24-05-1876: Academy of Music, Bourke Street Melbourne, Victoria.

The Argus Melbourne, Wednesday 24th May 1876, page 6.
The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil, Melbourne, Saturday 10th June 1876.

 “… Mr. Aarons, in his determination to make the effect as handsome as possible, has instructed Messrs. Ferguson and Urie to fill in the screen between the landing of the dress circle door and the arcade with stained glass. This screen is divided by columns, mouldings, and other appropriate architectural devices, into a large central and several other window openings. The central opening is to be filled in with a copy, in stained glass, of Wenterholter’s[1][sic] portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, of which, fortunately there is a full-size copy in our Houses of Parliament …”.

The Victorian Arcade and Academy of Music (The Bijou Theatre) was designed by Reed & Barnes.  The foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Victoria, Sir George Ferguson Bowen, on Tuesday 23rd May 1876 in Bourke Street Melbourne and opened in the same year. All were destroyed by a fire on the 22nd of April 1889[2].

No description of how elaborate the Ferguson & Urie stained glass has been found.

A new Bijou theatre was designed by George Johnson but was demolished in the early 1900’s. The Commonwealth Bank (219-225 Bourke street) now stands on the site.

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External links:

♦ Web site: Australian Variety Theatre Archive

♦ Biography: George Lewis, first lessee of the Bijou Theatre.


Foot notes:

[1] Franz Xavier Winterhalter

[2] The Age, Melbourne, 24th April 1889, page 3.


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