Villa Alba was built between 1882 and 1884 during the Marvellous Melbourne boom era. The house was decorated with ornate murals and stencils that covered the walls and ceilings of each room. Originally owned by William Greenlaw, the General Manager of the Colonial Bank of Australasia from 1877
to 1892, the house was eventually sold following the deaths of both Greenlaw and his wife. In 1950 it was converted into a nurses’ hostel and the murals were painted over. It is only in the last 25 years that the historic significance of the house and its valuable heritage has been recognized. During this time, a team
conservationists have been painstakingly removing the surface paint to reveal the original frescoes below.