Fitzroy 1870s bluestone church listed with $2 million hopes

Fitzroy 1870s bluestone church listed with $2 million hopes
Fitzroy 1870s bluestone church listed with $2 million hopes

An 1871-built former Presbyterian church has been listed for sale in Fitzroy.

The bluestone church was built to the design of the 19th-century architect George Browne, whose work includes the 1874 design of the Academy of Music in Ballarat and Melbourne’s Theatre Royal in 1872.

The Presbyterian church was established in Fitzroy in 1851 and commissioned this building as a larger premises.

In 1908 the church established itself as a refuge for women in the impoverished suburb.

The Napier Street building currently belongs to the Uniting Church, which has been holding off selling for 13 years while Yarra Council sought a new home for former tenants the Annie Todd childcare centre.

The building has been listed for vacant sale through Grant Sutherland of Sutherland Farrelly Real Estate.

In 1970 the church was deemed to be of local heritage interest for stylistic details of the west front including the star tracery at the head of the five-light west window and the superimposed colonettes of the flanking buttresses.

The heritage report says the interior incorporates a hammer-beam roof, elaborate plaster corbels, cedar joinery and windows by Ferguson & Urie, one of Melbourne’s most historically renowned stained-glass window makers.

The sale includes a red brick building, which has similar heritage value. The buildings are in separate titles but sold together as the borders between the two titles are murky.

Sutherland says he is marketing the building aimed at developers, who would keep the building intact, or to an individual home buyer.

He says the roof is high enough to support a mezzanine floor. The whole land area is 1,334 square metres.

Sutherland is looking to sell the church for around $2 million.

Nearby, an 1860-built Bible Christian Church conversion in Gore Street sold for $3.41 million in June. The building was converted 10 years ago into a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a six-car garage.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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