets, office space and storage space. The wool stores are exceptionally intact externally. However, the whole interior has been partitioned and modified to provide for retail outlets, office accommodation and storage facilities. Five windows on the second floor, on the Vernon Terrace facade have had the lower half replaced with aluminium framed casement windows. One window (second floor one bay from west) on the south side has a lower sash removed and a loading platform inserted. A few of the windows, particularly on Ethel Street, have been altered by the insertion of louvres and window mounted air conditioning units. The building is generally in good condition and there is no real evidence of movement or cracking in the brickwork. There is some rust around the canopy on the Vernon Terrace side including the corrugated iron and the gutter. Rainwater heads throughout are also rusting. Paintwork on the windows is generally in good condition, although some windows are in need of a repaint. The brickwork at the lower levels of the west side along Florence Street has severely eroded mortar and exfoliation of brown bricks due to rising damp. Metal guards around the openings on the western side are rusted. Of the three gateposts that exist, two are missing their ball on the top. The only ball that remains is the one closest to the main building in Ethel Street. Internally the structure is sound although the floors are uneven. The roof leaks in several locations. (1992 Report)
Location
36 Vernon Terrace, corner Ethel Street, Newstead
Bibliography
Apperley, R., Irving, R., Reynolds, P.,(1989). A Pictorial Guide to
Identifying Australia Architecture: Styles and Terms from 1788 to the
Present. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Coutts, J.V.D.,(Ed.). The Architectural and Building Journal of
Queensland Ltd. Gordon and Gotch, 1922-1940. Brisbane.

Cox, Richardson, Taylor and Partners Pty Ltd (June 1992). Teneriffe
Woolstores Heritage Study - Urban Renewal Task Force. Brisbane City
Council.

Riddel, R.,(1991). Second Annual Show Day Tour: Souvenir Booklet. A
Selection of the Works of R S Dods.

Watson, D., McKay, J.A.,(1984). A Directory of Queensland Architects
to 1940. University of Queensland Library, St Lucia.

Report Produced  Thu Sep 18 21:49:27 2014