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The Core Complex


Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


145 Hampton St Bridgetown

Location Details

Cnr Henry & Hampton Sts

Other Name(s)

Emporium Bistro
The 1896 Cafe
The Core

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1899

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 28 Nov 2019
Heritage List Adopted 18 Mar 1983

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 10 Dec 2004

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 2

Category 2

High level of protection appropriate: provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the town planning scheme to conserve the significance of the place.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category B

Management Category B

Conservation of the place is highly desirable. If not already, to be included on the Local Heritage List. Development proposals to be assessed pursuant to State Planning Policy 3.5 Historic Heritage Conservation; a Conservation Management Plan (if one exists); and to reinforce the significance of the place. Record prior to redevelopment, recognise and interpret if possible.

Statement of Significance

The Core Complex is significant to the history and development of the town of Bridgetown, representing the development of the commercial centre of town on Hampton Street in the early 1900's. The significance of the building is increased by the extent of original detailing that remains intact. Later additions also relate to the changing role of the building over time, however some portions being in somewhat poor condition detracts from the significance.
Aesthetic Value
The Core Complex is a landmark commercial building on the main junction in Bridgetown, with its inviting verandahs, and varied merchants. It creates a strong sense of place for locals and is often a first stop for tourists discovering the centre of town.
It forms an important part of a significant streetscape which contains many fine late nineteenth century and early twentieth century buildings and retains much of the ambience of a pre- World War One rural town centre.
Historic Value
The Core is one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in Hampton Street, particularly in its recognisable form.
Research Value
The Core is of high research value as to its numerous building materials and construction techniques as per each addition. Also as to the cool store troughs which remain.
Social Value
The Core has always been a meeting place for the town, for shoppers and workers. The early commercial businesses were suppliers of essential goods and services, contributing to the liveability of Bridgetown in its early years, now with a variety of services and goods.

Physical Description

The Core complex is located on the corner of Hampton and Henry Streets, opposite the Bridgetown Civic and Community Centre and the Freemasons Hotel. The complex is a group of attached shops and offices, facing Hampton Street, Henry Street and a southern courtyard. The building originally consisted of a large masonry structure with a double hipped corrugated iron roof and a two storeyed verandah on the southern side of the building. Over time enclosed verandahs have been constructed around the building to the west (kitchen space) south (entrance to four south facing business spaces) and a north facing semi-enclosed alfresco dining verandah. The Hampton Street facade has a southern shop and a restaurant. Between the two is a central staircase leading down to the toilets and lower level north facing shop space. There are three lower level south facing shop/office spaces which are accessed from the courtyard. The Hampton Street shop fronts contain a number of original and other early details including nickel plated window frames with lead-lighting, window display cases, re-entrant doors and decorative tiling to dado height and some pressed metal ceilings. The cool store troughs at the bottom of the central stairwell also remain.


An article in the Blackwood Times of July 1947 stated that the site then occupied by “Bon Marche” (see below) was originally developed with a store in c.1899 by Edward Ernest Hill.
Hill had opened his first store in Bridgetown near the Terminus Hotel in c.1897, but had relocated within 2 years. He was still listed in the Electoral Roll as a ‘storekeeper’ of Bridgetown in 1910, but had changed his profession to ‘farmer’ by 1912.
Local information suggests that at one time the premises were operated as a clothing/haberdashery/linen Emporium as part of the Foys, Chain of Department Stores (which later became Foy & Gibson).
In c.1933, the store was taken over by D & M Wilson who operated it as “Bon Marche”, a general drapers business. They continued to operate the business for 15 years, after which it was taken over by Mr Lelsie ‘Alwyn’ Dale (1948) and managed as a top class store selling drapery, mantles, millinery, children’s and men’s wear.
Other uses included a tea room and then a boot and clothing shop and a variety of other business occupants.
The readily available information suggests that this was probably the property advertised as follows in February 1954:
GOLDSBROUGH, MORT and Company Limited have been instructed by the owner, Mr. H. C. F. Somerset, to offer as under:
LAND comprising 1 rood 8.8 perches at corner of Hampton and Steere Streets, Bridgetown. Total frontage to Hampton Street is 115 links and in Steere Street, 221.1 links. A lane of 50 links and a further 45.9 links, at rear, belong to the property. BUILDINGS comprise Drapery Shop, with frontage of 30 ft. to Hampton Street; Chemist Shop, frontage of 21ft., and Tea Rooms, 15ft. frontage. Buildings have a depth down Steere Street of approx. 66ft. Frontage is of Tile and Brick and all dividing walls of brick. Basement under the entire building, divided into Billiard Room, Storeroom and living quarters of 5 rooms. Foundations are really solid.
Later that month the new owners were identified as C Prastidis & Son, “well known business people in Bridgetown”.
In the 1950’s & 60’s the Kookaburra Tea Rooms occupied the southern and back of the premises.


The building has maintained a high integrity, having continually been used as a commercial premise for multiple goods and services.
Renovation in the mid 1990's created separate small shop spaces along the length of the southern wing, where the Kookaburra Tearooms once took up the whole length of the southern and western sides of the building. There appear to have been numerous other changes, including removal of the original verandah detailing.




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Oral History - Local knowledge
The Blackwood Times 20/08/1948
Contemporary newspaper reports (
The Blackwood Times 26/02/1954
The Blackwood Times 5/02/1954
Historic photographs
The Blackwood Times 4/07/1947
Onsite information

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
A31594 Assess No (Shire Ref)
No.B23 MI Place No.

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


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

Architectural Styles


Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall TIMBER Other Timber

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

11 Apr 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

28 Apr 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.