A VICTORIAN HERITAGE LISTED BUILDING
The first Mission building in Melbourne was at Sandridge (now Port Melbourne). By the 1890s most ships were berthing along the Yarra River, and there was a need to establish a branch in the central Melbourne area. A site in Siddeley Street (close to the river) was leased from the Melbourne Harbour Trust, and construction of the first Mission building in central Melbourne commenced in 1907.
The site of the current buildings was allocated to the Mission in 1915.
The building complex was designed by Walter Butler and was built in two stages between 1916 and 1919. The funds to build the complex came from fundraising by the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild (established in 1906), and a government grant. The current crown lease expired in 2007 leaving the MTSV with the challenge to propose cause for ownership of the title and the building.
The historical Mission complex is architecturally significant as being a fine urban example of the Arts and Crafts Style in Melbourne. Before coming to Australia, Walter Butler was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement in his native England. He was a popular society architect in Melbourne, and designed many fine houses in Toorak.
Today the complex consists of the St Peter the Mariner Chapel, an extensive clubroom and administration area, the Chaplain’s house, a small cottage, and the Norla Dome.