Thursday, December 2, 2010

Darlinghurst: Heritage Items: 52 Oxford Street

52 Oxford Street
- Register of the National Estate, City of Sydney Council Heritage List
I've written about my preoccupation with signage before and I think the London Chambers building, at 52 Oxford Street, provides a good example of how modern, commercial signs can be used in sympathy with a building's heritage.
This signage was put up sometime in the late 1980s - or maybe it was during the 90s - when the building was home to the trendy Rococo restaurant. I like the way the discrete font clings around the building, highlighting its beautiful curve, without distracting from the design.
It's funny how the somewhat camouflaged signage still remains, considering Rococo has since closed up shop and the building is now home to Sitar Indian Restaurant, whose own signage consists of a garishly coloured light-box and wall sign near the entrance way. Sitar should have instead called itself Rococo Indian Restaurant and made do with the signage that was already there.
Commissioned by the London Bank in 1912, this Federation Free Style building was designed by Sheerin and Hennessy Architects and built by the blokes at Wheelright and Alderson.
The London Bank, later taken over by the ES&A Bank, operated from the purpose-built building for many years, which is probably why it is known as London Chambers. The building also goes by the names, the Burton Building and the ANZ Bank, so perhaps that bank operated from there at some point too.
In 1976 the building was purchased by W.J. Shipton Holdings and a development application was lodged to operate a restaurant from the site. In 1987 the building was sold as four separate titles to one family, the Moons, for $1.405 million. The Moons still own the building, which is one of the stand-outs on Oxford Street - both inside and out.
A visit to the Sitar Indian Restaurant is worthwhile just to see the glorious ceiling.


Nicky Minus said...

rococo is an italian biscuit we sell at my shop!

rashid2626 said...

my darling is good