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Focus on Early Settlement Architecture - Hobart

Tasmania is one of our favourite travel destinations. Although Christmas holidays are for relaxation and switching off from work, my passion for all things design has me researching the style and history of some of the amazing buildings in the states capital.

Tasmania's isolation, small population and strong sense of community have contributed to the preservation if its built heritage. The surviving architecture of early settlement in Hobart is worth raving about!

Here are several of our favourites:

Cascade Brewery and Administration Building

It is easily recognised as a beautiful building, at the foothills of the magnificent Mount Wellington. Cascade brewery is big in beer heritage. It is Australia’s oldest brewery - and the most beautiful. It has been around since 1824 making it Australia’s oldest manufacturing enterprise.

While the term ‘colonial’ would categorise the stone façade of the brewery, architecturally, the building owes strong allegiance to English 19th century mill design The building exhibits window detail in keeping with the Romanesque period, with the roof pediments and gables characteristic of the Renaissance.

The Cascade Brewery administration building is located on Collins Street in the heart of Hobart.

Hobart Head Fire Station

The current old Head station was completed in 1911. The Argyle Street headquarters building remained in service as a working fire station for 92 years until 2003.

Domain House

Domain House is a grand neo-Gothic sandstone landmark built in 1848-49. It represents an important part of early colonial education as it originally began its life as the High School Of Hobart Town.

Royal Engineers Building

This Gothic Revival style building was completed in 1847 to house the senior members of the Royal Engineers who were responsible for arranging works in the colony. The designer is unknown. The building is of sandstone front and facings with brick sides and rear which were subsequently rendered. An interesting feature is the false windows on the northern side that appear from the outside only.

Salamanca Place

Salamanca was named after the Battle of Salamanca (Spain), a vistory won by the Duke of Wellington, during the Napoleonic Wars. It was the home of Salamanca Quarry later to become Salamanca Square.

During the early development of Hobart Town much of the site that is now known as Salamanca Place was reclaimed in 1830 allowing the Georgian sandstone buildings to be developed as warehouses for the early merchants. These warehouses stored grain, whale oil, wool, apples, and imported goods.

The beautiful row of sandstone buildings is now the heart of Hobarts arts and craft centre and site of the world famous Salamanca Markets.

Battery Point Settlement

The strategic site of Battery Point with its guardhouse and views down the Derwent River was originally home to a gun battery was positioned to ward off enemies. The site with narrow gas-lit streets lined with tiny fishermen’s and worker’s houses, cottage gardens, colonial mansions and pubs, this village is a reflection of early colonial days.

Customs House Hotel

Built on Hobart’s waterfront for Charles Gaylor and licenced in 1846 it derived its name from the fact that the then Custom House (now Parliament House) is opposite.

Mr. Gaylor was one of Hobart’s early settlers and his name is cut deep in the front coping stone of the building.

In Gaylor’s day it was called the ” Chop House” which meant that a good square meal could be obtained inside. In the later years it has been converted into a residential hotel encompassing the shop next door and the Marine Hotel.

In 2003 the Customs has added the old ship chandlers building on Morrison Street to make a brand new restaurant, this has also added twelve new accommodation rooms six with waterviews.

Henry Jones IXL Jam Factory

In 1882, a mix of the original Hunter Island warehouses and those rebuilt in the later half of the nineteenth century in the same austere Georgian style were incorporated into a jam-making enterprise. Jones’s IXL brand became a household name around the world. At the time of his death in 1926, the Henry Jones and Co jam empire establishment stretched 300 metres along Hunter Street.

The building is now Henry Jones Hotel and Henry Jones Design Gallery thanks to the transformation of the Hunter Street buildings by Robert Morris-Nunn Architects. The design blends architectural and warehouse/factory elements with contemporary design and art to create a new five star hotel and associated retail tenancies.

The IXL Atrium is a central feature of the Henry Jones site. The Atrium has been sensitively integrated into the fabric of the original building to reveal glimpses of the historic jam factory interior. The light-filled, three-storey IXL Atrium is unquestionably Tasmania’s most striking event space.

Post Street Social

The renovated Post Street Social sits within a row of Victorian Italianate buildings opposite Franklin Wharf. It is the perfect location for a quiet drink and enjoying the action on the Derwent.

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

The Commissariat Provision - or Issuing Store - built between 1808 and 1810, is the oldest building in the museum's precinct and the earliest surviving public building in Tasmania.

Unlike the Commissariat Store, the Bond Store, a significant addition, has remained largely unaltered since it was completed in 1826, and is an important example of early colonial warehouse design. A water-powered hydraulic lift servicing the courtyard doors was added in about 1900.

Treasury Chambers

The Treasury Chambers built in the 1800s is a fine example of a new movement called Romanticism aimed to arouse emotional reactions in the observer in architecture. The buildings were termed Picturesque as they were considered appropriate subjects for painting great artworks. The Romantic/Picturesque styles were inspired by architecture of particular historical periods, although often not very accurate copies of buildings of those times.

St David's Park

St David's Park is a formal English style walled park and dates from the beginning of European settlement in 1804. The entrance to St David's is marked by a sandstone gate. The columns were carved by a convict stone mason.

This was the site of the first burial ground in Tasmania, marked out in 1804. A major feature of the park is the memorial wall which is made up of many of the original headstones from the park’s previous life as the Hobart colony’s first cemetery. It contains the names and details of many “First Fleeters” and many of the early settlers of Hobart Town.

In 1919 the site was handed over to Council to be used as a recreation ground. The rotunda, the centre piece of the park, is set against a beautiful landscaped amphitheatre.

Hobart City Hall

The City Hall was completed in 1915 to the designs of Tasmanian architect Rusty Butler. It is an intact example of Federation Anglo-Dutch style architecture with the features of the Federation Warehouse style. The building occupies an entire city block and with its four towers, capped and domed roofs and elongated spires, constitutes a landmark with streetscape value.

Hobart City Hall has served may purposes such as a storage for the Australian army during the second world war and a reception for Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. It has operated as an emergency centre during disasters including the recent 2013 Tasmanian bushfires.

Ingle Hall

The Georgian style building is one of the oldest surviving buildings of its type in Australia. Knowledge of the building's origin is divided and has served many purposes over its history. This building was known as "Ingle Hall" in the latter part of the 19th century.

Research indicates it began its life as a residence and warehouse from 1814-1846. From 1962-2013 it was owned and operated by the Mercury newspaper as a museum.

Hobart General Post Office

The General Post Office has been operating since its construction in 1905. The building, designed by a prominent local architect in the Edwardian Baroque style, was listed on the Commonwealth Heritage register in 2005.

All uncredited photos are by the author... and her clever man !

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