Former Ballarat Baptist Church
Architect: Joseph Attwood Doane, 1867
This rare and imposing Greco-Roman temple or Classic Revival style church was opened in November 1867 to replace the original weatherboard church on the same site. A local architect, Joseph Attwood Doane, who would become Mayor of Ballarat, modelled this building on the current Collins St Baptist Church in Melbourne. It was built using ‘gold money’ with a brief to Doane to match the grandeur of the Collins St church. Consequently, it became one of his most important works and is listed as a significant building by Heritage Victoria. After its period as a church, it was sold in 1972 and became a restaurant and reception centre. Its next iteration was as a nightclub through the 1980s and 1990s, and the internal changes included a mezzanine dance floor, bars, and internal toilets; masking the interior architectural features. From around 2000 it had fallen into disuse and, due to water (and pigeon!) damage, was in a disastrous state when purchased in 2015. Since January this year, a meticulous repair and restoration process has been undertaken to the original fabric of the building, both inside and out. The process of deconstructing the nightclub additions is currently underway. This is a rare opportunity to see restoration in progress as an aged, traditional building is repurposed as an ultra-modern residence.