What was Le Lourve, now all new

So finally got to see for myself what’s left of the former Le Louve boutique for myself – though it looks fine, the only original thing is the 1920s shopfront. This was a famous invite-only boutique, operating here from the 30s until 2013, run by Lillian Wightman, who refused to sell to Nauru House in the 70s, saving a piece of Collins Street, then by her daughter, who did sell to developers in the end. Lillian had taken an 1855 townhouse and ‘Georgianised’ it in the 1950s, taking off detail, adding some cast iron, painting it ochre. Despite all that history, it was only graded Contributory, and so the developers must have thought they were doing the right thing ? Putting all that detail back, so now it looks like before 1956, as in third photo. Except that they also only kept the facade – the famously rough side wall left exposed for 40 years was discovered to be not very stable, so it went along with everything else, including the rear brick bits too, which was reconstructed possibly recycling the bricks, but the rubble bluestone was rebuilt in conc with 60s style grey bricks (?). A whole series of unfortunate compromises, a bit like the city as a whole !

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