Heritage compromise at University Square Carlton

Believe it or not these terraces were nearly demolished in 1999, only saved after big protests by the @nationaltrustvic, residents and unions – #MelbourneUniversity announced plans to demolish most of the terraces in Barry Street on the west side of #UniversitySquare in 1998 in order to build three modern things to house their proposed private university arm, which then Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert thought would raise millions, and the Kennett State Government gave it a permit ! It was only after a lot of protests and meetings (many of which I went to) that a compromise was reached, demolishing 2, but keeping the front 2 rooms of the northern ones, and the first ‘10m’ of the southern ones – which turned out to be from the front fence, so only 1 room kept, which at the time was shocking, but now seems very generous. When the private uni opened, it attracted few students, and was closed in 2005 with losses of $20mill, not counting building costs. The #terracehouse in the photo turned out much nicer after restoration, pretty sure it didn’t have a verandah at all before, not sure where the evidence for this came from, but it’s 1860s and quite unusual. Had to use memory and newspapers.com for this, 1999 is a bit of an internet news black hole.

The building on Grattan Street eventually was named after Allan Gilbert, and apparently includes solar cells in the facade.

Some photos from 2014:

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