SEAMEN'S INSTITUTE FOR THE VICTORIA MISSIONS TO SEAMEN
In architectural style, the new Seamen's Institute for the Victorian Missions to Seamen, in Flinders street Extension which is to be opened early in September by Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, the Governor-General, may be said to resemble the type adopted by the early settlers in California, and known in recent years by the name of Spanish Mission architecture. This character is particularly sympathetic with the object for which the building has been erected, and is exemplified in a marked degree in the unique chapel tower of oblong shape with its four pinnacles and open bell turret, with an almost rustic cross as terminal point: also in the arcaded Eastern Court cloisters, with simple round arch arcading, and in the chapel roof, which is framed of heavy rough-hewn hardwood timber work left as it came from the saw, and erected green from the forest. but so well framed and bolted that no harm can result from shrinkage. The foundations are constructed of reinforced concrete, and in some places are nine feet wide. The ground is very treacherous, and considering the irregular weights of the one story, two-story, and three-story parts of the building, the result achieved in sta bility is eminently satisfactory.
The main hall has a vaulted ceiling of reinforced concrete construction, and, spanning 35f., is the widest span of any floor in Melbourne of similar construction.
The chaplain's residence is built above the lecture hall, and consists of a most complete, up-to-date dwelling-house of eight rooms. It is fitted with every modern convenience and labor-saving device. The cupboard in the pantry, for instance, has two faces — one in the diningroom and the other in the pantry. Dishes are washed in the pantry, put into the cupboard, and taken out in the diningroom, ready for the next meal. Special rooms are designed for the many and various works carried out for the sailors by the industrious workers of the mission. One room is shelved and fitted for the reception, sorting, and distribution of books, periodicals, and other reading matter that is parcelled up by willing hands and given to sailors as ships leave port, to beguile the weary hours of leisure on the sea. Any old books or magazines, illustrated papers, and the like are always welcome at the insti tute. Reading matter of this kind can easily be saved and sent along in bundles.
The gymnasium is not yet built. This is the only part of the building required to complete the block; and when its concrete dome, with open eye at summit like the Pantheon at Rome is erected, the whole effect of the groups of buildings will be most striking.
In the entrance hall is a floor of marble mosaic, with a central feature of a mariner's compass seven foot in diameter, well executed by the Adamant Pavement Company, and the gift of Mr George Russell.
The architect has designed a copper ship as a finial for the main gable of the building, and it, like the gymnasium, is awaiting the collection of more funds or the generosity of a special donor.
The whole of the woodwork of the in terior of the building, including high dados round the walls of halls, stair cases, billiard and other rooms is car ried out in Tasmanian hardwood, fin ished in a dull beeswax polish, and the floors of the entire building, except the lavatories, which are tiled, are also executed in Tasmanian hardwood.
Mr Walter R. Butler, F.R.I.B.A., was the architect, and the work was carried out by Mr A. B. Robertson, builder.
PICTURESQUE BUILDING AMID SOMBRE SURROUNDINGS
The article gives a valuable description of the Mission at the end of its construction and before its opening.
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