Historical information

This photograph is part of the Caulfield Historical Album 1972. This album was created in approximately 1972 as part of a project by the Caulfield Historical Society to assist in identifying buildings worthy of preservation. The album is related to a Survey the Caulfield Historical Society developed in collaboration with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Caulfield City Council to identify historic buildings within the City of Caulfield that warranted the protection of a National Trust Classification.
Principal photographer thought to be Trevor Hart, member of Caulfield Historical Society. Most photographs were taken between 1966-1972 with a small number of photographs being older and from unknown sources. All photographs are black and white except where stated, with 386 photographs over 198 pages.


The Former Union Church, Elsternwick, designed by the architect George de Lacy Evans, and erected in 1889-90 is a building of historical and architectural significance for the following reasons:-
(1) it is a rare and well- developed example of the early French Gothic manner as popularised through the muscular Victorian re-interpretation of English architect William Burgess, which in turn were derived from the publications of EE Viollet-le-Duc. Other Victorian cases of detailing derived from Viollet-le-Duc include Barwon Park (1868), the Presbyterian Church at Skipton (1871), the Bourke Street West Police Station by Bindley and Brittingham (PWD) dating from 1888-9 and the Lutheran Manse, East Melbourne by JAB Koch (1890). However, none of these buildings relates closely in form to the Union Church, Elsternwick. The only building which has been identified as closely comparable is The Bairnsdale Court House by AJ Macdonald (PWD) which dates from 1892.
(2) the use of bright red brickwork is of significance, as the Former Union Church is believed to be only the second church building in Victoria to employ this material as a matter of conscious choice. Amongst red brick churches, it is thought to be preceded only by Reed, Henderson And Smart's Sacred Heart (1884), a Renaissance inspired design.
(3) the building is believed to be a rare, possibly unique, surviving example of a church building erected for dual use by the Congregationalists and Baptists. In 1894 it was bought by the Congregationalists and continued as a Congregational Church until the formation of the Uniting Church.

Physical description

Page 165 of Photograph Album with four photographs, two of a church with the other two of houses on Orrong Road.

Inscriptions & markings

Handwritten: ELSTERNWICK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH [under top left photo] / 82 ORRONG ROAD [under top right photo] / 663-1 ORRONG ROAD / SEMI - DETACHED PAIR / 165 [bottom left]