Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Artistic Social
Presbyterian Meeting House
In Use As
Theatre/opera house/concert hall
1710 - 1750
Attached six-bay two-storey former Presbyterian Meeting House, built c.1728. Façade retained, new structure erected to rear 1995 for use as children's cultural centre. Rendered parapet having moulded panelled piers and moulded cornice, set over dentillated eaves course with cast-iron rainwater goods. Red brick laid in Flemish bond to wall to front (east) elevation, having moulded string course to first floor and granite plinth course. Segmental-headed window openings having some original crown glazing, with moulded surrounds and sills, scrolled keystones, and twelve-over-twelve timber sliding sash windows. Two segmental-headed door openings with double-leaf timber panelled doors having plain overlights, set within carved limestone doorcases with scrolled keystones, panelled spandrels, and acanthus leaf brackets supporting panelled segmental pediments. Cast-iron double-leaf gates flanked by matching railings set on carved granite plinth, with historic granite paving to front. Return walls incorporated to modern additions. Set slightly back from street.
The Presbyterian congregation moved here from St Augustine Street in 1728. The site may have previously served as a Presbyterian school. Although only the façade of the meeting hall survives, its segmental openings and the careful execution of Classical decorative flourishes, seen particularly in the imposing doorcases, enliven the streetscape. The proportion and balance of the façade is underscored by the deep, rendered parapet, string course and plinth which divide it into three sections. It is an important reminder of the social history of the city, and it continues to serve as a focal point for the community as a children's' cultural centre. The reworking of the building was by Shane O'Toole & Michael Kelly. The opening wall to the stage at the rear to Meeting House Square is by Santiago Calatrava.