“This building was constructed in 1883 for the Trustees of Friendly Societies. This Society was one of the Clubs which grew up as a method of Health insurance for wealthy subscribers who paid a set fee for the services of a qualified suburban practitioner. It is superbly executed in unpainted cement render (part from he painted plinth up to the window sills) with bluestone footings and is intact apart from the removal of balls from the parapet. The design is almost identical with the building on the corner of Dorcas and Ferrars Street South Melbourne of 1878 which was originally a dispensary building but is now a freemasons hall. However the Fitzroy building is more intact with drafted masonry bands to the ground floor and intact joinery to doors and windows. This building is a superb example of a Renaissance classical boom building with incised pilasters and arcuated first floor windows. It is considered of importance on a Statewide basis and forms an extremely important corner streetscape element.” (South Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1979, 133)
Russian Cultural Society has recently been refurbished to restore the facade and it is now known as the Russian House, and is a location which celebrates Russian culture and advancement.
A couple of photos below are of recent renovations on the Russian House by Mark Hassad, Hidden Melbourne. If you look at the site, there are many amazing photos here of both the inside and the outside of this amazing building.