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Edward Barnett & Co Building (fmr)


City of Albany

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


96-102 Stirling Tce Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Cineplex Centre
Cineplex Centre
Commercial Building
Downtown Cinema
Downtown Cinema
Edward Barnett Pty Ltd
Ian Sloan Hairdressing
Messrs E Barnett & Co.
Microwave and Electrical Appliance Service
Ocean Shell Gifts
Stirling Terrace Arcade
The Rural Building Co.
The Terrace Centre

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1880 to 1911

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Some/moderate


Contributes to the heritage of the locality.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category B

Category B

• Requires a high level of protection. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • A more detailed Heritage Assessment/Impact Statement to be undertaken before approval given for any major redevelopment. • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Parent Place or Precinct

14922 Stirling Terrace Precinct, Albany

Statement of Significance

Stirling Terrace Precinct:

Stirling Terrace Precinct, a predominantly late Victorian and Federation period townscape set along a segmented crescent plan overlooking Princess Royal Harbour, Albany and containing a diverse range of building types and styles, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
the historic precinct is a fine and relatively intact example of a late nineteenth century and early twentieth century townscape, dating primarily from 1867 to 1915, demonstrating a range of activities and support infrastructure associated with the foundation and development of a prominent nineteenth century town;
the historic precinct is rare as a prominently located townscape with a town plan dating from the foundation of the settlement with a set of finely designed Victorian and Federation period buildings;
as the original commercial heart of the town, the historic precinct was an important part of the development of the region and the State to varying degrees from the 1830s until World War One when Albany was a prominent town in the Colony and Australia, due to its role as the Colony’s coal depot for the international mail and passenger service, which linked Europe to the eastern colonies. This role was expanded with the addition of regional railways and interstate telegraph links;
viewed from the harbour and from the western approaches to the town, the historic precinct as a whole is a landmark, strengthened by the strong vertical accents of the Royal George Hotel and the former Post Office;
the historic precinct is highly valued by the local community for its aesthetic values and historic associations and, along with the defining topography of the Princess Royal Harbour, Mount Melville and Mount Clarence, is as one of the elements that contributes to the local community’s sense of place and to the identity of Albany;
within the precinct, G.T. Poole’s designs for the Post Office and Court House demonstrate creative excellence and J.T. Hobbs’ design for the Sandover & Co store, which later became Drew Robinson & Co.’s store, at 108-110 Stirling Terrace makes innovative use of large plate glass windows;
the historic precinct includes buildings designed by prominent architects James Manning, Lt. General Sir J. T. Hobbs, J. Herbert Eales, and George T. Poole, and was historically the location of businesses founded and run by significant Albany and regional identities including Thomas Sherratt, Alexander Moir, John Robinson, Charles Drew, Frank Dymes, Edward Barnett, J.F.T. Hassell, and E.G. Everett.

Physical Description

Some of the notable features of this place include:
• Set in a group of significant buildings in Stirling Terrace
• Two storey structure
• Symmetrical facade
• Façade richly modelled with classical motifs and columns
• Strong horizontal emphasis provided by string courses
• Parapet wall with small gables concealing roof
• Single sash windows set between columns
• Pressed tin ceilings

Some obvious modifications include:
• Cantilevered awning removed and replaced with reconstructed original bullnose verandah
• Ground floor façade remodelled
• Internal modifications and reconfiguration
• External colour scheme

Refer also to: Considine & Griffiths Architects in association with Kris Bizzaca, Stirling Terrace, Albany, Conservation Plan, October 2000.


Edward Barnett & Co.
Edward Barnett & Co. business was first established by Edward Barnett in 1886 as a grocery business in the Albany Co-operative Building in Frederick Street. Barnett then moved to premises in York Street formerly Hope’s Drapery. In 1890 Edward Barnett leased J. F. T. Hassell’s Equitable Stores in Stirling Terrace for his drapery and boot store, and was joined by younger brother Tom Barnett as junior partner and John McWhirter as senior partner. In 1892 the building was given a ‘modern’ front at a cost of £737. The work was designed by Robert Greenshields and built by contractor John Pringle. Later in 1892 a single storey addition, also designed by Greenshields in a complimentary style, was built to the east of the building at a cost of £1,365. A fire in 1905 destroyed the two-storey building, which was rebuilt and open for business in 1906. In 1909, Barnett erected a stable at the back for his horses. In 1911 tenders were called for additions and alterations to Edward Barnett & Co. This work included construction of a second storey on the single storey shop building.

Photographs taken in 1912 after the additions showed a stucco faced masonry building rendered in the Federation Free Classical style. There was a full width verandah with timber posts, brackets, cast iron lace and a signage valance. The shop had three entrances and plate glass windows. A large metal-framed structure supported the business name of Edward Barnett & Co. The architect was J C Smith. Smith, who was based in Perth, designed several other new buildings in Albany including residences such as Merfield’s House in Serpentine Road, as well as renovations and alterations such as for the Premier Hotel on York Street.

