Friday 3 February 2023

Bank of New South Wales (Westpac)

Bank of New South Wales (Westpac)

121 Argyle Street
Lot 1, DP 215368
-34.05426277728778, 150.69582848633004

History and Description

The current two-storey building was built in 1936 and replaced the former Crofts hotel (Woolpack Inn) that was used as a banking chamber from 1873. (Willis, 2015)

This interwar two-story banking chamber was built in 1936 by Camden builder Harry Willis & Sons. The building has a residence upstairs and a banking chamber downstairs. (Willis 2015)

Designed by Sydney architects Peddle, Thorp & Walker, influenced by American design in the 1920s. This renowned firm was established in Sydney in 1889 and designed Science House, cnr Gloucester and Essex Sts, Sydney, which won the inaugural Sir John Sulman Medal in 1932. (PTW)

In 1936 the Sydney Morning Herald stated the building had a ‘commodious banking chamber and offices for the staff’. ‘Textured brick’ was used for ‘facing’ throughout the building ‘relieved by lighter coloured treatment of the external woodwork. The bank entrance at the splayed angle at the intersection of the two streets will be treated with specially brick architraves and pediment surmounted by a synthetic sandstone ornamental shield.’ The interior was treated with polished maple woodwork throughout. ‘The Georgian character design will be a colourful and artistic addition to the architecture of this historic town’. (SMH, 14 Jult 1936)

The NSW Heritage Inventory states: ‘The 1936 two-storey glazed and rough brick building with double hung windows and tiled roof. Its detailing includes quoining and multipaned windows, typical characteristics of the Georgian Revival style.’ (HNSW)

Westpac closed the Camden branch in 2020, and the building remains vacant.

Condition and Use

The building is in good condition, although currently vacant.

Heritage Significance

This elegant 1930s two-storey Georgian Revival brick building is located and designed to address its prominence on the corner of John and Argyle Streets. It contributes to Camden township's substantial eclectic fabric and overall cultural significance. (HNSW)

A building from the interwar period in the Camden townscape within the Camden Town Centre Conservation Area. The building retains its historic integrity and is intact.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I-11

NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280149

Read more

Camden Heritage Walking Tour

Ian Willis, 2015, Pictorial History Camden & District. Kingsclear Books, Sydney.

Ian Willis, 2009, The Interwar Heritage of a Country Town, Spirit of Progress, Vol 10, No 3.