175 Collins St, Melbourne (Kurrajong House), the first premises of the Australian College of Optometry

Catalogue Number: 2700
175 Collins St, Melbourne (Kurrajong House), the first premises of the Australian College of Optometry
Category: Papers
Sub-Category: Published articles
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 2006 - 2015
Time Period: 21st C
Publisher/Manufacturer: Henkell Brothers Investment Managers
Description Of Item: Print out dated April 30, 2015 from the web site http://www.175collinsstreet.com.au/history.htm of the history of the building at 175 Collins Street, known as Kurrajong House.
Historical Significance: The first premises of the Australian College of Optometry were at this address, in leased space in the rear half of the fourth floor. Kurrajong House was built in 1926-27 for the concert, film and theatrical entrepreneurs, J & N Tait. The architects of Kurrajong House, R M & M H King, had Adelaide origins, where Ray Maurice King began practising as an architect in 1891. The following year he moved to Melbourne and over the next sixty years he and his son, Maurice Harrington King, who he went into partnership with in 1926, designed many industrial and residential buildings in Victoria. The building was among the first generation of reinforced concrete and steel frame office buildings in Melbourne. Andrew Douglas was the contractor commissioned to erect Kurrajong House, in what was a flurry of building activity in the city in the mid to late 1920s. The building is named after the Kurrajong tree (Brachychiton populneus), a native of eastern Australia, which grows along the coast and semi-arid land from northeast Victoria to Townsville. The Australian College of Optometry was located in this building from 1940 to 1960, when it moved to its own premises in Carlton. The Victorian Optical Association occupied the premises from 1933 until the College was founded in 1940 although the VOA continued to hold its evening Council and education meetings in the building until the College moved to Carlton. See Catalogue Nos. 370 and 371 for photographs
Condition: Good
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 6

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