Towers threaten unprotected Melbourne heritage

There’s no denying the scale of the change the current generation of apartment towers are bringing to Melbourne’s CBD.  

And when change happens this quickly, our planning laws can struggle to keep pace.  As new development sites dry up, our heritage buildings are coming under increasing threat.

Melbourne Heritage Action (MHA) has identified over 200 recognised heritage sites in the CBD and Southbank that have no heritage protection in law.

Council has resolved to do a new heritage survey to remedy the situation later this year.

Meanwhile, however, MHA has identified no fewer than five currently unprotected but graded heritage sites in the CBD threatened by apartment developments today.  They are:

Burton’s Carriage Workshop,
50 LaTrobe St

An important link to Melbourne’s Victorian-era industrial history with a unique decorative Italianate facade, the ground floor dates to 1868. Proposed for complete demolition.

Duke of Kent Hotel, 293 LaTrobe St

The unusual neo-Egyptian styled 1920s pub is significant for its association with Melbourne’s radical left New Theatre, and is slated for complete demolition for an apartment tower.

Warehouse, 488 LaTrobe St

Another proposal for complete demolition, this time a 1905 Edwardian warehouse, where the tower would appear easily capable of incorporating at least the warehouse facade.

Currie and Richards Warehouse, 224 Franklin St

MHA has long suspected cladding obscured an original facade here, and recent works have revealed precisely this – an original 1905 warehouse. An application is before council to fully demolish the building.

Great Western Hotel, 1850s, 204 King St

The Great Western Hotel dates to 1862, and is one of Melbourne’s few standing Victorian era pubs still being used for its original purpose. This recognised, yet unprotected building has recently been sold as a development site though no proposal yet exists.

The proposals for the first two LaTrobe St sites are now with the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, and public submissions are open.

Proposals for the two warehouse sites are with Council, and you may raise objections here: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/building-and-development/planning-and-building-services/planning-applications/Pages/objecting-to-a-planning-application.aspx

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