Dun and Bradstreet Building
This is a severely utilitarian, or industrial, four-storey building, designed to admit maximum light through its metal framed and mullioned north-facing windows. The building is of red brick with a simple parapet that conceals the roof and a nameplate high up on the main elevation. The alternately bevel-set and right-angle set bricks around the windows of the first and second storeys and the central nameplate are a minimalist decorative element. There is a simple suspended verandah across the front. The building has concrete floors, two stairways and a rear lift. In 1984, when alterations were made, the architects reported that the 100mm wide walls adjoining the stairways were made of non load-bearing terra-cotta block, plastered both sides.
This building has been assessed as meeting local heritage criteria in accordance with the Development Act (1993). However, despite its nomination for heritage listing by the Adelaide City Council, the Minister for Planning has refused to approve the listing, leaving this building without heritage protection.
Current status and listings
The building is of heritage value because it retains its original scale, form and fabric and exhibits good quality external detailing. It is of value also for the manner in which its distinctive design and detailing reflects the changing commercial nature of Currie Street. It illustrates several key themes in the city’s history: 3.5.2 Retail and Wholesale Industry; 3.5.4 Smaller Retail Establishments; 3.5.5 Warehousing; 3.8.4 Manual work; 4.3.2 Twentieth Century Architects; 4.3.3 Building Materials; 4.5.4 Inter War Commercial (1920s to 1942); 4.7.1 Adaptive re-use.
This building replaced that constructed in 1877 for Messrs ER Priestly and Co. Edward Rowland Priestly, William Mofflin and Henry Thallon were merchants, and the new 1877 Gothic style building was designed by John Hannagan of Melbourne. The building was owned and leased by various firms and individuals, including Robert J Coombs (leased), George Wilcox (leased), Charles Atkins Co. Ltd, SC Eyles & Co. merchant and importer, until it was acquired in September 1928 by electrical engineer Edward A Johnstone.
Johnstone of Unbehaun & Johnstone Ltd, lost no time in engaging the services of architect Laybourne-Smith of Bagot, Jory & Laybourne-Smith to design a new building for the site. By November 1928, the architects had completed plans and called tenders for the erection of a three-storey building to replace that previously occupied by SC Eyles & Co. The tender was awarded to HSC Jarvis, of Croydon, with the final cost of construction noted as £6,247. In July of 1929, Unebehaun & Johnston Ltd were leasing the building and did so until December 1946.
The firm of Dun & Bradstreet (Aust) Pty Ltd, Victoria, acquired the title to the site in April 1978. RG Dun merged with the John M. Bradstreet companies (founded in 1849 in Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1933. This business credit-rating firm retains a branch in Adelaide. D&B (Australia) Pty Ltd reflects many of the disparate commercial interests of its parent company. Dun and Bradstreet represented the Mercantile Trade Protection Association of SA Ltd (established in 1879, and formerly with offices in the Savings Bank of South Australia building, King William Street).