Elim, formerly called Yooralbyn, was built in 1889 for William Harper, a partner in a leading Melbourne merchant and manufacturing firm. The house was one of the many great mansions and elegant terraces built in Richmond by local merchants and manufacturers during the 1880s boom period. The mansion, substantially intact, still stands on its original allotment and retains some of its 19th century garden layout and planting, as well as its stables. It now forms part of the Salvation Army Bethesda Hospital complex.
How is it significant?
Elim is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it Significant?
Elim is of architectural significance as perhaps the best surviving intact mansion from 19th century Richmond. The exterior of the building is particularly impressive, with its central tower, Ionic portico and flanking verandahs. The expansive stair hall and elaborate plaster work are features of the interior. The house is a rare example of a 19th century boom-style mansion in largely working class Richmond.
Elim is of historical significance to the State of Victoria for the evidence that its imposing facade, elaborate interiors and fine garden setting provide of the opulent lifestyle of Richmond's (and Melbourne's) elite during the late Victorian era.