Whin Bank


34 Mitford Street,, ELWOOD VIC 3184 - Property No B6750

File Number




Statement of Significance

Whin Bank is of State architectural significance as a work of Richard Speight Jnr and as an early example of a building showing a number of elements of the later Federation style. It is also historically significant as the residence of prominent nineteenth century businessman and politician Thomas Loader. Thomas Loader employed Richard Speight Jnr to alter the building in 1890.
Thomas Loader was prominent in business and politics for 35 years and was a founder of the City of Melbourne Bank in 1873. Although not noted for philanthropy he had been active in promoting Federation and urban improvement in West Melbourne. He later became notorious for his associations with the collapse of the bank.
The basic plan form remains from an earlier building designed by the important architect J.A.B. Koch in 1875-76 for Henry Dugdale. It is possible that the arcaded section of the two-storey verandahs may be part of Koch's design. Speight's work was probably to alter the windows, entry door and to reshape the other parts of the exterior.
The large two storey rendered house is notable for its adoption of Italian Renaissance design in a highly asymmetrical way with a large gabled bay. It is notable for its planning around a central stairhall with passages radiationg in several directions.
Internally the building is distinguished by a wide range of unusual lead light windows, a soaring lantern over the upper stair hall, a variety of carved wood fireplaces and many complex shaped rooms with window openings in several directions to provide an unusually high light level.
Classified: 11/11/1996


Residential buildings (private)