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

23 Sturt Street, Ballarat

This colourful looking shopfront was built in 1891 and remodelled in 1907 (despite bearing the inscription 1865), and is one of the most elaborate of its era in the city.1 Featuring glazed blue and white tiles, the tall parapet features mannerist (or Flemish baroque) detailing including triangular pediment, pilasters, scrolls and multiple cornice levels as well as round portholes hiding the gable behind. Another striking feature is the depths of the facade, including a dramatic recessed loggia arcade with its striking arches and sunrise voussoirs behind which is a pair of faceted bay  complete with leadlight window designs. Many of the interiors have also been preserved, including art nouveau detail, original pressed metal ceilings and elaborate skylights. Many of these features may have dated to the 1907 remodelling.2

  1. Litras, Peter. ‘Touch of Colour Adds to Appeal’  The Courier. 31 March, 1999
  2. Jacobs, W. ‘Ballarat: A Guide to Buildings and Areas 1851-1940‘ pg. 47

Neill Street 1892 (former Wesleyan) church: 204 Macarthur Street, Soldiers Hill

The impressive neo-gothic red brick and render church on the north west corner of Neill and Macarthur Street was the last of three churches built for the Wesley Church on the site for a growing congregation. Designed by Figgis and Molloy and built by Whitelaw and Atkinson.  Construction began in 1891 and it was completed in 1892.  It later became the Methodist church and is currently is a Uniting church.

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