WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT?
Genazzano FCJ College, including the:
. 1890-91 Wardell Building (including its exteriors and interiors) which is of primary significance;
. 1930-31 grotto, 1930s steps with stone urns, 1936 Hall with 1961 two-storey addition above, and the 1974 Chapel (including the buildings' exteriors and interiors) which are of contributory significance; and also
. fixtures attached to the buildings of primary and contributory significance at the time of registration including timber stairs and balustrades, cabinets, joinery, and fireplaces, and the Chapel's altar, reredos, pews, built-in furniture, light fittings, and other fixtures.
Other buildings at the College constructed in the 1970s and later are not significant.
HOW IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
Genazzano FCJ College is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criteria for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria's history.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
Genazzano FCJ College is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
Established in 1889 as an all-girls boarding school and convent by the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), a Catholic Order of Sisters, Genazzano FCJ College is of historical significance for its association with the development of Victoria's education system, and in particular the development of the Catholic education system. The removal of funding from religious schools in favour of free, secular and compulsory state education under the Education Act 1872 saw the Catholic system expand and become financially independent during the 1870s and 1880s. Overseas religious orders were engaged to fund, establish and staff new schools. Between 1882 and 1897, five parties of FCJ Sisters arrived in Melbourne. Originally a French order with a strong presence in the British Isles, they also established Vaucluse College in Richmond in 1882 (VHR H1927). The main building at Genazzano opened in 1891 and was designed by high-profile Catholic architect William Wardell. [Criterion A]
Genazzano FCJ College is architecturally significant for its 'Wardell Building', originally designed by architect William Wardell to integrate a convent, school, chapel and dormitories. The verticality of this notable building is emphasised by its pointed arched windows, steeply-pitched roofs, and prominent gabled end at the north, and it shows typical Wardellian characteristics such as French Gothic influences, bold massing and fine proportions, all offset by a simplicity of detail. The building's interiors are restrained but feature fine craftsmanship in the architraves, doors, staircases and timber ceilings. Its towering west-facing facade contrasts with the smaller-scale east wing along Mont Victor Road which incorporates a variety of masses, adding to the richness of the College's overall composition. [Criterion D]
Genazzano FCJ College is historically significant for its direct association with William Wardell (1823-1899), an architect who made a strong and influential contribution to the course of Victoria's history. The College's principal building - now known as its 'Wardell Building' - is the only known school building in Victoria to have been designed solely by Wardell, and is an important example of his work that allows its clear association with him to be readily appreciated better than most other places in Victoria. Wardell's other buildings in Victoria include St Patrick's Cathedral (VHR H0008) in East Melbourne, and the St Ignatius Church Complex (VHR H2146) at 326-348 Church Street in Richmond. [Criterion H]