Quartly’s have occupied this site since 1918. Edwin Quartly, an oil and colour merchant, started his business in ca. 1880 in Goulburn, and moved to 286 King Street Newtown in 1897. Prior to becoming Quartly’s, the site at 246-248 King Street was occupied by numerous businesses from the mid-19th Century as diverse as tobacconists, undertakers, and hairdressers. Originally listed in the Sands Directory as Newtown Road, then 172 King Street, it became 246 King Street in 1895. The current building is designed in the Federation Free Style – a popular architectural design from c. 1890 to 1915. Edwin Quartly ran a successful business winning many tenders and contracts. In 1906, Edwin was nominated for Alderman of O’Connell Ward, losing by only 30 votes to Mr Henry Nunn Howe, and was also a Member representing the Employers in the Building Trades Group for the Department of Labour and Industry, resigning in July 1914. Edwin died in 1922 and left Quartly’s Pty Ltd to his sons: Leslie, Horace and Norton. A small fire on the 3rd of May 1929 resulted in minor damage. Quartly’s became Quartly’s Mitre 10 Hardware Store in the early 1980’s and later Mitre 10, and also houses solicitor’s offices upstairs. Quartly’s expanded to incorporate building 250 King Street and 1 Whateley Lane in the 1980’s. In 2011 Chemist Warehouse became the primary occupant and Mitre 10 moved to 1 Whateley Street.

quartlys1 059271  069899   055981


(1922), “Quartly’s Ltd” [Advertisement], In Newtown Diamond Jubilee Official Souvenir 1862-1922, p. 78.

City of Sydney Archives. (1983), Quartly’s Chambers & Gute; ArchivesPix: 059/059271.

City of Sydney Archives. (1991), Quartly’s Mitre 10 Hardware Store; ArchivesPix: 069/069899.

City of Sydney Archives. (2009), Mitre 10 Handy; ArchivesPix: 055/055981.


(1882, Jul 29), “E. Quartly (Late Richards) Oil & Color Warehouse, Sign Writer, Gilder on Glass & House Decorator, Auburn-Street South” [Advertisement], Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW: 1881-1940), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(1906, Feb. 6), “Nomination Day”, Newtown Council Minutes 1863-1948.

(1922, Nov. 23), “Obituary: Nr. Edwin Quartly”, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW: 1881-1940), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(1929, May 3), “Another Paint Shop Fire”, The Sun (Sydney, NSW: 1910-1954), p. 2. Retrieved from Trove.

(2015), “Federation Free Style c. 1890-c. 1915”, Retrieved from Sydney Architecture.

Archives Investigator

“Biographies of the Early Alderman: Mayor Joseph Nicholas Jolly”, Newtown Project, no. 21.

Estell, J. (1914, July 22), “Department of Labour and Industry, Sydney, 20th July, 1914 [495]”, Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW: 1901-2001), no. 126, p. 4266. Retrieved from Trove.

Sands Directory

Town Clerk, (1905, Aug. 3-5), City Surveyor’s Office – TC. [Request for new kerbing at 173 Macquarie St to be contract to Mr. E. Quartly], City of Sydney Archives, Item no: 1905/1317.

Compiled by Renée Grant