Gawler Chambers retains its heritage status and is an important element in one of the most distinctive streetscapes of Adelaide. This grand old building complements the scale and character of nearby buildings on North Terrace. The building is described as eclectic in style, containing classical and Tudor Gothic features. The interior is also no doubt worth seeing.
Gawler Chambers, constructed in 1913-14, is important for its association with the South Australian Company. The Company played a central role in the foundation of South Australia, and established many industries and enterprises, including whaling, banking and pastoral enterprises.
This building is one of few surviving tangible reminders of the Company, which was actively associated with the site for over one hundred years, in an earlier building from 1842 and in Gawler Chambers until 1945.
The Chambers, through its association with the South Australian Company, has an important link to the early development of South Australia.
The building is set to undergo a transformation, with plans approved for redevelopment.
Proposed new development
The building is in need of some basic maintenance, but otherwise appears to be in fair condition. The external appearance of the building has been compromised by the removal of balconies and the addition of air conditioning units.
The Advertiser reported in 2011 that a modern makeover was planned for Gawler Chambers.
'The Gawler Chambers will be transformed into contemporary office accommodation if a development application for its redevelopment is approved.
Adelaide Development Company, which has owned the building on the corner of North Tce and Gawler Place since 1945, plans to build a multi-level commercial office tower behind the building's 1914 facade.
It was also stated that with a smooth development application process and transition to construction should see the building completed by 2015.'
January 2012 saw a long awaited announcement.
Plans for a $30 million redevelopment of Gawler Chambers on the corner of North Terrace and Gawler Place in Adelaide have been approved by the city's Development Assessment Commission.
Adelaide Development Company will now progress plans to transform the disused landmark into a 14-storey building for modern office and retail space. Significantly, the century-old façade of the building will be retained and restored to its former glory.
Managing Director of Adelaide Development Company, Fiona Roche, said the company – which has owned the building since 1945 – is delighted with the DAC approval and is looking forward to speaking with prospective tenants before breaking ground on the project in 2014.
As yet there is no sign this derelict building is being returned to its former glory.
In 2012, Adelaide Development Company is celebrating its 90th year since being established by South Australia's prominent Roche family in 1922. See here for more information.
Question from an observant reader, so am sending it out there;
How did the pictures of peoples faces end up in some of the windows in this building?
Does anyone know?
Have a closer look at the pictures.
Here is the link to the interiors of Gawler Chambers.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbexadl/sets/72157631601730716/ Not looking good I am afraid. Valuing our heritage buildings is something we need to voice. I have been inspired by the transformation of some of the old buildings at Glenside. Who knew they could look so good?
Do I understand that the facade alone will be left...the interior gutted? If so how sad that only this magnificent landmark building is only to have its facade remaining. I hope I am wrong. I have wondered for decades who owned it. They certainly must be incredibly wealthy to let a whole building sit unused on Adelaide's premier boulevard not generating income for so long and I wondered if they were doing so as it was heritage listed and they were not allowed to demolish it so decided to wait until heritage laws were changed, as they have been, and the DAC rubber stamp anything as long as the project is considered major, which this obviously is. The greatest city in the world in my opinion is New York where every old building is used for elegant housing and business. What a thriving city with heart, soul and stories. A glass box is nothing more than yawn-worthy. I have visited the ADCs website and there is not one photo of any of the projects/developments they are or have been involved in which is curious. Could you also send me the link so I can see the interior photos. Many thanks.