Cathedral Hall

Architect: Reed, Smart & Tappin 1903

Inner North | IN01

Building Description

One of Melbourne’s lesser known architectural treasures has a rich history as a public venue. Originally a boot factory, Cathedral Hall has been a venue for balls, films, bands (Daddy Cool, Midnight Oil), and Victorian state boxing matches. It was also a significant meeting venue for Melbourne’s post WW2 Italian Community.

The Archbishop of Melbourne purchased the former Exhibition Boot Company building in 1902 and commissioned Joseph Reed, architect of some of Victoria’s most notable early 20th century church buildings, to create an ornate community hall. Reed’s design skilfully incorporated the 1873 boot factory into a design with clubrooms, class rooms and an elegant main hall. It features a magnificent fibrous plaster ceiling, Irish coat-of-arms, a fully sprung dance floor, suspended balconies and excellent acoustics. The Archbishop was fascinated by electricity and Cathedral Hall was one of the early beneficiaries of both gas and electrical service in Melbourne.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne made the Hall available to the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in 1998 and it is currently used by ACU as a lecture theatre and function space.

What's On

Guides will provide stories and information on the buildings rich history, photographic displays and the opportunity to visit the museum of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey, Australia’s second person on the path to sainthood.


22 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065, Fitzroy VIC

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