The historic Eltham Courthouse has been officially reopened following a major $385,000 restoration.
Mayor Frances Eyre opened the former courthouse, which is Nillumbik’s oldest public building, at celebrations this week which was also attended by Wingrove Ward Councillor Geoff Paine and Edendale Ward Councillor Natalie Duffy.
The building, part of the Eltham Justice Precinct in Main Road, is home to the Eltham and District Historical Society and Eltham U3A, whose members were also in attendance.
The works were undertaken by Ducon Building Solutions and RBA Architects and Conservation Consultants and involved meticulous restoration inside and out including repairs to the exterior render, repainting, replacing slate roof tiles and replacing the subfloor.
The original furniture, including the magistrate’s desk, dock, pews and cabinetry have been refurbished and the courthouse returned to how it would have looked when it first opened in 1860.
Nillumbik Mayor Frances Eyre commended the restoration with its meticulous attention to detail.
“The former courthouse is a landmark building in the Shire and, in fact, the oldest public building in Nillumbik,” Cr Eyre said.
“Keeping our history alive for future generations is vital.”
Eltham District Historical Society President Jim Connor thanked Council for helping to honour and preserve the Shire’s significant local history.
“The restoration of the historic Eltham Courthouse is an excellent example of a community responsive project undertaken by Nillumbik Shire Council,” Mr Connor said.
The courthouse was built in 1860 in response to the law and order issues arising from the influx of people to the area who were drawn by the nearby goldfields. The building operated as a courthouse until the 1980s.
It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is one of only two intact examples of its design in the state.
The restoration was funded by Nillumbik Shire Council through the Facility Maintenance Renewal Program.