This building, therefore, is of some significance. It is even more important because of its association with Joseph Vardon, who bought the property on which it stands in 1911.
The Honourable Joseph Vardon was born at Hindmarsh in 1843. He was apprenticed to the printing trade, and began the printing and publishing business of Vardon and Sons. In public life Vardon served as a councillor and later mayor of Hindmarsh. He spent six years as a councillor and alderman with Adelaide City Council, and was an alderman in Unley. He was also elected to parliament, and was commissioner of Public Works from 1904 to 1905.
Vardon also became a senator in the Federal Parliament. He was noted for his service to community organisations, especially the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and was a director of the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange. Vardon Avenue, part of the Exchange, is named after him.
Plans for Vardon’s printing works were approved in June 1912. Similarities with the Wilkinson warehouse and Detmold printing works (Young Street Chambers) suggest that the architects were English and Soward.
This well-proportioned building is typically utilitarian and echoes design principles devised in Britain some 90 years before. It has load-bearing brick walls and no internal walls, the structure simply being supported on cast-iron columns. The panelled facade to Grote Street is strongly detailed, with a notable corbel table and continuous string course at parapet level. The segmentally arched openings show the use of lintels before reinforced concrete was accepted.
Although the façade remains unchanged, the interior of the building has been converted into a car park adjacent to Adelaide Central Market.