“This bank was constructed for the E.S. & A. Bank in 1879. It is likely to be by Leonard Terry, but the records of this bank do not survive prior to 1890 and no tender notices have been discovered. The first Fitzroy branch of the E.S. & A. Bank was opened at 43 George Street in 1854. In about 1865, it moved to 65 Gertrude Street at the corner of Little Napier. In 1879, the new premises were erected for a cost of 8,396p 15s and 6d. In 1942 the bank sold the property for 2,240p.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, p.127-128). Though it has also been suggested that William Wardell may be the architect.
“This building is a typical example of a bank in the conservative classical style, and like other Terry banks has a marked unity in architectural vocabulary. The original cement rendered façade has been pained but the bluestone base course remains. The ground floor composed of ruled masonry piers is broken by recessed rectangular panels containing the doors and windows. This is typical Terry fenestration treatment, as seen in Terry’s Ballarat London Chartered Bank of 1860 (now demolished), although in this case there are curved top corners to the plain reveal. The upper floor is unusually austere without any window surrounds. The whole composition is surmounted by a dentillated cornice and debased parapet. Internally, there is little of note, apart from some surviving cornice and the original cedar staircase.
This building has a harmonious façade composition, but is remarkably austere and modest for a Terry bank. The façade treatment has ignored the corner site and is oriented only to the street front. There are better, more refined examples of Terry banks in Victoria, but this building provides an important streetscape component and is of local significance.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, p.127-128).