The brick exterior of one of Ballarat’s historic churches received a facelift thanks to a partnership between Heritage Victoria, the Greek community, Ballarat City Council and the University of Ballarat.
In 2010, the Greek Orthodox Community of Ballarat and District received $15,000 in matched funding from Heritage Victoria towards the restoration of the exterior brickwork of St Nicholas Church. Students from the University of Ballarat’s Building Construction Training Centre have worked on the project and Council provided heritage advice and support.
The building’s brick exterior is a prime example of previous incorrect masonry repairs and deterioration that occurs in similar brick buildings of this age. The restoration project involved the removal of incorrect and damaging cement mortar and the use of traditional lime mortar as well as the removal and replacement of over 400 bricks.
Greek Community president Andrew Grinos said the building was of great significance.
“The partnership that has been developed between the University of Ballarat and City of Ballarat means that this project can be used as a learning tool on how to restore historic buildings using traditional techniques.”
The project has been undertaken by local heritage restoration bricklayer Paul Britt in conjunction with the University of Ballarat Building Construction Training Centre, keeping the economic benefit derived from the project within the regional community while at the same time further developing the skill base of local tradespeople.
Located at 116 Humffray Street North the church was built in 1867 by carpenter S.H. Lugg and started its life as the Brown Hill Bible Christian Church. It then became the Brown Hill Methodist Church Christian Church until it was purchased by Ballarat’s Greek Community in 1975.