Behind the Façade: Restoring St Crispin

December 2017

Behind the Façade: Restoring St Crispin

As a beloved building slides into disrepair it can often go unnoticed for years. Tenants vacate, maintenance costs rise, and before long the windows are boarded up as the paint peels.

But what happens when a community focussed developer with a commitment to preservation and optimisation takes on the mantle of rejuvenating a local landmark?

Pace Development Group's heritage renewal process set out to do just that through the key principals of restoration, revitalisation and respect. Read on to find out just what this means.


The classically influenced St Crispin House is spacious and light filled. With high windows and an impressive parapet, the two-storey, red brick workshop's north facing façade is a local icon. To reimagine an uncompromised vision of St Crispin House, Pace selectively partnered with urban designers and architects, SJB.

The result is an inspired redevelopment that restores and amplifies the bespoke characteristics of the building through its multi-level townhouses and apartments. The original red-brick, steel, and loft-style windows are repurposed and repeated as motifs throughout Pace of Abbotsford, creating dwellings that are grounded in heritage, yet ultimately modern.

Optimising this heritage further are Pace of Abbotsford's landscaped gardens and terraces by Jack Merlo, which speak to the surrounding recreational amenity of Studley Park and Yarra Bend.


St Crispin House has purposefully existed as a building for its time. Nestled in the heart of Melbourne's post-colonial, industrial hub, its original tenants were manufacturers. One of these tenants, the Grimson Shoe Machinery Company, gave St Crispin it's moniker after the patron saint of shoe makers.

As the Abbotsford landscape has evolved into a thriving mixed-use and residential area, Pace of Abbotsford revitalises St Crispin House.

Proposed urban renewal of Johnston Street by the Yarra City Council includes a $10 million investment by the Victorian Government into the development of a new precinct centred around Victoria Park train station. The integration of the station into the activity centre along Johnston Street is set to further serve the local population which is predicted to grow steadily.


Pace's foundational virtue for working with heritage sites is respect. This process is two-fold, encompassing the original development of the building and the unique individuals who chose to make the site's locale their home.

Dating from 1923, St Crispin House is a striking cornerstone in the heart of Johnston Street for local businesses and residents to gather around. By approaching the significance of St Crispin House with respect Pace of Abbotsford honours the architecture and design of yesteryear.

Pace of Abbotsford ensures the preserving of the soul of St Crispin House with the utmost integrity for generations to come, and guarantees the availability of quality homes through its tailored St Crispin, Stafford and Johnston Street Series mix of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments.

Enquire today to make the old St Crispin House your new Pace of Abbotsford home.