248 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

The Beswick Building of eight 3 storey shops was built in Brunswick St by 1888-89 for the Australian Property and Investment Co. Ltd. The architect was John Beswick and the builder was Ralph Besant. Three storey frontages face the street, and there are two storey wings at the rear of each shop. The asymmetric design features a central tower with lunettes, and a corner turret topped by a lantern. In the 1950’s most of the occupants were clothing manufacturers. Today the tenants above the shops are from the ‘creative industries’.” (Mike Moore, FHS Newsletter – Nov 2021)

The Beswick Building showing each numbered shop.

One of the early occupants, for over 10 years from 1898 was Mrs Susan Mary Portlock, who employed 19 females making ladies mantles, “now known as overcoats and capes. She and her family had come from London in the 1880s. Following the death of her husband Edward, she had a business at Geelong over 1889-96 making capes, cloaks and mantles. In 1908, she registered her mantle-making factory at 44 Greeves St, employing 60 females. She lived next door at 48 Greeves St.

Her daughter Edith Mabel married Percy Albert Cooper in Jan 1909, followed by an ‘at home’ reception at “Brixton” in Greeves St, the house probably named after Mrs Portlock’s early London suburban life. Mrs Portlock lived in Greeves Street until 1917, before moving. Mrs Portlock died in 1936, aged 93. Percy and Edith Cooper lived in Greeves St until 1924 with their 3 daughters.” (FHS Newsletter August 2021, article by Mike Moore)

National Trust Database – circa 1970s?

One thought on “248 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: