Medley Hall Crest
|Location||48 Drummond Street
|Full name||Medley Hall|
|Motto in English||Welcome|
|Named for||Sir John Dudley
Medley Hall is the smallest residential college of the University of Melbourne in Australia. Established in 1954, it is situated on 48 Drummond St in Carlton, Victoria, away from other residential colleges in Parkville. It is home to approximately 60 students from around Australia and overseas. Medley Hall was named in honour of Sir John Dudley Gibbs Medley, a previous Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.
Medley Hall was closed from July 2009 to June 2011 due to a building redevelopment. Medley Hall reopened as a residential college from July 2011.
The main building was originally called Benvenuta. It was completed in 1893 for Leah Abrahams, the widow of a small arms dealer. In 1925, Benvenuta was leased to the Commonwealth Government which transformed it into Arbitration Court Offices. Next, the mansion was converted into an Italian club, boasting a ballroom, orchestra and a regular Sunday boxing match, after a period of vacancy.
Benvenuta also has its share of dark history. A bullet hole in the stained glass 'Welcome' window at the top of the stairs is supposedly evidence of criminal activity occurring from 1938 when leased to a North Melbourne vigneron.
Benvenuta's ownership passed to the Italian Consulate prior to Italy's participation in World War II. After the war, Benvenuta was given to the University of Melbourne which then renamed it the Drummond Street Hostel.
In 1953, the management was taken over by the University Council and the first Warden was appointed the following year. In 1955, the hostel was renamed Medley Hall.
The building was designed in an Italianate Victorian Baroque style by Walter Scott Law. Construction materials and craftsmen were imported from Italy. This includes stained glass and over 15 tonnes of marble and steel. It is richly decorated including miniature statuettes on the parapets.
While Medley Hall is the smallest of the residential colleges, it is not lacking in facilities. It has a newly equipped laundry room with four washing machines and two driers, a lounge room with grand piano, a music room, a bike shed with table tennis, a fully equipped kitchen with TV lounge area and kitchenettes and dining area on each of the three floors of accommodation.
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2007)|