Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ross House is the remaining section of an extensive six storey brick warehouse which extended from Flinders Street to Flinders Lane and which was erected in 1898-1900. Ross House, which was named Royston House in 1929 following its acquisition and conversion to offices by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, has been maintained intact externally, although the basement and ground floor to the Manchester Lane elevation were reconstructed with reinforced concrete in the 1930s.
Ross House is architecturally significant as a transitional and highly unusual design incorporating ideas from the American Romanesque style developed by HH Richardson in America. The massiveness of the plinth, the huge Romanesque brick arches and the overhanging cornice is offset by the delicacy of the metal oriel windows and the caryatides. Ross House also demonstrates early design concerns for specific fire prevention measures in multi-storey buildings, such as the sprinkler system and fireproof doors. The recessing of the oriel windows was a fire prevention measure adopted from England.
In March 2014 the VHRF Committee of Management offered a grant of $20,000 to assist with façade works to Ross House, which consisted of repairs to northern and western facades including cleaning and repairing damaged sandstone, lead flashing to projecting cornices and detail work to ornamentation.