Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tattered Bookmarks - Blast from the past

Here I am down in Lower Riley Street, just before in ends close to the Domain Parking Station. Yet another awesome view of Centrepoint Tower. But that is not my main reason for being here. What I want to show you is yet another old sign from a previous age.

Built in 1904, this old building was once known as Julip House, and is on the corner of Riley Street and Busby Lane. Busby was the engineer who constructed Sydney's first water supply. Brandt Bros. was established in 1878, and still exists - in an emaciated form over in Devonshire Street. Brandt Bros merged part of its operations with TW Sands & Co in Melbourne which has everything for the old kero lamp devotee!

336 Pitt Street is just north of Liverpool Street, but is now a glass and faux-marble modern abomination which has a Chinese restaurant on the ground floor.


Joe said...

I do like the old signs. They provide a small glimpse into a different era. I've often thought it might be nice to make a series of cards using images of these old signs. Trouble is I like symmetry with height and widths ratios being correct. The signs are often high up and unless I can get a crane to lift me up in front of them the perspective is skewed.

Jim said...

I like a ghost sign.

Carole M. said...

always interesting history lessons

Joan Elizabeth said...

Ghost signs are such fun but even more so when the story behind them is revealed. Thanks for your always dedicated work.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Love these old ghost signs that seem so embedded in the brick walls of old buildings! This Brandt building begs for a little loving restoration! The roof line feature looks as if it was once very attractive! Fascinating post!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

These ghost signs are wonderful - you can use software to correct the perspective if need be - although that can a little distortion.

Unknown said...

That building used to belong to my family - we reluctantly sold it 1989 or 1990 to settle several family members' estates which all held shares and had become unmanageable. My grandfather, Fred Brandt, named it Julip house after Justine and Philip, my mother and uncle. JULIP was also the telegraph address for his import/export business.

The new owners of the building renovated it extensively and little or none of the internal fabric is left. It used to have two splendid brass door handles on a central front door and the ground floor had a mezzanine balcony running across the back where the book keepers used to sit. It was a carpet show room when I used to visit my grandfather there, and his office was up the back, with the mezzanine used for storage.

A wooden staircase wound its way to the top floor, and a trapdoor opened into the attic which was an artist's studio in the late 1980s. There were also huge wooden beams and pillars holding up the internal structure. They were painted black with fireproof paint.

A shaft with a hoist ran the height of the building on the Northern elevation with big double doors that opened over the side lane - where the big window is now at the side of the building. I imagine they would have unloaded trucks and drays parked on the lane. As a young boy that hoist and shaft filled me with fascination.

The building is built above a stream that runs into Wolloomooloo bay and the basement would flood when there was a king tide.

The Brandts owned several buildings in the city and East Sydney. My mother and uncle tell me stories of having a special pass to see the newsreels in the little cinema in their building in Pitt Street, which became the Greater Union Pitt Centre.

My Grandfather used to tell me stories of working in the basement of their building in Castlereagh Street and listening to the draft horses clip clopping along the street towing heavy loads, as was customary well into the first half of the 20th Century.

I think the Brandt Bros business was sold after the WWII to the people who now operate it in Devonshire Street.

Unknown said...

Correction: I just drove by this morning. The goods lift was in the space where the blank stretch of wall is, next to the pair of windows at the side.