Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lonsdale House, Melbourne

Lonsdale House, MelbourneI G Anderson, 1934-35

Lonsdale House is a fantastic moderne building in Lonsdale St, Melbourne. If you look carefully, however, you might be able to see that it is actually an update of two earlier buildings.

Architect, I G Anderson designed the renovation creating an asymmetrical building that has become an Art Deco icon of Melbourne.

The most striking feature is the geometric tower, a pile of squares and discs supporting a flag pole. A vertical band of decoration partially running down the front of the tower mirrors a similar element on the centre of the parapet on the right hand side of the building.

Lonsdale House, MelbourneViewed in isolation, this right side of the building can clearly be seen as a separate building with a symmetrical parapet. The discs on the corners are matched by the design of the left hand corner of the entire structure.

Spandrels below each band of windows are used to unify the two previous buildings. The two lower bands on the left form balconies of differing sizes.

Lonsdale House, Melbourne

The name, Lonsdale House, is rendered across one of the spandrels on the right hand side in stylised lettering.

Lonsdale House, MelbourneMyer are planning an extensive re-development of their Lonsdale Street store, which is next door to Lonsdale House. Their plans include the demolition of this wonderful building which they own.

The Art Deco Society oppose the demolition and has nominated Lonsdale House to both Heritage Victoria and National trust for inclusion on their Registers.

I hope that Myer can alter their proposal to retain this impressive building. It would be a shame to lose such a unique Melbourne building.


  1. I too share your admiration for this building and concern for its future. I have put my thoughts on the issue on my blog - Melbourne Heritage Watch:

  2. Thanks Sean

    The more voices out there the better.