Construction was made possible by a large inheritance Samuel George Smith received from his father’s estate in the early 1860s. His father, also named Samuel George, was originally granted Town Acre 39 in 1837. Daniel Garlick and Son called for tenders for the erection of three shops on October 2, 1886.
The glories of this building are in the facade of the upper two floors, as described in a report of the State Heritage Branch on May 26, 1986: “The facade features ornate aedicules to windows, string courses marking the floor divisions, a cornice capping the building, and pilasters with classically ordered capitals. Remarkable features include the central element of the semi-circular balcony supported by a swelling, inverted ogee domeshape, niches to window tops with Baroque-inspired shell decorative motifs and the European treatment of the gable ends. The design and integration of these features is extravagant and unique.”
At first-floor level are two sculpted heads, representing peasantry and warfare. At the same level are two female heads “decked in lace”. A carved shield bears the proprietress’ monogram at the apex of the building.
The contractor for the building was E. Codd. The superb ornate plasterwork was done by Charles Vernon, whose artisan touch can also be seen in his own home (53-55 Symonds Street).