Toongabbie Mechanics' Institute

Location

Cnr Cowen & King Streets, TOONGABBIE, LATROBE CITY

File Number

B4880

Level

Regional

Statement of Significance

The Mechanics' Institute Toongabbie was constructed in 1883 by Hollingsworth and Bosisto on a site reserved for that purpose in the heart of the town. The Institute is a large weatherboard building comprising a main hall, supper room (under the stage), library and small ancillary rooom off the stage. Externally the building has a small porch leading to the main hall. At the rear a transverse section houses the library and smaller rooms. Externally the detailing is quite austere, although enriched by decorative window glazing bars and sheet metal acroteria on the main roof and front porch.
Internally the paint scheme is green and a dull yellow, probably remaining from early this century. The hall is lined in timber and the stage is steeply sloped to the front. The proscenium arch of pressed metal panels is supported by large turned timber columns.
To the side of the stage is a small "green room" reached by a short steep flight of steps. Numerous autographs of performers, on the timber lining boards of this room, provide evidence of past concerts held at the hall.
The Toongabbie Mechanics' Institute is substantially intact externally and internally. There are few comparable timber Mechanics' Institutes of the size and intactness of Toongabbie and its sheer size is a reminder of the prominence of the town in the days when it was the last staging post on the route to the Walhalla gold mines.
Classified: 20/08/1981

Group

Education

Category

School - Technical