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Capitol House

Heritage Listed Location

Address

109-117 Swanston Street Melbourne, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia

Details / Significance

First land sale 1837, part Allotments 9 & 8, Block 12, Henry Howey.1877 - 10 buildings; mostly shops, & sheds.1888 - 10 buildings; 2 & 3 storeys, shops & stores.1905 - vacant.

Heritage Inventory Significance: REGISTER OF THE NATIONAL ESTATE - CITATION: CAPITOL HOUSE, 109 SWANSTON STREET, WAS ERECTED IN 1921-24 FOR A BUSINESS SYNDICATE WHICH INCLUDED A J LUCAS. THE ARCHITECT WAS WALTER BURLEY GRIFFIN IN ASSOCIATION WITH PECK AND KEMPTER. THE ORIGINAL BUILDING WHICH COMPRISED OFFICES, EXTENSIVE LOBBIES, LOUNGES AND GRAND STAIRCASES AND A HUGE CINEMA SEATING 2000 PEOPLE, WAS EXTENSIVELY RENOVATED IN 1965. ALL THAT REMAINS IS THE FACADE OF OFFICES AND THE AUDITORIUM NOW IN A GREATLY MODIFIED STATE. CAPITOL HOUSE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TWENTIETH CENTURY BUILDING IN MELBOURNE. THE REMNANTS OF THE ORIGINAL BUILDING COMPRISE ONE OF GRIFFIN'S GREATEST WORKS; THEY ARE UNIQUE AND OF IMMENSE ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE. THE AUDITORIUM WITH ITS MODELLED PLASTERWORK CONCEALING COLOURED LIGHTS WHICH CHANGE SYSTEMATICALLY THROUGH MANY HUES AND BRIGHTNESSES IS THE EVOLUTIONARY CULMINATION OF CHICAGO SCHOOL GEOMETRY. THE FACADE IS A REVOLUTIONARY EXAMPLE OF OFFICE ARCHITECTURE IN MELBOURNE DURING THE 1920'S. THE OFFICE FACADE IS INTACT, HOWEVER THE AIR CONDITIONING AND ILLUMINATED SIGNS ARE INTRUSIVE. THE ORIGINAL CANOPY REMAINS. WHAT REMAINS OF THE ORIGINAL CINEMA MUST BE RETAINED AT ALL COSTS. OF WORLD SIGNIFICANCE.

Archeological Potential: Extant bldg Fabric,Potential/Disturbed

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Heritage Listed Locations Nearby

Vesta House 0.1km
Town Hall 0.1km
The Block 0.1km
Yule House 0.1km
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