Toorak House Conservation Works Unveiled

On 5 October 2013, the Swedish Church in Melbourne celebrated the completion of an extensive program of conservation works to the exterior of Toorak House, St Georges Road, Toorak. At a ceremony attended by the Federal Member for Higgins, Ms Kellie O'Dwyer MP, Mr Ted Baillieu MLA, the Mayor of Stonnington, Cr. Matthew Koce, Reverand Stefan Begmark representing the Church of Sweden Abroad, the vicar of the Church of Sweden, Melbourne Reverend Per Axerup, the Chairman of the Church Council Mr Roger Kalla, and members of the Scandinavian Community of Melbourne, the completed works were unveilled by Ms O'Dwyer.

Toorak House was constructed between 1848 and 1851 for Melbourne merchant James Jackson who died before he could occupy the building. From 1854 until 1874 the property served as the official residence of the Governor of Victoria. In 1956, Toorak House was purchased by the Church of Sweden Abroad and has been a centre for the Swedish and Scandinavian community of Melbourne and Victoria ever since.

Toorak House and its former stables were included in the Victorian Heritage Register in October 1974.

In 2011, Coleman Architects were engaged by project managers Napier & Blakely on behalf of the Swedish Church, to undertake a Condition Survey of the external fabric of the house and the former stables. We subsequently prepared documentation for external works including repairs to damaged render, door and window frames, cast iron balustrading and the roof of both the main building and the former stables. The works were carried out by IG Parker Pty Ltd and completed on time and on budget in September 2012.

Coleman Architects are very pleased to have been involved with the work on this most important Victorian property and congratulate the Swedish Church for the care and respect they have given to the property for many years.