Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lonsdale House - Alternatives to Demolition

Lonsdale House, Melbourne

If there is any doubt that Lonsdale House has been approved for demolition because a lane-widening project you have to look no further than the words of the developer Colonial First State Management Company. They are quoted as saying "Caledonian Lane needs to be widened to cater for the servicing requirements of this part of the city's retail core, and this necessitates the demolition of Lonsdale House".

Shaun Carney has written an opinion piece 'A piece of history is demolished for a slice of retail sameness' in The Age this morning which outlines why he thinks the 'reasons given for revamping this part of the city are spurious'. I find it hard not to agree with him but read the article and make up your own mind.

If the developer can get their head around preserving Lonsdale House and finding another way of getting the goods to the shops efficiently, what can they do?

They don't have to look very far for inspiration. These are examples of Art Deco buildings in Melbourne that have all found a new life, while maintaining their historical and architectural context.

Brighton Baths
Middle Brighton Baths with contemporary additions

Byfas, Abbotsford
former factory, now BYFAS Apartments

former BALM Paints, Port Melbourne
former BALM Paint factory, now a self storage company

McPhersons, Melbourne
former McPhersons Hardware Showroom, now a gym, food court & offices

former garage, now Mosskito Restaurant

Maccas, Clifton Hill
former United Kingdom Hotel, now the most beautiful McDonalds in the world

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