The inter-war art deco façade of the former Michelides Tobacco Factory has long been a landmark on Roe Street in Northbridge. The area was once synonymous with industrial and commercial activities along the northern boundary of the extensive Perth rail yards, as well as a string of brothels along Roe Street west of Milligan Street.
Michelides Ltd. commissioned a purpose built factory on the site in 1923. The complex was built in several stages, with the first being a rectangular two-storey brick structure with a 10m frontage on Roe Street. The structure extended north along the back of four Lake Street houses owned and occupied by Michael Michelides and his three sisters.
The complex was expanded in 1933 with the construction of an additional two-storey factory building adjoining the western wall of the existing factory. This extension was designed by architects Oldham, Boas and Ednie-Brown (see also Gledden Building) and included a new art deco frontage. In 1936 a two-storey office building was built adjoining the eastern wall of the 1922 factory complex. This addition extended the art deco Roe Street frontage east to Lake Street and features the distinctive curved corner facade.
Due to the popularity of imported American filter-tipped cigarettes, production of tobacco at the site ceased in 1959. The equipment and factory were sold in 1960, and the adjacent Peters Ice Cream factory on the corner of Milligan and Roe Streets expanded its operations into the former tobacco factory. After the departure of Peters in the late 1980s, the site was leased for retail stores with Tony Barlow Menswear as the anchor tenant.
The building became vacant in 2009 and the City of Perth approved the demolition of the building, erroneously stating that the art deco façade was not original and had been added in the 1980s. The approval was granted for demolition and construction of a new building, despite the new structure being twice the council's height limit. The approval lapsed before demolition could take place. The National Trust of Australia classified the building in 2013, however it does not have a statutory heritage listing and currently risks facing demolition by neglect.