Windsor’s NAB bank building was designed by Mansfield Bros, as was the former NAB in Richmond, now housing the Bank Bazaar.Architect firmMansfield Bros of Sydney made a significant contribution to the architectural heritage of NSW in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
The company became well known for its public and commercial buildings and also undertook major residential projects. Under the chairmanship of George Allen Mansfield, the firm designed many notable buildings in Sydney, as well asin country areas such as the Hawkesbury.
Born in Sydney in1834, Mansfield was the eldest son of the Reverend Ralph Mansfield and Lucy, née Shelley. He was privately educated and articled to J F Hill in 1850. By 1860 he had completed his term and had formed the architectural firm of Mansfield Bros. He had the distinction of being elected the first president of the NSW Institute of Architects, serving from 1871-1876.
Major commissions undertaken by the firm included extensions to Sydney Grammar School (1876), [Royal] Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown (1882), and Parramatta Town Hall (1880).
Appointed as architects for the Council of Education, Mansfield designed public schools at Orange (1880) and Berridale (1883). Residential projects included Abercrombie House, Bathurst (c.1870), Eulabah, Richmond (1881) and Sunny Brae, Windsor (1875).
The firm alsodesigned St Peter’s Sunday School, Richmond (1873) and a new grandstand for Hawkesbury Race Club, Clarendon (1896).
Mansfield designed more than53 buildings, mostly in the Victorian Classical style, for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited dating from about 1871 to 1897, including in Windsor and Richmond. The structures embodied George Mansfield’s ideals of elegance of form and symmetry of design.
The Windsor and Richmond branches of CBCcomprised a banking chamber on the ground floor with first floor residence and rear stables. The central entrance portico is a feature of each building however at Windsor it is overshadowed by the first floor verandah. Exterior walls have a stucco finish. Although designed by the same architect there are differences in the design of each.
The façade of the Windsor building erected on the corner of George and Kable streets in 1879 features deeply recessed double-hung windows with moulded arched lintels on the ground floor. Shuttered French doors open onto the first floor verandah which is adorned with iron lacework and frieze supported by Classical cast iron columns with Ionic capitals manufactured by J R Bubb of Sydney. Interior joinery is mostly original and survives in fine condition.
The branch of the Commercial Bank at Richmond was constructed on the corner of Windsor and West Market Streets in 1880 with additions to the Windsor Street frontage in about 1910.
The windows on each floor feature distinctive decorative mouldings above each double-hung sash window and heavily ornamented sills. No longer a bank, this building now houses an antique shop and café (Bank Bazaar).
In 1981 CBC Ltd merged with the National Commercial Banking Corporation of Australia Ltd (now NAB) and in subsequent years many branches were sold into private ownership.
George Allen Mansfield died in 1908 and the firm he founded continued well into the 20th century.
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