I used to spend quite a lot of time in Warburton and have loved this metal gate from the first time I saw it.
The gate is looking a bit worse for wear now as is the building that it leads to, the former Sanitarium Factory. They used to make Weet-Bix here which explains the stylised stalk of wheat worked into the design of the gate.
The Sanitarium Health Food Company, owned by the Seventh-Day Adventists, had built an earlier factory on the banks of the Yarra River in Warburton next to their Signs Publishing complex but it was damaged by flood in 1934 so architect Edward F Billson was commissioned to design a new factory on higher ground. It was completed in 1939 and won Billson the Street Architecture Medal from the Royal Victoria Institute of Architects (RVIA) in 1940.
The factory closed in 1997 but hopefully a new lease of life as a conference and reception centre awaits this handsome building with plans for refurbishment in the pipeline since around 2006.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.