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Old Treasury Building

Architect: John James Clark, 1858-1862

City of Melbourne | C27

Building Description

With origins in the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, the Old Treasury Building occupies a unique position in Melbourne’s history. Regarded as one of Australia’s finest nineteenth-century buildings, its construction between 1858 and 1862 was symbolic of the city’s rapid development. Nineteen-year-old architect JJ Clark’s design is in the Renaissance Revival style, derived from the ‘Italian palazzo’ form. The three-storey rectangular building is elegantly proportioned, with three main entrances to the ground floor, all faced in Bacchus March sandstone. The recently restored terraces and lamps were constructed in 1867. The interior elegance is understated, with the old Executive Council room (aka Deakin Room) on the ground floor restored to the scheme believed to date from 1872. As a leading public building in Melbourne, located in a prominent position, the Old Treasury has been the focus for many celebrations and major public events. The arrivals and departures of the Governors of Victoria were occasions for expressions of loyalty to the Crown and sometimes for political statements. More recently it has been the location of the School Strike 4 Climate and AFL Grand Final Parade. The Old Treasury Building is now a museum with exhibitions that chart the growth of Melbourne.

What's On

Visit the original basement gold vaults, used to store the colony of Victoria’s gold during the 1860s. Discover the growth of Melbourne through dramatic panoramic images of the city created between 1841 and 1900. A Kids’ Fun Trail will bring the museum to life, available at the main entrance.

Need to Know

  • Open: Sunday 28 July 10am–3.45pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages

  • Notes: Toilets available, photography restrictions, expect queues. Step-free access is at the rear of the building.

  • Kids Activity: Journey through the exhibitions and discover the architect and architecture of the Old Treasury Building with the Kids’ Fun Trail, bringing the museum to life.

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop 8: Spring St on routes 11, 12, 48, 109

  • Website:

  • Photo Credit: Courtesy of Old Treasury Building


20 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000, Melbourne VIC


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