In 1928, the boot department of Barnett’s was relocated to York Street. This move from Stirling Terrace to York Street was representative of a trend that was starting to gain traction and which would eventually see the demise of Stirling Terrace as the commercial hub of Albany. As well as its original drapery and boot departments, by the 1930s Barnetts included hardware, grocery, clothing and cosmetic departments. There was also a meat warehouse in the basement. Barnett’s was also the first store in Albany to have a lift installed in its premises which was installed in the 1930s. One of the other memorable features was the use of the Lamson Cash Ball, invented in 1880. They were wooden balls hollowed out, and they rolled along inclined tracks above each counter between the cashier and the various counters. Around the turn of the century cash was the general method of payment in stores like Barnett’s. Money would be wrapped in the docket and put in the Cash Ball and projected along the track to the cashier. The cashier would then return the receipt and change to the relevant department. Children waiting with their parents would watch the wooden balls progress above their heads with great concentration.

In the late 1970s the building was converted for use as a cinema and an arcade of shops called the Cineplex Centre which included the Downtown Cinema. The building was completely gutted to accommodate the cinema and the ground floor facades remodelled. The Downtown Cinema was opened on 9th January 1980 but was closed in November 1987. The building was then converted into The Terrace Centre which had a variety of tenancies, including Microwave and Electrical Appliance Service, Ocean Shell Gifts, Ian Sloan Hairdressing. The Rural Building Co. later moved in. In c2006 the 1960s awning was removed and the bullnose verandah was reconstructed as per historic evidence.

The Barnetts

Born in London then moving to Victoria, Edward Charles Barnett first arrived in Western Australia in 1881 and then to Albany in 1886. He served as a councillor on the Albany Municipal Council for various terms between 1893 and 1905 and was President of Chamber of Commerce. He entered parliament in 1905 – defeating sitting member and well-known builder Charles Keyser - but resigned in 1909 because of business pressures. Edward retired in 1913 and returned to Melbourne where in 1922 he died a single man aged 67. His remains were returned to Albany where he was buried.

Edward’s younger brother, Thomas Hinton Barnett, was born in London in 1857. Before coming to Albany in 1889 to join the family business as managing director, he was involved in the mining industry, initially in Victoria and then in Western Australia where he spent many years prospecting on the eastern goldfields. After settling in Albany, he became a prominent citizen including, like his brother, serving as President of Chamber of Commerce. He was keenly interested in sports and was President of the Albany Racing Club, and many local sporting trophies were named the Barnett Cup in his honour including for tennis, rifle shooting and yachting, and his Barnett Shield has often been attributed for starting the Great Southern football carnival. Thomas married Susan Wilson and they had two sons Jack and Leonard and three daughters, Effie, Ruby and Dorothy. They lived at the well-known residence Pyrmont in Serpentine Road. Even though he was working for Barnetts, Thomas still maintained his activities and interests in mining in Western Australia, but in 1913 he took over sole directorship of Barnetts on his brother’s retirement. Upon his death in 1944 aged 87, he left an estate valued at £16,500 and was described as one of the oldest and most respected businessmen in Albany. His son Leonard took over as manager of Barnetts until his own death in 1950.

John McWhirter was married and had 2 sons and a daughter. He left Barnett’s in 1912, aged 52, and he and his wife and daughter moved to Bunbury where he had purchased a drapery business. Sadly, after a bout of ill health and apparent onset of depression, he committed suicide by hanging only a few weeks after arriving in Bunbury.

Stirling Terrace Precinct
Stirling Terrace is one of the City of Albany’s most significant heritage assets, both as a streetscape and as a collection of Victorian and Federation period buildings overlooking Princess Royal Harbour. Stirling Terrace is located in visually striking topography and its segmented crescent plan form remains basically as it was when first recorded by Surveyor Hillman in 1835. The mature trees and the harmonious architectural composition of diverse building types and styles provide additional visual interest.

Stirling Terrace was developed from the 1830s following the establishment of Albany as part of the Swan River colony, and was an important part of the development of the region and the State to varying degrees from the 1830s until World War One. The 1835 Hillman survey plan set the scene for the emergence of Stirling Terrace as the prime location in the town, with a rich variety of social, commercial, leisure, institutional and service functions. The majority of the built fabric which remains today was completed in the period 1867 to 1915. The buildings were designed by some of the State’s most eminent architects and many were built for prominent citizens and institutions.

Over the years the commercial focus of Albany has moved to York Street, with many institutions, such as banks and the post office relocating there. Free of substantial development pressure at a critical time, Stirling Terrace has managed to retain many of its historic structures and features. Viewed from the harbour, and from the western approach to the town, Stirling Terrace has a landmark quality as a whole.

Refer also to: Considine & Griffiths Architects in association with Kris Bizzaca, Stirling Terrace, Albany, Conservation Plan, October 2000.


Integrity: High/Moderate
Authenticity: Moderate




Name Type Year From Year To
Robert Greenshields Architect 1892 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
R Apperly, R Irving & P Reynolds; "A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture". Angus and Robertson NSW 1989
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
K Bizzaca; "Stirling Terrace, Albany, Draft Conservation Plan". Considine & Griffiths Architects 2000

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex
Original Use COMMERCIAL Shopping Complex

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Classical

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

27 Jun 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

26 May 2022


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