One of Victoria's oldest and most interesting nonconformist church buildings, comprising fragments of a Gothic chapel of 1853 by John Gill, that was subsequently converted into a hall; a nave of 1858 by Thomas Watts, now gutted by fire and a classical facade, the portico of which was built in as offices in the 1920s. The nave with its ramped floor, fine joinery, coved and panelled ceiling and decorative scheme imitating stone masonry but later over painted, was among the very finest of its type, but now consists of little but a shell with the remains of the classical ordonnance of the inside walls. The front portion, originally conceived by Thomas Watts as a portico in antis between two unusual towers, was modified by Smith & Watts in 1863 to truncate the towers and bring forward a prostyle hexastyle corinthian portico. The later building-in of the portico necessitated the provision of doors and stairs on either side.
The building is now of more value as a record of the changing fortunes of the churches, changing fashions in architecture, and the variable success of the conservation movement than as a specimen in its own right.
Special Aspects: Essential part of the Eastern Hill Precinct and forms an important group with the neighbouring synagogue and Citadel Press.
Classified: 'Regional' 06/05/1965