Melbourne Athenaeum Restoration: significance of site
Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, the Melbourne Athenaeum building was first completed in 1842 and is one of Melbourne's oldest buildings. Founded as Melbourne's first Mechanics Institute, over time it has been home to museum, theatre, film, library and: gallery facilities.
The Melbourne Athenaeum is an example of architecture by Smith and Johnson, and its façade is an essential element of the streetscape between the Town Hall and Scots Church. The main theatre is a fine example of the renowned theatre designer Henry White. The building's only lift was installed in the 1930s and was operational until recently.
The building is still open to the public and provides library, literary, theatrical and musical experiences.