Bank on hidden delights

Prepare to take a flight of stairs to see one of Williamstown’s oldest commercial properties, now a family home.

This building started life as a branch of the Melbourne Savings Bank in the late 1880s. Designed by Wight and Lucas Architects, it included the bank manager’s residence.

It continued as a State Savings Bank of Victoria from 1912 – 1991 and finally became a branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, serving the Williamstown community for 108 years, concluding trade on 30 June 1995.

The property is now privately owned and was refurbished and altered by John Kalkbrenner, Master Builder under the direction of BSS Group Architects.

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The property is historically significant as the fourth known Savings Bank in metropolitan Melbourne and the first purpose built bank in Ferguson Street. It epitofies the development of Williamstown and the emerging importance of Ferguson Street in the late nineteenth century as the primary commercial centre of the City of Williamstown.

Aesthetically, it is significant as an altered example of Italian Renaissance Revival Bank. Situated on a prominent corner site, it is a local landmark that contributes to the historic character of Ferguson Street.

Socially, it illustrates the important role of banks in nineteenth century society.

Source – Victorian Heritage Society