Original post 8 July 2020
I had not found a photo of this till @heraldsunphoto_retro popped up with a photo showing the ‘Australian Church’ on #FlindersStreet near Spring – it was built in 1887, but was gone by the mid 20s, a church and building that came and went rather quickly. It was established in the wake of Reverend Charles Strong being forced out of the Presbyterian Scots Church in Collins Street for his liberal views in 1885; a meeting of liberal religionists and Scots church rejects then formed the Australian Church, and they quickly raised enough to buy the site and build this church for 2000 people in 1887, designed by #WilliamSalway. It’s VERY unusual for a 19thC melb church, which are nearly all Gothic, with a few Neoclassical and a few Baroque; this one far more Italianate, with towers like those on a mansion, and an unusual portico- I suppose they wanted to be different! But didn’t finish the towers. In 1922 having shrunk a lot they converted a very small factory in Russell St, and folded completely in 1957 (and the building then became the Russell Street Theatre). This photo is c1900 I think. The last photo c1950.
2 thoughts on “The Australian Church, Flinders Street, 1887-1920s”
The modification of the church building turned it into Cheney’s motorcar showroom downstairs but was it a theatre above?
No the building they moved to in Russell street later became a theatre – I’ve edited to make that clearer.