Coles Store No 1, Smith Street, Collingwood (Winter 2005)

Digital Innovations Preservation, Victoria

For some time, ADS has been involved with other community groups opposing a massive multi-storey re-development in inner suburban Smith St, Collingwood.

If approved, it would result in the demolition of a significant building in the Art Deco style, the former Coles Store No 1. The Coles stores were a chain of low-price outlets across Australia, and the 172 Smith Street store dates from 1919.

The Coles brothers engaged prominent architect Harry Norris to preside over the design, construction and re-modelling of Coles Stores throughout Victoria, NSW and South Australia. In 1929, they sent him to the USA to study the design of retail stores, and many of the ideas from this experience were incorporated into subsequent designs. The Smith St store was re-modelled in moderne style in the 1930s.

The re-development proposal was headed for a hearing at the local Planning Tribunal but, following massive reaction by community and heritage groups, it has been ‘called in’ by the Planning Minister and will be reviewed by a special Review Panel. ADS will be making a submission to the Panel and is hopeful that the Coles store will be saved.ColesStoreNo1