State Library

 State Library

 Restoring heritage furniture

A selection of the reading room’s original Australian red cedar furniture will also be back in use having been restored by Coman Furniture in Bendigo. A total of 60 chairs and 11 tables (seating 60) enhance the hall’s Victorian-era style.

Martin Coman of Coman Furniture said the restoration project took 12 months to complete and the chairs alone required over 300 hours to be made ready for reupholstery.

“As would be expected, some pieces were in poor condition after a long life of service. All the tables have been leather tooled returning them to their original state and wherever possible the original French polish has been restored.

“Missing pieces such as carvings, end panels and turnings have also been made, polished and fitted to retain the integrity of each piece,” Mr Coman said.

The heritage tables have also been discreetly fitted with power points for the convenience of visitors.

State Library Victoria Building Redevelopment Project Manager, Margaret Ford, said this is just one example of the ways in which the Library has sought to meld heritage authenticity with 21st-century technology throughout the redevelopment.

“We’re a 21st century library, so it was important to us to combine these historic elements with modern facilities. The restored furniture, along with the paint reveals, allow visitors a glimpse into how the space would have looked in the 19th century.” Ms Ford said.

European Heritage, Australian Craftmanship