From mansion to apartments, Labassa has survived with its Victorian era decoration intact.
Labassa is an outstanding Victorian era mansion with opulent architectural features. Originally called ‘Sylliott Hill’, it was renamed ‘Ontario’ in the 1880s reflecting its new owner Alexander William Robertson’s Canadian heritage. Robertson was a founder of the Cobb and Co. coach company that successfully ran mail services throughout Victoria. He had the mansion redeveloped in the French Second Empire style by commissioning the German born architect, John A. B. Koch, to remodel the house into a thirty-five roomed mansion. The interior features gilt embossed wallpapers, ornate stained glass and a rare trompe l’oeil ceiling.
Renamed Labassa in 1904 it was home to Melbourne’s elite until 1920 when it was divided into flats. The residents included Hollywood’s first Australian silent film star and other colourful bohemians. Labassa is the most lavish of the few surviving nineteenth century mansions and the magnificently restored interiors of the main rooms again impress all its visitors.
Click here to take a 3D Virtual Tour of Labassa
The next Open Day will take place on Sunday 18 June.
For the next Labassa Open Day click here.
Listen to former residents John and Ruth Harland, share stories and open up John’s photographic archive capturing more than a decade spent residing at Labassa. From intimate portraits of residents and visitors, children at play and even Labassa’s art group, the collection encompasses more than 350 images taken during the height of the ‘hippie 70s’ and early 80s. Daughter Ruth, a child at the time, offers her personal insights into growing up in this unique community.
When: Wednesday 28 June
To book: Online or phone (03) 9524 3333