118 Greeves Street, Fitzroy

Russian House in Fitzroy has a fascinating two-part history, reflecting the evolution of the neighborhood itself.

Life as the Friendly Societies Dispensary (1884-1960s)

Built in 1884, the grand Victorian building began its life as the Collingwood and Fitzroy United Friendly Societies Dispensary. This dispensary served the local community, likely providing medical care and medication to residents. The architectural style of the building reflects this era, with elements of both Italian Renaissance and Classicism on the facade.

Transformation into the Russian House (1960s-Present)

Some time in the 1950s or early 1960s, the Friendly Societies Dispensary ceased operations. The building then entered a new chapter as it was acquired in 1963 by a Russian community group. This marked the birth of the Russian House as we know it today.

The Russian House became a focal point for the Russian community in Melbourne. It offered a space to connect, celebrate their heritage, and keep Russian culture alive. The organisation behind the Russian House, the Russian House Melbourne Inc., is dedicated to preserving and promoting Russian culture in Victoria. Russian House contains an extensive Russian language library.

A Look Inside Today

The Russian House still functions as a cultural center. They host various events to celebrate Russian culture, including lectures, film screenings, folk dancing, and social gatherings. The building itself remains a cherished landmark in Fitzroy, admired for its architectural beauty and historical significance.

If you're interested in learning more, you can visit the Russian House Melbourne Inc. website or see if they participate in events like Open House Melbourne.

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