August 7, 2022

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Melbourne’s historic Land Titles Office in ‘perilous state’ after redevelopment refused by Heritage Victoria

3 min read

The office’s former use is still obvious in its design and style and structure, with a independent “strong room”, one particular of the state’s to start with fireproof buildings, made to secure the irreplaceable Certificates of Title for houses.

Heritage Victoria mentioned the proposed demolition of spots including the boiler area and the previous receiving and issuing hall to enable for the construction of the tower and the insertion of a big new entrance and foyer fronting Queen Road “would cause significant harm and irreversibly diminish cultural heritage significance of the place”.

An architectural render of the lobby of the proposed new Greek museum on the site which has been shelved.

An architectural render of the lobby of the proposed new Greek museum on the web page which has been shelved. Credit:Hellenic Museum / ISPT

It famous the economic-use evaluation of the prepared development acknowledged that the interior rate of return was “on the cusp of viability”.

“There is a possibility that the venture may perhaps fall short or not be completely realised, which could final result in the Titles Place of work getting left in a far more perilous condition than it currently is,” Heritage Victoria reported.

ISPT originally lodged strategies in 2020 to redevelop the setting up into a $244 million satellite of Greece’s Benaki Museum in partnership with Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum, which it said would “bring back again to daily life a true Melbourne landmark” and “cement the city’s status as an eye-catching cultural hub”.

The Benaki is distribute across 7 museums in Greece, masking the span of Greek society from prehistory to the existing and which includes substantial Islamic, Byzantine and Chinese collections. The planned museum in Melbourne was noticed as a way of expanding its model internationally as the Guggenheim has completed.

Sarah Craig, chief govt of the Hellenic Museum, reported the museum’s partnership with ISPT and the proposed Land Titles Office environment job ended in mid-2021.

She declined to comment on why the Hellenic Museum experienced not ongoing with its plans for the Benaki Museum satellite in Melbourne.

ISPT shelved the plans for the museum and a 30-storey tower and amended the software to options for workplaces in January.

The developer bought the building in 2018 after a earlier proposal by Victoria University to establish a 17-storey vertical campus on the internet site was turned down due to the fact of heritage problems.

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The Land Titles Office environment vacated the developing in 2003.

Simon Ambrose, chief govt of the National Rely on of Australia stated the rely on applauded Heritage Victoria’s determination to refuse the permit application for the Land Titles Business constructing.

“We have previously seen way too a lot of historic structures in Melbourne dealt with as podiums for soaring towers,” he reported. “The previous Land Titles Business is one of Victoria’s most prominent and significant 19th century civic structures.”

ISPT or a individual with a “real and considerable interest in the place” has the capacity to request a critique of Heritage Victoria’s refusal of the software within just 60 days.

ISPT declined to remark.

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