Warehouse ripe for transformation into a unique residence or commercial space. Metres from art galleries, wine bars, restaurants, Spice Alley and the Central Park residential development. In the centre of a thriving education precinct, it is surrounded by the University of Sydney, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the International Grammar School and the Australian Performing Arts Grammar School.
The warehouse of solid brick construction with timber windows and steel roof, fills a 420m2 site, part of the old Blackfriars Estate. It was constructed for W.A. Davidson, shirt manufacturer, in 1900 and when the original timber floors were sanded back and polished in the 1990s, dozens of industrial sewing machine needles were discovered in the process. Over the years, it has served as a factory, the import headquarters of Alfa Romeo cars and a publishing house. The building's unusual curved shape on Buckland Street follows the course of the old Blackwattle Creek, which once ran through William Chippendale's original farm.
One of the very few remaining warehouses from the period, it features federation windows all the way along three sides together with massive arched doorways to its three street frontages. North facing, its windows reflect dappled light off the massive interior timber beams that support a large mezzanine running through the centre of the first floor. This provides an additional 100m2 of internal floor space, which is currently used for larger meetings and as a breakout area and includes a full size billiard table. Glass louvre shutter windows run the full length of the building and bring light and ventilation to the mezzanine.
The exterior was restored in the 1990's with paint stripped from the brickwork and the timber windows and doors repaired and repainted in uniform colours. The interior was renovated at the same time with batts and reflective foil insulation installed in the roof and its wide timber ceiling boards repainted white throughout.
Home to an established Sydney advertising agency for the past 20 years with a motor vehicle workshop on the ground floor, this is a building of great character and presence.
Named as general heritage building No. 1171 in the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012, its handsome exterior sets it apart in the Chippendale landscape. Plans by award winning architect, Andre Porebski & Associates, creating an additional half floor with roof garden were council approved in 1998 (now lapsed) and are available for inspection.