Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Heritage lift - take your mobile

A little while back, I expressed my delight in being a luddite, and showed you the entrance to No.2 Martin Place, now occupied by Pasapaley Pearls. This building started life as the banking chamber for The Australasian Bank, which has now circuitously morphed into the ANZ Bank.

If, instead of nipping into the George Street entrance, one enters via the Martin Place entrance shown in my final photograph today, one discovers this most delightful old lift, on which a most discrete sign says: 'Heritage lift - please ensure you have a mobile'. The building was constructed during 1902 - 1904, and the lift is original.

This land, on the east side of George Street opposite the original Barracks Square, had been built upon from the early days of the colony. Originally the Bank of Australasia’s site was on two distinct titles. The two titles were converted to a single title at the beginning of 1904. The building was designed by Edward E Raht, an architect from New York (but born in Austria) who arrived in Australia in July 1891.

The street facades are constructed of "Bowral trachyte" from Mount Gibraltar microsyenite quarry in the southern highlands of NSW. The work was carried out by Loveridge and Hudson who were important masonry contractors with skilled banker masons as well as their own trachyte quarries. The two large basement levels extend 5 metres under Martin Place and are lit by deep wells on all three facades, with pavement lights.

I am indebted to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for many of these details.

13 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

Gorgeous Julie, great post.

Steffe said...

That is a very impressive old building.

Jim said...

Fantastic. I've never been inside that building.

Carole M. said...

you open our eyes Julie to these secret spaces and places; lovely photos and post

hamilton said...

I would definitely go for a ride in that lift!!

Ann said...

I think that's one of the most beautiful old lifts I've seen, not sure if I've actually seen it in real life.

Kay L. Davies said...

Gorgeous old lift, Julie.
K

GW Bill Miller said...

What an elegant old elevator, or lift as you say. How has it manage to escape the cruel hands of renovation for over a century?

Mo said...

The bank building here are also very grand. We would not be permitted to take photos inside though.

Julie Storry said...

Ah, nor we here Mo. But this building was de-frocked, so to speak. It ceased being a bank building and is now commercially leased. So really anything goes ... and people went up and down the staircase and did not stop me. However, the front entrance (into Pasapaley Pearls) has a security guy on the door.

Joe said...

A beautiful lift. Hope it's classified by the National Trust. Think I would take the stairs.

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

Absolutely stunning Julie!!

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a magnificent contraption. I find the buildings in that part of the city quite wonderful.