Our Boys Institute

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Wakefield Residence 221-223 Wakefield Street, Adelaide, Australia. Formerly the Our Boys Institute building.

Our Boys Institute (OBI) was a junior branch of the Young Men's Christian Association. Opened in 1896, the club was housed in a purpose-built premises at 221 Wakefield Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.[1]

The Our Boys Institute included lecture and games rooms, indoor running track, pool, and was available for boys aged 13–18, 'a forefunner to the various youth groups which flourished in the first half of the twentieth century' such as the Boys Brigade, Scouting, etc.[2]

The Our Boys Institute promoted a Christian philosophy and also ran camps and provided employment assistance for young men.[3]

Plaque located on facade of building.

F.W. Danker was the architect for the building.[4] The carved sandstone Venetian Gothic facade of the building is Heritage Listed.[1] The facade of the Our Boys Institute bears similarities to the Chicago Athletic Club; it has been suggested that Danker was influenced by the Club and its architect, Henry Ives Cobb.[5]

The building has since been used as office space and an external studies college[1] and was converted by architects JPE Design Studio[6] to a boutique hotel in 2008. The hotel opened as Wakefield Residence but has since changed the name to Adabco Boutique Hotel.[7]

Wakefield Residence and Wakefield Street are named for Edward Gibbon Wakefield, coloniser of South Australia and former prisoner of Newgate Gaol.[8]

A plaque on the facade of the building shows the role played by the wife of the South Australian Governor, Sir Thomas Buxton, 3rd Baronet, Lady Victoria Buxton. Lady Buxton was a Christian Philanthropist who supported the Mothers' Union and YWCA and who resided in Adelaide between 1895 and 1898.[9]

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