The Gothic Bank

E S & A bank (Gothic Bank) Stock Exchange Building Safe Deposit Building

The Gothic Bank is the central building in a complex on the corner of Collins and Queen streets, now housing the ANZ bank.  The Gothic bank was built in Gothic Revival style for the English, Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank (ES & A) in 1883-87. Designed by William Wardell and commissioned by ES & A general manager Sir George Verdon, the building included a residence for Verdon over two floors above the business.  The interiors of both the bank and residence were lavish, as befits a thriving bank in a booming economy.

The buildings either side of the Gothic Bank were both designed by William Pitt and both are linked to land speculator and local personality, Benjamin Fink. Fink sold his land in Queen Street to the Stock Exchange for the Safe Deposit Building project while he was Chairman of the Exchange.   The Stock Exchange Building (1890) on Collins Street was an extravagant project and its costs far exceeded the resources of the Exchange, resulting in its sale to the ES & A in the 1923.  The Safe Deposit building (1891) is a more restrained interpretation of the Gothic Revival style, built in brick with cement details rather than the more flamboyant sandstone and marble of the Exchange.  The Safe Deposit building was the home of The Automobile Club in 1924, at the time the ES & A extended eastwards as seen on a section of city map, shown above.  In this year an additional wing was added to the Safe Deposit building and eventually this too became part of the ES & A bank.

Successor to the ES & A, the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, undertook restoration and redevelopment of the whole site in 1990-93, building a modern office tower at the rear, connected to the other buildings by a glass-roofed atrium.

E S & A bank (Gothic Bank)
Photograph of Safe Deposit Building, with ES & A beyond, undated
Photographer unknown
Stephenson & Turner 1985.0072

Alterations & Addition, ES & A Bank, Second Floor Plan, sheet number 5, 1922,
showing house quarters as well as works in old stock exchange building
John & Herwald. G. Kirkpatrick, architect and consulting engineers
Clements Langford Pty Ltd 1960.0003

Sketch of the ES & Bank, undated
Pencil on tracing paper
Stephenson & Turner 1985.0072

Map showing corner of Queen and Collins Streets, 1924
Sheet 14 (box 4)
G Mahlstedt & Son 1961.0017

Stock Exchange Building
Elevation, Stock Exchange Building, 1890
Architect, William Pitt
Stock Exchange of Melbourne 1968.0018
Safe Deposit Building
Photograph of Safe Deposit Building, with ES & A beyond, undated
Photographer unknown
Stephenson & Turner 1985.0072