Melbourne’s historic Nicholas Building – home to an eclectic mix of artists, designers and various creative people – has been put on the market and tenants have come together to seek investors to ensure the city does not lose this unique cultural treasure.
Located on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, Nicholas Building was designed by prominent Melbourne architect Harry Norris in the Chicago style of architecture and built in 1926 to house a diverse range of businesses including the Flinders Lane garment trade, artists, medical practitioners and architects. Past studio residents include visionary artist Vali Myers, fugitive author Gregory David Roberts, and musicians Tim Rogers and Mark Ferrie among many more.
Featuring a retail arcade on the ground floor and offices and studios on the upper floors, the 11-storeyed building continues to be a beehive of creativity with over 100 studios, and is home to small businesses including galleries, bookstores, boutiques, recording studios and tattoo parlours, as well as fashion designers, jewellers, visual artists, designers, DJs, musicians, architects, archaeologists, milliners, tech innovators, writers and filmmakers.
To save one of Melbourne’s most valuable cultural hubs, the tenant-driven Nicholas Building Association is bringing together multiple partners including philanthropists, government and private investors to make sure that it not only survives but thrives as Melbourne’s most diverse vertical business creative precinct.
Known for its terracotta cladding and a barrel-vaulted ceiling, the heritage-listed Nicholas Building is considered the spiritual headquarters for Melbourne’s artistic community, providing affordable and dynamic working spaces for tenants and frequently hosting multi-disciplinary building-wide events that draw visitors from far and wide.
“The Nicholas Building Association is campaigning to ensure that whoever buys the building buys it with us – that they too recognise the value of Melbourne’s most unique and diverse creative business community, the city’s only artist- and creative-led cultural offering of this scale. We have support for a business case from the City of Melbourne, and are in discussions with Government and the philanthropic sector. This is an extraordinary – and urgent – opportunity for Melbourne to invest in its future,” Dario Vacirca, Nicholas Building Association spokesperson and artist commented.