What is significant? The Stony Creek Mechanics' Institute Hall, designed by R. Owens and constructed by W. Benn in 1894 and extended by F.W. Morris in 1911, at 31 Main Street, Stony Creek.
Why is it significant? The Stony Creek Mechanics' Institute Hall is of local historic, aesthetic and social significance to South Gippsland Shire.
Historically, it is the oldest building in Stony Creek, and is one of a small number of pre-1900 Mechanics Institutes remaining in the Shire. It is demonstrates the earliest period of development of Stony Creek following the surveying of the town in 1892 and the opening of the South Eastern Railway, and the importance of Mechanics Institutes in the development of small rural communities. (AHC criteria - A.4 and D.2)
Aesthetically, it retains the characteristic form that is typical of Federation halls and still retains much of its original interior decoration. It is an imposing building that makes an important contribution to the historic character of Stony Creek. (AHC criterion - E.1)
Socially, it has played a significant role in the development of the Stony Creek community and is an important part of the identity of the local area. (AHC criterion - G.1)
STONY CREEK MECHANICS' INSTITUTE & FREE LIBRARY - Physical Description 1
The Stony Creek Mechanics Institute built in 1894 and added to in 1911, is a gabled hall with a corrugated iron roof and half hipped extensions projecting to both sides just short of the front of the main gable. The side additions and the extended main gable form the 1911 addition and have been modernised more recently with hardiplank cladding and aluminium windows. The main entry is recessed into the projecting gable and the gable ends have been sheeted with vertical boards. It can be assumed that considerable detail has been lost with these works and with it, much of the external historic character of the building.
The interior retains its original lining and detail around the stage proscenium.