The Burns Philp Building at 7 Bridge Street Sydney has great historical significance for its relationship, and continuous association from 1901-1997, with the Burns Philp Company, a major Australian maritime company who traded with the Pacific Islands. The be building is one of the few identified extant works of the firm A.L & G. McCredie, a major Australian architectural practice of the later nineteenth century.
The building has state aesthetic significance for its rare architectural quality, which includes the richly carved and modelled façade in the Romanesque style made popular by American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and the finely executed sandstone carving and interior finishes. The building makes a major contribution to and is a key element in the Macquarie Place / Bridge Street Conservation area.
The building is of state technical significance as one of the first uses of composite construction and is a landmark building for the combination of new structural techniques and a fine façade treatment. Burns Philp maritime history contributes to our understanding of Australia’s early trade and economy.
It is socially significant, as it is well known for its association with the Burns Philp Company, who successfully traded for more than a century along the east coast of Australia and the Pacific Islands and repatriated the Kanakas to the Pacific Islands. The Burns Philp Building exhibits the Scottish roots of the company by use of motifs such as the Scottish thistle. Philp became associated with the development of Townsville.
The Burns Philp Building is located at the South Western end of Bridge St. Sydney. It comprises of a basement, ground level, mezzanine level and three upper levels.
The architectural styles are described as federation, Romanesque/late Victorian, Gothic and Neo-Romanesque with Scottish Baronial gables. The facade is symmetrical apart from the laneway access at ground level from Bridge St. to Bridge Lane. The elaborate stonework is made from Pyrmont ‘Purgatory’ sandstone.