Office (former Consulting Rooms) and former G & R Wills Warehouse

203-207 North Terrace ADELAIDE

These two adjacent buildings became associated in the 1940s when they were acquired by John Martin & Co, whose large retail premises were nearby. The former warehouse (1878), is historically significant for its direct association with the large South Australian merchant firm of G & R Wills & Co. Founded in 1849, the company traded throughout Australia, with branches in three States, as well as extensive Adelaide operations including clothing and shoe factories and their import business. Designed by Daniel Garlick, the three-storey building is of masonry construction with classical Italianate stucco detailing which is particularly decorative for a commercial building. Its architectural significance is enhanced by the high integrity of both the exterior and interior, with most of the fabric remaining in near original condition. Slender cast iron columns allow undivided space on all three floors, and are an important feature of the interiors. The warehouse forms a pair with a similar building located on its western side, which was constructed for G & R Wills & Co some years earlier. The smaller neo-Gothic styled building to the east is one of the few to survive to represent the former professional and residential nature of North Terrace. Designed by E J Woods in 1901 as a consulting room for noted Adelaide eye surgeon Dr Mark Johnston Symons, it continued to be used primarily as medical consulting rooms until the 1940s when part of the building was acquired by John Martin & Co for use as a store. The building is of architectural significance because of its exceptionally high integrity, both internally and externally, and its ability to give an insight into early twentieth century medical practices through the retention of original room layouts and finishes, including features such as the tiled 'operating room' and large waiting rooms. [Adapted from: Danvers Architects Pty Ltd '203-7 North Terrace, Adelaide Conservation Study' March 1989]