74 BROUGHAM STREET GEELONG, Greater Geelong CityGoogle Maps and Google Streetview
Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number
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AMENDMENT OF REGISTER OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS
The Geelong Club was originally formed in the late 1850s and rented premises at 72 Yarra Street. The club was reformed in 1874. In 1881 the Geelong Club acquired Mack's Hotel which formerly occupied the site immediately adjacent to the current building and used part of the building for its premises while leasing the inn operation. The present building was designed by Charles Douglas Figgis, and constructed in 1888/89 by Messrs J C Taylor and Sons. It is a two storey brick building in transitional Queen Anne style, with a steeply pitched hipped roof of slate with terracotta cresting. It has an elaborate and ponderous two storey balcony with entrance loggia and striking broken pediment. It is still used by the Geelong Club.
The Geelong Club is of social, architectural and historic significance to the State of Victoria.
The Geelong Club is important for its associations with many prominent Victorian citizens, particularly the key figures of the wool industry in Geelong and the Western District in the nineteenth century who were members of the club. They included, James Ford Strachan, merchant, woolbroker and politician, the Hon Graham Berry, three times premier of Victoria, C J Dennys, EH Lascelles, A C Ibbotsen, AA Austin of Barwon Park, FF Armytage, Robert Chirnside, Andrew Chirnside of Werribee Park, Sir WJ Clarke of Rupertswood, Francis Ormond, George Morrison, principal Geelong College, TP Manifold of Purrumbeete, and WR Wilson of St Albans.
The Geelong Club is important because it represents the way of life of wealthy pastoralists and prominent citizens of country Victoria in the nineteenth century, providing an exclusive place to meet with men of similar backgrounds, dine, read the latest newspapers and journals, and play billiards and cards in a relaxed atmosphere. It is one of a small number of purpose-built clubs for gentlemen constructed in Victoria in the nineteenth century.
The Geelong Club is an extraordinary example of the work of architect Charles Douglas Figgis, and an unusual example of transitional Queen Anne style. The building was designed as the Geelong Club premises and is unusual for its domestic scale and character which reflects the purpose of the club in provided a welcoming meeting place.