Black and white photo of the 1909 building by Nahum Barnet showing brickwork and ornate arches
Legacy House is now painted pale blue and missing some of the decorative mouldings
People dressed as Legacy bears dressed in the three uniforms of the Defence Force are shown displaying the decorative handmade mosaics on the rear of the building
A black and white photo of a female instructor and many smiling girls who attended gymnastic and dance classes in Legacy House for many years
Black and white photo of the function room being used by elderly ladies seated around tables for a Widows Club event.

Legacy House

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Nahum Barnet 1909


Melbourne Legacy’s service to veterans’ families is a unique part of Victorian culture with hundreds of thousands of war widows and fatherless children supported since 1923.

Legacy House was built in 1909 and gifted to Melbourne Legacy in 1956 to create a permanent home for it to continue supporting veterans’ families. This is a unique opportunity to see a display of rare archival items, photographs and documents, not normally open to the public.

Legacy House is part of the Drewery Lane Heritage precinct and part of the display will cover the history of adjoining buildings.

What's On

Access Level 2 to see a display, created specifically for Open House Melbourne, of photos, documents, artefacts, and stories that showcase the work Legacy has done for 100 years and is still providing to veterans’ families. These items have never been on public display, including a rare violin played in Changi POW camp during WW2.

Professional Legacy staff will be available to discuss Legacy’s history and current work. Participants may exit via the rear lane to see the Legacy mosaics and other Drewery Lane buildings.

Images: (1) 1909 building by Nahum Barnet was built as a showroom. Photo: Melbourne Legacy. (2) Legacy has owned Legacy House since 1956 and used it to help families of veterans. Photo: Melbourne Legacy. (3) Legacy Bears in uniforms of our Defence Force showing the mosaics in the laneway. Photo: Melbourne Legacy. (4) Thousands of children attended classes at Legacy House including dance and gymnastics. Photo: Melbourne Legacy. (5) Widows of veterans came together for events at Legacy House, forming great friendships. Photo. Melbourne Legacy.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July
Open access 10am-2pm
No bookings required

Head to Level 2. Participants may exit via the rear lane to see the Legacy mosaics and other Drewery Lane buildings.


Fully wheelchair accessible, Elevator access


293 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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