Restoration and conservation works began on the Wesley Church project in Melbourne in February 2018. Over the next two years the Church, the Manse, the Schoolhouse and the Caretaker’s Cottage were fully restored.
The works completed included specialist cleaning, repointing, slate and lead roofing, heritage carpentry and painting, and stained glass window repairs. One of the major components of the works to the church were stone replacement, including replacement of pinnacles, stringcourses and cornices. The stone used is Udelfanger Sandstone from Germany, as specified by the consulting architect, Lovell Chen.
The restoration project is part of the $200 million redevelopment of the Wesley Precinct. The redevelopment includes ground and lower level retail spaces, a new ground level park and two public walkways through the site.
The 34 level commercial office tower will sit on the eastern portion of the Wesley Church site with frontages to Lonsdale Street, Little Lonsdale Street and Jones Lane.
History of the Wesley Church
Located in the central business district of Melbourne, Wesley Church opened in August 1858.
The elegant gothic church was designed by architect Joseph Reed, who also designed many notable buildings in Melbourne, including the Town Hall, the Public Library and the Exhibition Buildings, as well as Collins St Baptist Church, Scots Church and the Independent Church (now St Michael’s).
Originally a Wesleyan Church, it became a Methodist Church in the union of 1902, and then part of the Uniting Church in Australia.
In 1893, the church started what is now known as the Wesley Mission Victoria, a community service organisation that helps vulnerable people in the community.