Saturday, 04th November 2023

Dead Excited for the Morgue Restoration

“Dead” Excitement as Seaworks Secures $150,000 Grant for Former Williamstown Morgue Restoration from Westgate Tunnel Partnership Grant

We are thrilled to announce that Seaworks has been selected as a recipient of the second round of the Westgate Tunnel Partnerships Grants, receiving a generous grant of $150,000. This funding will be instrumental in the restoration of the Former Williamstown Morgue, a historical landmark located at Seaworks Williamstown.

Constructed in 1859, the Former Williamstown Morgue has long stood as a testament to the rich heritage of Melbourne’s maritime history. This iconic building, designed by James Balmain and originally constructed by HR Thomas and HR Hunt, represents an early example of a Public Works-designed building in the Georgian style. Located in the heart of Williamstown, the original port of Melbourne, it has played a pivotal role in the region’s history, serving as a hub for maritime activities and port facilities until the late 19th century.

The Former Williamstown Morgue, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, is a cultural asset of historic, social, and aesthetic significance. Over the years, it has remained a source of fascination for both locals and visitors, with its rich history and unique architecture.

The grant provided through the Westgate Tunnel Partnerships Grants will be dedicated to the completion of remediation works aimed at addressing significant deterioration within the Morgue. Once these restoration efforts are completed, the building will be reopened to the public, allowing visitors to explore its captivating stories and its vital role in Melbourne’s maritime history.

In addition to the grant from the Westgate Tunnel Partnerships, Seaworks has partnered with the Hobsons Bay City Council, demonstrating its unwavering support for this remarkable project. The Council has contributed funds for the Condition Report of the Morgue and has provided the services of their heritage officers to ensure the project’s success.

Upon its completion, the Former Williamstown Morgue will offer visitors the opportunity to take educational tours conducted by Seaworks volunteers, offering a unique and immersive experience into Melbourne’s maritime heritage.

The restoration of this historic building is more than just a preservation effort; it represents an investment in the cultural, creative, and visitor activations of this iconic location. Situated within a heritage streetscape of state significance and adjacent to the hospitality, retail, and visitor precinct, the Morgue is poised to become a focal point for tourism and a source of pride for the community.

This project aligns with Seaworks’ commitment to preserving and celebrating Melbourne’s rich maritime history, and the support from the Westgate Tunnel Partnerships and Hobsons Bay City Council will undoubtedly help breathe new life into this historic gem.