Old Buninyong Library
One of Buninyong's architectural gems, though not its grandest building, the delightful Old Library currently houses the Buninyong Information Centre in the former Reading Room, while the other side holds a small shop. Visitors are welcome to browse through the beautifully restored old building: the Information Centre is open 10am-3pm Tuesday to Sunday.
A Brief History of the Old Library
The building was constructed circa 1859 as a gift to the local townspeople from industrialist and philanthropist Robert Allan, who owned the 5-acre block and lived in the house "Eyre Cottage". The building was to be used as a library and Mechanics Institute with a small residence and shop on the northern end of the building.
The unique feature of the timber building is the elaborate facade detailed to simulate the appearance of stonework.
After the First World War (1914-18) and Buninyong's gradual decline, the library ceased to operate and David Kerr, the remaining proprietor, offered the building to the Cemetery Trust. The title was transferred in 1927. The building was then occupied intermittently as a residence and craft shop. Its decay continued.
|The building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Registry.
|An Historic Buildings grant of $10,000 was obtained to stabilize the Reading Room floor and replace rotten floor boards. This proved to be a temporary measure.
|The Cemetery Trust contacted the Shire of Buninyong Council to seek assistance in the preservation of the building. Council agreed and allocated $300 towards a consultant's plan for the preservation of the building.
|Council instructed its solicitors to create a non-profit making body to operate the old Library Building. The body so formed was the Buninyong Joint Library Trust Inc. which has an executive of 3 representatives of the Cemetery Trust and 3 elected Buninyong residents.
|Further restoration of the front facade.
Information on the Old Buninyong Library was supplied by Derick Leather, Buninyong & District Historical Society.
Buninyong Old Library Grants
Many thanks to the Buninyong Community Bank for two grants to the Buninyong Library Trust in 2012-3: one for the purchase of a new computer in the Buninyong Information Centre and the other to assist with the costs of repainting the façade of the Old Library in Warrenheip St.
The Heritage-listed Old Library building is a much-loved survivor from Buninyong's earliest days but it requires regular maintenance to keep the picturesque wooden structure sound and protect it from the weather. The Library Trust appreciates the contributions of $1,000 by the Community Bank and $2,000 by the City of Ballarat to support the next phase of repainting.
Photo: Bank Manager Stewart McKee presents members of the Libary Trust with a gigantic cheque