Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

AML & F Co. wool store






Built-    Demolished (by fire)- 1992


Victorian / Federation Warehouse


Rendered brick Stone


Summary The burnt out shell sat there for a few years before they gave up on it.
Above- the ruins in 1992, with the relatively new Monorail service centre in the foreground.
Here is the last fragment of the AML & F Co. woolstore, this was pulled down for the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre.
Woolstore fires in Ultimo

Today we’ve been thing about wool store fires in Ultimo, of which there have been many. One of the best known (and most recent) was the AML & F Co. wool store fire in July 1992. It was a very dramatic fire event, and burned intensely.

The nature of lanolin-soaked wood means that fires in wool stores are extremely hard to extinguish, and you essentially have to let them burn(and attempt to stop them spreading into nearby factories, houses and warehouses).

Although some of the AML & F Co. building survived the fire, the remaining walls had to be demolished because the building was not structurally sound.

Here is the last fragment of the AML & F Co. woolstore, this was pulled down for the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre.

The first Goldsbrough Mort building burned down in 1935. This fire reportedly lasted for two weeks, and filled Ultimo with the smell of burning grease. Also, on 1 August 1946 there was a wool store fire in Ultimo, which caused about 300,000 pounds of damage.



In the 1860s and 1870s, the rapidly expanding wool industry began to dominate the export trade from the Port of Sydney, with the associated development of the railway network bringing increasing tonnages to the wharves for shipment to England. Early woolstores were built around Circular Quay, but in 1883, Goldsbrough Mort and Company, one of the largest of the wool broking firms, commissioned their new store to be built on the eastern side of the Pyrmont Peninsula. With the railway goods terminal at Darling Harbour and sidings to the woolstore and the wharves, the location was superior to Circular Quay and other wool brokerages soon followed. By the 1930s there were about twenty woolstores in Pyrmont/Ultimo and it was the major industry and employer in the area. The extent of these buildings is indicative of the massive volumes of wool that were exported from Australia during the early part of the twentieth century, a high proportion of which passed through this area. For example: in 1910, 1.7 million bales of wool were shipped from Sydney, with 1.5 million of these auctioned and handled through Pyrmont/Ultimo.