The 3-storey building present on the corner of King St and Brown St was built around 1901. It is an example of Federation (Edwardian) architecture, featuring face brickwork, timber window frames and an octagonal tower with a pressed metal roof. 206-208 King St was originally part of the Leichhardt Lodge Estate of Stephen
Campbell Brown from 1867. Following Brown’s death in 1882, the estate was subdivided. By the following year, a pair of two storey houses and shops were erected on this spot. Its first owner was a Mr. Rudolph Hermann Bohrsmann, who rented the property out. Its earliest known known residents are listed as Madden (a bootmaker) and Hartley (an undertaker) in the Sands Directory. Bohrsmann subsequently sold the building to the Marcus Clarke Company. A 1902 article from the Sunday Times describes the building as thus: “At Marcus Clark’s, at the corner of Newtown-road and Brown-street, one of the show places of the city, the most fastidious of women can be satisfied. Whenever you have a friend from another State, you always have to take her to this Emporium, so that she may see one of the places Sydney can boast of”. In January 1924 a fire broke out and largely destroyed the building. “Thousands of people surrounded the place, and there were scenes of panic when the front wall facing Brown-street fell outwards, tearing down an iron verandah and electric light cables” writes The Scone Advocate. Sydney Morning Herald records that in the aftermath “Only the side walls
stood, and that portion of the wall nearest to King-street, and at the rear of the building, looked like some drunken thing of bricks and mortar”. Following the disaster, the façade was replaced and rented out to Hobsons Limited, furniture makers. Another furniture making company, J Mansfield and Son, purchased the property in 1932. In 1988 the ground level of the building was converted into a convenience store. It is still operated as a 7-11 today. The original floorboards are likely to still be present, covered over with post-war concrete. A loading bay at the rear of the building contains an original lift and wooden stairs.
(1902, Dec 21), “Marcus Clark”, Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930), p. 14. Retrieved from Trove.
(1924, Jan 15), “City Fire”. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from Trove.
(1924, Jan 18), “Big Newtown Fire”. The Scone Advocate (NSW : 1887 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from Trove. Historical Atlas of Sydney.
(2017), Heritage assessment for Commercial Building including interior (206-208 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042). Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved from https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=2420850
(1858-1933), Sands Directory: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/learn/search-our-collections/sands-directory