Historical buildings serve as a reminder of the glory of the past and of how far we’ve come. It is important to preserve heritage buildings for future generations. Melbourne, a new city in comparison with the Old World, still has a very rich history, and its preserved buildings are a testament to that history. Many buildings, like the Charsfield Mansion built in 1889, have been modified to suit their new environment while still maintaining their original integrity.
If you live in Melbourne, you should really get to know a bit more of your city's amazing history by visiting some of the historical buildings, some of which are even close to St Kilda Road. Here is our list of must-see heritage buildings in Melbourne.
Shrine of Remembrance
Located in Kings Domain on St Kilda Road, the Shrine of Remembrance was originally built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I. It is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. One of the largest war memorials in Australia, the Shrine combines Neo-Classical symbolism and an Art Deco style and motifs that draw on Greek and Assyrian sculpture. The design is based on the ancient Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as the Parthenon in Athens. The Shrine is the site of annual observances of ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.
The inner sanctuary contains the marble Stone of Remembrance with the engraved words: "Greater love hath no man". The incredible thing about this plaque is that once a year, on Remembrance Day (11 November) at 11 a.m., a ray of sunlight shines through an aperture in the roof to light up the word “love”.
The Willows, now a sophisticated wedding and events venue, draws much of its charm from the architecture of the former Estella. Located on St Kilda Road, the Estella was one of the most elaborate villas in Melbourne. Dating back to circa 1900, the Estella stood out because of the two projecting pavilions with bas-relief modelling. It is also notable for the parapet sculpture, urns and the generally elaborate development of Roman motifs.
The City Baths
Located on Swanston Street, the City Baths still stand and are rather true to their original nature. While the inside now hosts a pool, spa, sauna, squash courts and gymnasium, the outside still looms beautifully with its Edwardian Baroque architecture. The first City Baths were opened in 1860 by the Melbourne City Council in an effort to stop people from bathing in the Yarra River, which had become quite polluted and the cause of a typhoid fever epidemic. There was strict a separation of men and women, even in their separate street entrances, so these were not much like the baths of Ancient Greece. But that only lasted until 1947 when mixed bathing was introduced, followed by a sharp increase in popularity.
The State Library of Victoria
A true masterpiece that is block bounded by Swanston, La Trobe, Russel and Little Lonsdale Streets, walking into the main Dome reading room is an experience to treasure.
More than 2 million books and 16,000 serials, including the folios of Captain James Cook, fill the walls of the Pantheon-esque State Library. It also features other architecturally significant spaces such as the Chess Reading Room.
The building, established in 1854 and opened in 1856, provides an exterior that is a true early example of public architecture in Victoria. Queen’s Hall has an elaborate interior and provides a glimpse into early library design. The buildings that make up the library are significant because they are the first purpose-built, free public library in Australia and one of the first in the world.
Rippon Lea Estate
Australia’s last 19th-century estate, the Rippon Lea Estate is located in Elsternwick. Built in 1868 for Sir Frederick Sargood, a wealthy Melbourne businessman, politician and philanthropist, it is now under the care of the National Trust of Australia. Visitors like to view the Sitting Room, the Master Bedroom, and the Drawing Room, which remains in the style it was last renovated to in the 1930s.
The basement kitchen rooms are also of special interest, having been built in the 1880s and then abandoned with the installation of a modern kitchen on the ground floor. They are now a rare surviving example of a 19th-century kitchen suite.
Love When Heritage Blends with Progress? You’ll Love The New Charsfield on St Kilda Road.
Talk to EBG Developments for the chance to live in a modern, luxury apartment that still harkens back to the days of yesteryear.