Building ProfileName : Eildon Mansion
Past Names : Barham House
LocationAddress: 51 Grey Street
City: ST KILDA
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1855 - 1877
Original use: Residential (Mansion)
Current use: Education
number of floors : 2
Built in the Victorian period in the Academic Classical style
Eildon Mansion is a large house built in 1877 in Grey St, St Kilda, in Melbourne which is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The house, originally designed by John Gill was built in 1850 as Barham House for Richard Twentyman Esqr, a local councillor. The mansion was built on large grounds and Victorian gardens with bay views.
It was later altered and extended with two symmetrical wings to become Eildon mansion.
Eildon Mansion was commissioned in 1871 by a wealthy pastoralist, John Lang Currie (1818-1898) and designed by Joseph Reed of the leading Melbourne architectural firm of Reed & Barnes (who also designed the nearby Church of the Sacred Heart and many other prominent Melbourne buildings). The house was built by Currie, one of the Victoria'a largest landowners, for his retirement, in what was then Melbourne's most popular seaside suburb. The mansion was completed in 1877.
After Currie's death the mansion passed into other hands, and as the prestige of St Kilda declined it was sold. In 1930 it was converted into a guesthouse. In the 1990s it became a backpackers' hostel. Despite these vicissitudes, much of the grand interior of the building has survived, including sandstone, marble and timber mantelpieces, ceiling roses, bay windows and large basement quarters for servants and a cellar.
The house was built to face Port Phillip, and had extensive grounds in front of it. After Currie's death these were sold off, and apartment blocks built on them, blocking off access to the front of the house. The house backed onto Grey St, and this has become the de facto front of the building. The original stables can be seen beside the house on the right, in what was originally its back yard.
In 2006 the house was bought for a reported $4 million by the Alliance française as its new Melbourne headquarters.Architect: Joseph Reed
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