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Immigration Museum

Architect: Peter Kerr 1855, Kerr Clark and Johnson 1876, Lovell Chen 1998

City of Melbourne | C46

Building Description

A stately city oasis, Immigration Museum is located in heritage-listed Old Customs House, one of Melbourne's most significant Victorian-era buildings. Three customs structures have occupied the current site of the Old Customs House, including Melbourne's first bluestone building. The Customs House we see today was built to be one of Melbourne's grandest buildings. Architect Peter Kerr based the building design on an Italian Renaissance palace and modelled the ionic columns and door architraves on details of the Erechtheion temple in Athens. When the project to transform Old Customs House into the Immigration Museum began in 1998, the building had been empty for six years and alterations obscured many of the original features. With the help of Lovell Chen Architects Customs House was restored to its original design and grandeur, while adapting to operate as a modern museum. Today the spectacularly renovated historic Long Room has been transformed into an impressive temporary exhibition space. See it in its full glory as part of as the Winter Exhibition; Our Body, Our Voices, Our Marks.

What's On

Old Customs House Tours, 11am, 1pm, 3pm daily. Join Immigration Museum staff to explore and discover the history of Old Customs House, including its inception, uses and the surprising stories of the people associated with the building. Visit Urban Tactility in the rear courtyard–an installation and public program exploring the sensory city, design and disability, inclusivity and access. See the Urban Tactility event page for more details. Self-guided tour and entry to the ground floor childrens activity and Urban Tactility open throughout the day. Exhibition admission not included.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–5pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Guided + Open Entry, Self-guided

  • Tour Details: Tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, running 40 minutes in groups of 20.

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages.

  • Notes: Toilets available, refreshments available

  • Kids Activity: Keep our future designers happy with a range of fun activities. Create your own mini museum inside the historic walls of Old Customs House. What would your museum be about? What would you put on display?

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Architecture Era: Pre-separation Colonial (1836-1850)

  • Transport: Tram stop 3: Market St on routes 35, 70, 75

  • Photo Credit: James Geer, supplied

Location

400 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000, Melbourne VIC

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