The Metcalfe Bond Stores are located on George Street at The Rocks in Sydney. These warehouses were known as Bond Stores, where goods remained in the storage until importers paid the customs duty on them.
The Metcalfe warehouses were named in honour of its founder, Michael Metcalfe (1813-1890), a prominent Sydney merchant who was one of the original founders of the Australian Steam Navigation Company (ASN).
Following the demise of ASN, Metcalfe was responsible for the building of the Metcalfe stores on land leased to them for 50 years by the government. The government also stipulated in the lease agreement that at least one of the buildings had to be valued at £10,000.
The stores replaced a three-story warehouse used by Upward & Co but which were demolished in 1912 to make way for the formation of Hickson Road. The Federation warehouses were built between 1912-1916 and comprise of two adjacent buildings. The exterior walls are built from load-bearing red brick with minimal darker brick outlines.
The first of the bond stores was built in 1912 and is seven bays long and is three stories high to George Street and five stories to Hickson Road. The second building was built in 1916 and is nine bays long and is also three stories high to George Street and five stories to Hickson Road.
The site of the bond stores is on the former garden and orchard of Robert Campbell‘s Wharf House (1800-1883) and later site of a quarry. Interestingly the quarry provided the sandstone for many of the early buildings in The Rocks area. When the 50 year lease conclude ownership fell back into the hands of the government but
When the 50-year lease concluded, ownership was placed back in the hands of the NSW Government as part of the Darling Harbour Resumptions, following the outbreak of the bubonic plague. Upward & Co, however stayed on as tenants.
In 1970 ownership of the building was passed to the SCRA (Sydney Cove Authority) after which they commenced converting the warehouses into office and retail space.