Historical information

The Kew Civic Centre (A K Lines, MacFarlane & Marshall, 1972) was built next to the Kew Civic Hall (A C Leith & Bartlett, 1960) on the site of the former mansion Ordsall (later renamed South Esk). Whereas the entrance to the Civic Hall was positioned off Civic Drive, the main entrance to the Civic Centre faced Cotham Road, as shown in the undated perspective drawing of the proposed building. The Civic Hall was used for public functions and performances, while the Civic Centre was used for civic offices. It also contained the Council Chamber. The building opened in 1972, following the relocation of the councillors and council officers from the former Town Hall in Walpole Street (now a Woolworth's supermarket). Following the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the City of Boroondara in 1994, the Civic Centre was sold to Trinity Grammar School. The exterior of the Centre has been modified by Trinity Grammar.


A report for Heritage Victoria (date) describes how two architectural firms dominated the designs for new civic buildings in Victoria during the post war period. The report claims that: "An interesting sub-theme in the erection of post-war municipal offices in Victoria is that a considerable proportion were designed by the same three or four Melbourne-based architectural firms, who established themselves as the leading specialists in this type of work. The two most prolific firms in this regard were A K Lines, MacFarlane & Marshall, and A C Leith & Bartlett; both, in fact, had made names for themselves as designers of local government offices prior to the Second World War. Lines' office, for example had designed the Eltham Shire Offices in 1941, while Leith's firm had been responsible for the celebrated Heidelberg Town Hall in 1937). Both practices parleyed this early experience into a lucrative post-war career, designing numerous municipals offices well into the 1970s." (Survey of Post-War Built Heritage in Victoria, Built Heritage Pty Ltd, 2010.) The perspective drawing importantly captures the original design and function of the exterior of the building and its public entrance.

Physical description

Hand-coloured perspective sketch of the new Kew Civic Centre, completed in 1972 to designs by A K Lines, MacFarlane & Marshall; and located on the corner of Charles Street and Cotham Road, Kew. The sketch represents the front elevation of the building and its relation to the preexisting Kew Civic Hall at right. The three storey building features strong vertical concrete buttresses that extend across the three levels.

Inscriptions & markings