RMIT University’s La Trobe Street outlook has been significantly improved following the restoration of Foresters Hall’s façade.
Dating back to 1888 and, once the home of the Ancient Order of Foresters, Building 24’s façade has been returned to its original condition with the reinstatement and application of rich detailing and decoration, typical of the late Victorian period.
RMIT Property Services’ Deputy Director of Projects, Kevin McCarthy, said that the project formed part of RMIT’s vision to provide positive outcomes not just for students, but also for the community.
“RMIT has been a major stakeholder in Melbourne’s CBD for 128 years, and this restoration talks both to our long history and our future of providing exemplary built environments,” he said.
The project forms part of the 2014-2018 Capital Development Program and part of the 2014-2015 Annual Works Program, managed by RMIT Property Services.
Over the years, the original façade has been subject to unsympathetic refurbishments, and the original features have decayed.
To address the situation, in late 2013, RMIT Property Services commenced an extensive restoration of the facade, aligned with strict heritage requirements.
The works, done by Mattioli Brothers, reinstated the distinctive gilded block lettering as well as repainting the building in its original colour palette, based on an analysis of the 17 layers of paint discovered during the restoration.
The historical Foresters crest has been brought back to prominence through painstaking repairs and paint detailing.
The significant City campus building was purchased by RMIT in 1970, and is listed on the Register of the National Estate and the Government Buildings register of Heritage Council Victoria.