Monday, July 27, 2009

Lonsdale House, a Sad Day for Melbourne

Lonsdale House, Melbourne

The Age is reporting that the Victorian State Government through Planning Minister Justin Madden has approved the demolition of Melbourne's iconic Lonsdale House to allow Myer to widen the laneway so they have better access for their delivery trucks.

Justin Madden said Lonsdale House would 'make way for an iconic new entrance and improved access'. Time will judge whether this becomes an icon or just another entrance to a shopping centre.

President of the Art Deco and Modernism Society, Robin Grow, was very disappointed by the decision to demolish Lonsdale House and that the City of Melbourne had done little for the building which is protected by a heritage overlay.

He said 'If the City of Melbourne isn’t prepared to defend buildings that are subject to heritage overlays than what is the point in having the heritage overlays, it is outrageous.’

This is a very sad day for Melbourne.


  1. Outrageous :( There was plenty of petitioning and public support for the preservation of the building - as well as the lobbying from groups like the Art Deco Society.

    Myer, Colonial, and Justin Madden are all disgraceful. We look back at the 60s and all the demolitions and wonder what they hell they were thinking - and yet things are not much better now.


  2. Absolutely terrible. I am so upset and so cross at all involved. As anon says Melbourne went through all this in the 60s and really what has changed. Business and retail put above preserving the city's appearance. Every city has a glass shopping centres, but only a few have such a collection of art deco buildings as Melbourne does (or did....).

  3. I just read the article in The Age - such a shame. Surely the building could have been preserved and converted.. something like GPO?

    Giant LED advertisements and retail shops with no personality is not what Melbourne needs.

  4. I was appalled by the demolition of the Victorian Byzantine style Eastern Arcade now I'm just in total shock at what is about to become of iconic Lonsdale House. How can decades of work in heritage protection be undone in minutes with little to no consultation? Where do they draw the line? Why are all the things I love about Melbourne so constantly under threat? Haven't we learned from the past at all?

  5. This is dreadful. I can't believe that this scale of cultural destruction continues in Australian cities.

  6. Totally crazy, we need to preserve our heritage.

  7. Demolition of history has always been the vision of the shortsighted. The value of those components which make make a city livible and memorable is always ignored in the quest for modernity. New York City at one time had planned to put in a crosstown freeway through Greenwich Village and Chelsea (imagine the consequences). It is sad to see that the silliness to make ones mark thrives Downunder. R. Morhous

  8. Once these buildings are lost they can never be replaced. And for what - an 80's style shopping mall? This is a loss for architecture and for Australia.

    It's gems like Lonsdale House that make living in Melbourne so pleasant. When will people learn and stop voting in barbarians like that complete tosser Brumby.