Fernwood Gym: Former John Kelsal Wool Warehouse. 102/106 Lydiard Street Nth. Ballarat Central

This landmark building occupies a prominent position on the corner of Lydiard and Mair Street. More is known of its origins as a warehouse than the details of its construction. It was built for John Kelsal and Company wool merchants (the name “John Kelsal Wool Warehouse” still appears on the cornice, under the paint, along with the pediment though the raised lettering has been stripped back), wool merchants and one of several former warehouses between the station and the commercial area of Lydiard Street Nth. It is most notable for the contrast of streamlined rendered corner facade and regency details, with its prominent pediment and flagpole addressing the important corner, it slopes down Mair Street complete with basement level. It is in good condition and currently operates as a fitness centre and gymnasium.

The Monastery Apartments (former Monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour). 300 Gilles Street North, Wendouree.

Though it faces away from the main street, the three storey main building of the former St Mary’s Redemptorist monastery complex, originally named ‘The Monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour’1 is the most notable landmark in Wendouree.  The foundation stones were laid in 189123 and it was completed in 1897 to the design of notable Melbourne firm Reed, Smart and Tappin, it was built in stages to 1899 when the wing was added with a total cost of around £17,000, much of which was generated from benefactors.4 In 2000, it was converted into one of Ballarat’s largest apartment complexes.

  1. The New Redemtorist Monsatery of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Wendouree Ballarat.  The Advocate. pg. 9. 31 October 1891
  2. The New Redemporist Monastery, Ballarat, Laying the Memorial Stone. The Advocate pg.7. 28 November 1891
  3. The Ceremonies at Ballarat. Laying the Coner Stone of the Redemtorists Monastery. Freeman’s Journal. 5 December, 1891
  4. A Redemptorist Monastery Ceremony at Wendouree.  The Age. pg. 6. 24 April, 1899

Residence: 30 Drummond Street, Ballarat

This house is possibly Ballarat’s oldest cottage. Apparently built in 1858, just one year later than Ballarat’s oldest surviving buiding and a few years after the gold rush, it was accommodation for the Surrey Hotel, a timber hotel which originally occupied the corner of Drummond and Mair Street. The cottage measured just 5.5 metres wide and 6.5 metres deep.1  The hotel has long since been demolished and replaced, but this building has remained on the subdivided block. It has been significantly modified from its original form, most recently following its sale in 1992.

  1. Ballarat’s “ultimate townhouse” to be auctioned‘.  The Courier. 17 March, 1992

Walter Davis: 86 Bridge Mall, Ballarat

The former Walter Davis store is one of the best examples of commercial art deco in Ballarat and an excellent example of a preserved shopfront featuring chrome and marble. The current stylistic shopfront is the result of a 1936 remodelling of an earlier buildingby Herbert Leslie Coburn, who also designed neighbouring shops.1  The shopfront features depictions of ladies in marble and chrome and its U-shaped glass entry display and geometrical floor pattern. The stunning vertical art deco fins which originally graced the parapet of the facade have sadly been truncated (presumably in the 1950s), resulting in a huge loss to the overall effect of the building, as the mid section which remains was the stretched part of the facade. These fins originally formed a dramatic V shape like a pipe organ and the two pinnacles at either side topped by pyramids with stylistic finials in front similarly to the treatment of Coburn’s surviving moderne parapets at “Block Arcade” “Davis’s Buildings”. Walter Davis traded from Bridge Street from 1920 (at this building from 1924) until 2011 when the business relocated to the Block Arcade on Armstrong Street.2

  1. Jacobs, W. ‘Ballarat: A Guide to Buildings and Areas 1851-1940‘. pg 102
  2. Brown, Emma. ‘Walter Davis is on the move‘ The Courier. 11 February, 2011

Former Salvation Army (William Booth Memorial) Citadel: 17 Albert Street, Ballarat Central

The William Booth Memorial Citadel, is a church hall building that was erected for the Salvation Army in 1917 to the design of architect Percival Dale1 along with the young people’s hall next door.2 The Salvation Army sold the building in 20043 after which it was converted into offices. Architecturally, it is typical of the period, with its “blood and bandage” red brick and eclectic style, though it has some interesting features.

  1. National Trust of Victoria file B6023
  2. Ballarat Conservation Study 1978. pg. 36
  3. Historic Salvation Army Buildings in Albert St Sold‘ The Courier. 27 August, 2004

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