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Mission to Seafarers Victoria

Architect: Walter Butler

Docklands | D01

The Spanish Mission/Arts and Crafts-style building complex was designed by Walter Butler. It was constructed in 1917, with the addition of the Norla Dome completed in 1919. The funds to build the complex came from fundraising by the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild (established in 1906), and a government grant. The building is significant for operating with its original purpose as a mission to the welfare of seafarers for 100 years. The historical Mission complex is architecturally significant as being a fine urban example of the Arts and Crafts Style in Melbourne. Before coming to Australia, Walter Butler was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement in his native England. He was a popular society architect in Melbourne, and designed many fine houses in Toorak. Today the complex consists of the St Peter, the Mariner Chapel, an extensive clubroom and administration area, the Chaplain’s house, a small cottage, and the Norla Dome. The Norla Dome was originally built as a gymnasium for visiting seafarers to maintain their fitness whilst onshore, and now serves as a unique and versatile events space.

Need to Know

  • Open: Sat & Sun 10am-4pm

  • What's Open: All parts of the building

  • Special Programming: The Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA) will be holding a special exhibition in the Norla Dome of ship models and will be available to discuss.

  • Building Type: Workplace

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Year Built: 1917

  • Transport: Tram Stop D5: South Wharf/Wurundjeri Way on routes 35, 70, 75.

  • Tour Type: Self-guided

Location

717 Flinders St, 3008, VIC

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