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Photo - Hibernian Hall

From the Collection of Melbourne Legacy 293 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria

Description
Black and white photo of the old Hibernian Hall in Swanston Street.
Object Registration
01845
Keywords
properties, dureau house
Historical information
A photo of the first property owned by Legacy, at 342 Swanston Street. After receiving money in memory of David H Dureau to purchase premises, Legacy purchased the old Hibernian Hall. However there were many issues with the property, including its suitability and the inability to gain vacant possession from the existing tenants. So eventually the property was sold and the money used to buy the current Legacy House, still formally known as the David H Dureau Memorial Building as per the bequest instructions. The notes on the back of the photo say it was sold to Sir Bernard Evans and then to RMIT and it was renamed Storey Hall.
The full story of the donation has been pieced together from several sources.
Part of the story of the donation towards Dureau House. BG Corporation in New York used 'Brown and Dureau' as agents in Melbourne for their spark plug manufacturing (for the American aircraft based in Australia during the war). A royalty of two shillings and sixpence was agreed. The entrepreneur President of BG Corporation was Richard Goldsmith. L/ Grat Grattan had a friend Mr Edwards who was managing director at Brown and Dureau and heard of the desire by Mr Goldsmith to leave a permanent memorial to ex-servicemen in Australia (Children's Hospital was considered). L/ Grattan took Mr Edwards to Market St (where Legacy was situated at the time) and showed him the inadequacy of the building. It was agreed if Melbourne Legacy could come up with a purchased building in 10 days they would get the money needed and the building was to be named in memory of David H Dureau, who had died at sea during the war. The donation was £27,059. The property purchased was 'Hibernian Hall' in Swanston St (later called Storey Hall when it was acquired by RMIT). After the war it turned out not to be suitable and a new building was required. An act of parliament was required to enable the sale (01262) and consent from the donor was also sought before the sale (document still to be catalogued). Money raised from the sale was used to purchase 293 Swanston St.
Significance
A photo of the first property purchased by Legacy as a result of a generous donation.
Inscriptions & Markings
Handwritten on back 'The old Hibernian Hall purchased by Melbourne Legacy and later sold because of inability to secure vacant possession from tenants. Sold to Sir Bernard Evans then to RMIT and named 'Storey House', in pencil.
Stamped '30 Jun 1947' in purple ink
Last updated
31 Jul 2020 at 11:44AM