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One of the oldest churches in Victoria, Chapel Off Chapel is one of Melbourne’s most popular live performance venues built in 1858. Learn about the amazing history of Chapel Off Chapel.
Designed by Architects Thomas J Crouch and Ralph Wilson, the former independent bluestone church in Malvern Road Prahran was built in 1858. It was intended to be completed in stages but never reached its designed final form, which was to include a masonry chancel and a tower.
In 1862 in England, Frederick W Nicholson built and exported an organ to Australia, where it was installed for its grand opening in the church 1863.
The Church Hall (now known as The Loft) housed the Sunday school and was built in 1883.
Following the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches in 1977, the building ceased being used as a church.
The Prahran City Council purchased the building in 1980.
Prahran City Council gifted the organ to St. Patricks in Mentone in the mid 1980’s under the condition that it be restored for use in worship.
The organ is still there to this day.
The Church and Hall buildings were originally opened in February 1989 as the Princes Gardens Recreation Centre. Sitting adjacent to tennis courts and offering a small community gym, dancing classes, martial arts, painting, drawing and art classes.
In 1994, the link building between the Church and the Church Hall was built and Chapel Off Chapel was established as an integrated arts, recreation and tourism centre by the newly formed City of Stonnington (The amalgamation of Prahran and Malvern Councils).
The venue officially opened on March 19, 1995.