The Iron Store
The Iron Store is an interesting building on the corner of Mercer and Gin Streets on the northern entrance to the city centre. This building was the Former Brown Brother Store and was one of several in the area that were a pre-fabricated building imported from Glasgow in Scotland. The building was imported to Australia in 1853 and erected in 1854 on the present site. The building is a significant piece of architecture as it is one of only a few early commercial buildings left in Geelong.
Known as Ian Erskine’s Geelong Disposals for many decades before falling into a bad state, the Victorian Heritage Database calls the building a rare and distinctive example of a once common form of building constructed of pre-fabricated elements in which the ground floor was a shop or store, and the upper floor contained living quarters. In fact the former Iron Store is the last known pre-fabricated building of its type in Australia.
Due to its historic significance the former iron store building has been placed on the Historic Building’s Register, it’s just as well as by the time the store was vacated in the 1990’s it really was looking like it may fall apart. Saved from the wrecking ball the building has undergone extensive restoration over several years. Its many unique features including decorative rope trim above the fan shaped windows have been restored. Now that the facade of the building has been returned to its former 1850’s glory you can really see how what was once considered an ugly ducking can be saved and turned back into an iconic property with a little hard work.