The Toongabbie Mechanics Institute and Free Library was built in 1883. No architect is known to have been involved. The builders were Messrs Hollingsworth & Bosisto, carpenters. The method of construction - timber frame and weatherboard with a corrugated iron roof - is typical of Gippsland at that time. The form of the building is unusual and expresses its double function. It is unusually large for a timber building. Toongabbie was at its zenith at the time the Mechanics Institute was built. It was the last stop before the arduous climb into the mountains and the gold mines of Walhalla.
In the other direction it was linked with Port Albert. The building expresses the town's prosperity and expectations. As well as its historical significance the building is important for its naive architecture, its rarity and intact condition. The building is in good condition structurally. Alterations appear to have been made early this century. Its integrity is very high. Some minor repairs are necessary and maintenance is necessary immediately .
MECHANICS INSTITUTE AND FREE LIBRARY - Plaque Citation
The Toongabbie Mechanics Institute and Free Library is registered by Heritage Council Victoria
The Toongabbie Mechanics Institute and Free Library (registered 1983) was built in 1883 by carpenters Hollingsworth and Bosustow. The large timber building is unusual in desing and its size reflects the town's early prosperity and expectations.