IMPORTANT -BUILDING OPERATIONS IN SYDNEY.
MESSRS. PHIPPARD BROTHERS' CONTRACTS.
Despite the depressed times, the city of Sydney continues steadily to add to her architectural wealth, and it is satisfactory to note that what has lately been going on in this direction has been the erection of colossal structures of great strength and beauty-monuments likely to stand for ge- nerations as a testimony to the enterprise of these times in this country. There has not, it is true, been much done lately in what may be termed shopfront architec- ture-buildings with all their value in, facade work. The era appears to be ra- ther one in which perennial monuments in architecture are receiving attention, and certainly it can be said the city has never been more forward in this respect than now. We owe some of this change to the inflow of new capital, mainly Ame- rican, yet the undoubted local wealth of Sydney has contributed its quota to the new features of the metropolis. A glo- rious pile has reared its head on Post Office Square (Pitt-street front), the edi- fice being the new offices of the Mutual Life Association of New York. It re- presents an expenditure of over £150,000, and with the land stands as an invest- ment by this spirited life association of over a quarter of million sterling. It is a magnificent block of buildings, being of trachyte and our hardest sandstone. Messrs. Phippard Brothers, whose por- traits are given herewith, and who now are the leading building contractors of Sydney, erected the structure. They ob- tained the trachyte from their own quar- ries at Bowral, and the sandstone from their quarries at Waverley, the material in both cases being described by archi- tects and builders alike as the finest ever put in any structure in Sydney. The sand- stone is spoken of particularly because of its great hardness and perfect beauty. The structure may be described as a picture for all time, both in architectural features and in beauty of color. The manager of the New York Association (Major Z. C. Rennie) speaks of the edifice as equal to any of the most modern structures in New York and London, and visitors in the architectural profession say that no such beautiful or durable material is to bo found in any building in either Eng- land or the United States. The contrac- tors (Messrs. Phippard Brothers) have come in for a large measureof praise for the steady and expeditious manner in which they carried out the great under taking. Of course the fact of the firm having their own quarries, some of them quite adjacent to the city, contributed largely to this result, but the firm are nevertheless to be complimented for being thus equipped for their work.
In addition to the structure just men tioned, Messrs. Phippard Brothers are now
engaged in erecting the greatest colossal pile of buildings ever let under one con tract in the Southern Hemisphere, name- ly, the George-street (Sydney) Markets, their tender, which was for £203,000, hav- ing been accepted by the City Council. The contract time for this giant work is three years, but the firm, having set about it in mammoth fashion, are determined to complete it in a much shorter period. Some brief particulars will show the mag- nitude of this work, which, when com pleted, will place Sydney in respect of
Mr. Edwin Phippard.
Mr. Henry Phippard.
buildings of this kind far ahead of any city in Australia, and quite equal to the biggest city of the old world. This structure is practically a miniature city in itself, and from its lofty dome, 60 feet in diameter, rising 216 feet from the foun dation, it will be a landmark from the harbor, the coast, and the surrounding country. The firm will shortly have em- ployed on this and kindred work 600 men an industrial army by itself, and as well under discipline as .a body of soldiers. The building will have just on five hun- dred yards street frontage on the Market Square, and will absorb 25,000 cubic feet of trachyte and 260,000 cubic feet of free stone. This quarter mile frontage of ma- sonry will form the architectural sight of
Sydney. The ground floor consists of a series of trachyte piers, supporting im mense iron girders, from which starts the freestone of the fronts, the material com- ing from the Arm's own quarries. Not withstanding, however, the extensiveness of the stone work, the structure will ab- sorb four million bricks, and ten thousand casks of cement,will be used. The whole of the floors are entirely fireproof, being constructed of iron and steel girders, cased and filled in with concrete and terra cotta lumber. The roofs of domes and
arcades are also constructed of steel and ironwork, with copper muntz metal and glass covering, the total weight of the iron and steel used in the building being up wards of two thousand seven hundred tons. And on this point it will be interesting to learn that the energetic contractors, with their customary enterprise, purpose im- porting only the raw material, and manu- facturing all their requirements on the spot, with a plant specially laid down for the purpose. That the firm mean to at- tack their work with marvellous energy, it may be mentioned that they are now engaged erecting immense scaffoldings to carry no less than seven huge steam cranes, each capable, of lifting and swing ing into position with the utmost ease
blocks of stone or girders weighing up to ten tons. The scaffolding alone will ab sorb 200,000 feet of oregon, and will cost, to gether with the cranes, £10,000. Besides the outlay for the plant on the ground, as already described, the firm will have ex- tensive sawmills and joinery works on the spot to cope with the enormous demands for wood work and internal fittings-up wards of 500,000 feet of cedar alone being required.
These brief particulars give some idea of the enormous undertaking committed by the City Council to these enterprising sturdy builders; and it well might be said that they stand on the pinnacle of fame in respect to building contract work in Aus tralia. Messrs. Phippard Brothers are both Australian natives, and for the past twenty years have been steadily coming to the front. Mr. Henry Phippard was born at Geelong in 1854, and Mr. Edwin Phippard at Ballarat in 1864. Their father,
who died at Erskineville a few months ago, was a pioneer builder and contractor in Victoria, and before coming to this country had long been prominently con nected with the eminent builders and con tractors, Messrs. Cubitt and Sons, of Gray's Inn-lane, and Messrs. Myers, of Lambeth, England. The Messrs. Phip- pard, of whom we are now speaking, have therefore been all their lives practically in a building school. Neither has yet reached the prime of life, hence the greater credit for their work. They are self-made men in every sense of the term, having had nothing but their own industry and enter- prise to back them. Their energy stands emblazoned on the most important struc- tures in Australasia. They built the Public Offices, Brisbane, the mammoth pile of the northern city, their contract being for £95,000. They built the palatial residence of Mr. William Cooper, at Rose Bay. The great railway workshops at Eveleigh, too, are in part their work, as is also the new Central Police Station, Sydney. During the last two years they put into circula- tion for wages alone the significant sum of about £50,000, and on this point it is most satisfactory to note that this worthy firm have built up their fortune with the
goodwill of all associated with them as employees; for they have always paid the
highest standard of wages to their work men, holding, with truth, that it is better to pay the best wages to best men, rather than have to put up with inferior men at
less wages. We have no doubt the above sketch of the career of the members of this notable firm of enterprising Austra- lians will be read with interest through out this country, and that their success will prove an incentive to thousands of their fellow-countrymen in all the walks