Add to Itinerary

The Johnston Collection

Architect: John McIntosh 1860

City of Melbourne | C23

Booked Out

Building Description

Fairhall is a double-fronted two-storey townhouse in the classical style. It was built in 1860 by John McIntosh of Nicholson Street for James Cumming, dental surgeon. It was originally single-fronted of four rooms, and was extended sideways to its current double fronted arrangement in 1870. In 1883 Cummings sold the house to George Hamilton Dougharty, landowner and stock and station agent, who named it Cadzow (from the Celtic, ‘cadihou’, meaning ‘beautiful castle’) after the town in Scotland where the Dougharty family house, Fairhall, was situated. The Dougharty family remained in the house until 1952, when it was sold to William Robert Johnston, property investor, antique dealer and collector. He changed the name of the house to the more euphonious Fairhall and made many alterations both inside and out. At first Johnston let the house as flats, but lived there from 1971 until his death in 1986. Johnston bequeathed the building and his astonishing collection of 18th century fine and decorative arts from the English Georgian, Regency period to the people of Victoria. Today, Fairhall displays works from Johnston’s collection and is rearranged for three themed tours annually. The Johnston Collection also incorporates a lecture space, retail shop and reference library.

What's On

Guests will be taken on a guided tour of Fairhall with a focus on significant aspects of the building. Fairhall will be arranged for TJC’s annual house-of-ideas exhibition where guest artist, Janet Laurence, will use Fairhall as a site-specific installation space to reconceptualise the interior.


192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, East Melbourne VIC


Save My Itinerary

You can save your itinerary for later by entering your email address and a password below. Then you can log in using other computers or devices like your smartphone, to access My Itinerary on the go.



Log Out