THE PAPER MILL | Liverpool mayor unveils heritage plaque

On Wednesday, Liverpool mayor WendyWaller, Coronation Property's Urban Transformations director ArasLabutis and Karima Group's JohnSahyoun unveiled a plaque acknowledging the industrial heritage of the Paper Mill site on the banks of the Georges River at Liverpool.

The plaque will be installed next to the recently-restored 1800-square-metre circa 1914 paper-mill heritage building, characterised by its distinctive sawtooth roof, which is the last remaining building from the site's original mill operations.

Ms Waller said the plaque was a fitting way to acknowledge Liverpool's industrial history. "I'm very pleased to see our past acknowledged and an historic building renovated and opened up for the community to enjoy," she said.

This building was constructed on land that once formed part of the Collingwood Estate. Originally owned by whaling captain Ebenezer Bunker from 1804, the Collingwood Estate was gradually broken up, although Collingwood House itself can still be seen today in Birkdale Crescent. In the 1860s, the land in this vicinity was first developed for the Collingwood Paper Mill, the first of its kind in Australia. The river location was essential for both paper production and the transportation of goods and the papermaking process included the use of plants grown along the riverbank as well as rope, rags and straw. After 50 years of production, the paper mill closed and the factory was bought in 1910 by Henry Bull & Co. It was given a new phase of use as the Challenge Woollen Mills. This building was constructed in 1914 as an extension to the main factory, to a design by Sydney architect T. H. Houghton. By the 1930s, the mill had become the largest employer in the Liverpool district and the factory remained in operation as a highly successful enterprise until the 1970s. Although the 1860s factory was demolished, this part of the mill survives as evidence of its former use.

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Mr Labutis said acknowledging the site's history was a priority for Coronation Property. "From when we acquired the site we always knew we wanted to honour the Paper Mill's significant industrial heritage and the fact the project is called the Paper Mill is testament to our commitment in keeping alive the history of this part of Liverpool -- and the Georges River," he said.

"For the past five years, we've been busy transforming this site into a thriving residential community with world-class contemporary architecture while taking care to preserve as much as possible of the site's distinctive past.

"This plaque is the next step in honouring that past and is something we're proud to provide for the people of Liverpool, and visitors from greater Western Sydney, to understand and appreciate this special part of their local history.

"Preserving and reinvigorating the paper-mill building was a great result and its unique heritage architecture can now be appreciated by all who visit. We've ensured the building's industrial history was acknowledged as much as possible as it was once part of Australia's largest paper mill.

"The original brickwork and distinctive saw-toothed roof have been retained and the contemporary updates in steel, glass and stone are all in keeping with the past.

"No detail has been overlooked, with features including bespoke timber joinery, Carrara marble and custom cast-iron sculpting resembling 19th-century ovens while an expansive hand-made mosaic tile floor is a highlight of the interior."

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