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]

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.[8]

Wakefield Street was named for Daniel Bell Wakefield, brother of the better-known Edward Gibbon Wakefield[9]

Our Girls' Institute was a similar organization run under the auspices of the YWCA. Phoebe Chapple (1879–1967) and Edith Lavington Tite (1877–1955) were prominent leaders.


  1. ^ a b c "Place ID 6401". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 
  2. ^ "Office (former Our Boys Institute Building) [facade only] (listing SA10890)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 
  3. ^ SA Memory http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=61&c=1743
  4. ^ http://www.architectsdatabase.unisa.edu.au/arch_full.asp?Arch_ID=12
  5. ^ Perterson, B. State History Conference 2006, Community History Unit, History Trust of South Australia http://www.history.sa.gov.au/chu/programs/history_conference/BobPetersonPaper.pdf
  6. ^ JPE Design Studio http://www.jpe.com.au/#/projects
  7. ^ Adabco Boutique Hotel http://adabcohotel.com.au
  8. ^ Joan B. Huffman, ‘Buxton , Lady Victoria (1839–1916)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  9. ^ "Streets of Adelaide and North Adelaide" (PDF). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 21 May 2016.