ANZ Restores Historic Gothic Bank In Melbourne’s CBD

Following a two-year restoration project to return this Melbourne architectural icon to its former glory, ANZ’s historic Gothic Bank has reopened. The project is a contribution to the community, our customers, and visitors to the city – offering a museum where you can bank.

The refurbished building now houses an ANZ specialist hub providing banking services, alongside a museum that charts the storied history of ANZ and the iconic site.

ANZ’s Gothic Bank first opened for business on May 31, 1887, a period that marked the boom era in Melbourne’s history and a corresponding renaissance for banking institutions.

It was originally built as the Australia-based head office of ANZ’s predecessor – the English, Scottish and Australia Chartered Bank. Upper floors of the bank also housed the residence of its first General Manager, Sir George Verdon. Beneath ground level, sits the original banking vaults which for many years secured money, gold and other precious items.

The building was designed by architect William Wardell, a renowned leader of the Gothic Revival movement who had previously completed designs for Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral and Government House.

The Gothic Bank is Melbourne’s first large secular building constructed in the Gothic style and remains one of Australia’s most significant historic buildings.

Work to refurbish the site has included reversing the layout to align more with the original interior design; repurposing the existing Blackwood counters as new retail sales pods; and showcasing work by local artists that are reflective of contributions made by the original masons and craftspeople. In addition, thousands of mosaic pieces have been carefully removed, restored and returned to the foyer floor, reinvigorating one of the building’s most vibrant focal points.

“As proud custodians of the building and in recognition of the Gothic Bank’s architectural significance to the City of Melbourne, we’re delighted to play an important role in the conservation of this unique heritage building – it is a gift to the people of Melbourne and those who visit our state,” said ANZ Chief Executive Officer, Shayne Elliott.

“The space has been redesigned to incorporate a specialist banking hub, as well as a Banking Museum that celebrates ANZ’s rich history in one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings,” he said.

“We recognise our role in preserving the building and its heritage for future generations,” said ANZ Head of Property, Sharon McDonald.

“ANZ has been part of the fabric of Victoria, in one form or another, for well over a century. The building and branch museum refurbishment project reflects our gratitude for the way so many Melburnians have made ANZ part of their lives, and continue to do so,” she said.

Since 2022, ANZ and design partners Foolscap Studio, have worked closely with Heritage Victoria, local curators, historians, archivists, and Traditional Owners to complete a refurbishment that remains true to the building’s architectural and historical heritage.

“It has been a privilege to work on one of Melbourne’s most significant historic places – uncovering and celebrating the building’s beautiful heritage while creating a space for the future for all of Melbourne to experience,” said Director at Foolscap Studio, Adèle Winteridge.

“Honouring the bank’s history of craftsmanship, we cherished collaborating with local artisans, restoration specialists, and curators to create standout details,” she said.

The Gothic Bank is located at 388 Collins Street on the corners of Collins and Queen Streets in Melbourne.

The bank and museum are open to ANZ customers, the local community, and visitors to Melbourne, Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4pm (excluding public holidays). Visitors are also encouraged to enjoy tours throughout the year, which will include visits to the subterranean vaults as well as the opulent upper floor chambers of founding bank manager Sir George Verdon.

The bank is classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) as of world significance.

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