What is significant?
The former Mechanic's Institute is located in the north-east corner of Sterling Street and Martin Streets, two blocks south of the Glenelg Highway in the township of Dunkeld. The building was constructed in two phases. The earlier 1892 section comprises a main hall and rear wing with elevated stage and side dressing rooms. The newer 1963 section is a cream brick facade with a side entrance and side windows. Most of the windows in the older section were replaced or bricked up in the 1963 renovation. No architect or builder has been associated with the design, however, it is possible that the 1963 renovations were designed by Taggeter Walter, who was responsible for the renovation and remodelling of the Glenthompson Hall and Library in the 1950s. The former Mechanic's Insatiate is in fair condition, and retains a high degree of integrity to the mid 1960s.
How is it significant?
The former Mechanics Institute is of historical and social significance to the township of Dunkeld and the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
The former Mechanic's Institute is of historical significance as a prominent and well-used public building in a street that previously was an important commercial thoroughfare and thus is a reminder of an earlier, more prosperous era of the town's history. The hall has additional historical significance for its association with Harold Armytage, a patron of the Mechanics Institute and prominent early pastoralist.
The former Mechanic's Institute is of social significance to Dunkeld because, in the early 20th century it reflected the town's status and was associated with the self-improvement of its citizens through reading, lectures and concerts. Socially, the hall provided a focus for community activities such as dances, book borrowing and film nights. These roles continue and the hall is still used for a range of activities.