Titles Office tower proposal

Original post 12 Feb 2021:

I don’t see any justification for this – a giant office tower almost on top of the grand Titles Office on Queen Street – built on legs above the strong rooms out back that once held all Victorian titles on slate shelving on many levels with wonderful cast iron railings and spiral stairs. They say that it’s going to cost $53 mill to restore the building, but don’t say that this is the only way of funding it. Vic Uni used to own it, but were refused a permit to do a much lower version of this in 2018, so they sold it to ISPT, who first suggested this with a Greek antiquities museum in the old part, but that’s not proposed this time. You can make a submission to Heritage Victoria by 5pm Tuesday- just google HV ‘advertised permits’, it’s down the bottom.

Update : permit refused

13 April 2018

Something pretty big is looming for the grand old Titles Office in Queen Street: Victoria University want to plonk 17 storeys of ‘vertical campus’ on legs on top of the strong rooms out the back, which means a tower looming above (and actually leaning out over) the main building, and removing a quarter of the 19thC slate shelving to make room – for the lifts !

Vic Uni bought the building years ago, full well knowing that it was on the Victorian Heritage Register. We dont see any justification for this kind of alteration to one of Melbourne’s major 9thC public buildings.

The strong room shelving is particularly great – half is 1870s over two floors, the other half is 1880s, with two double height spaces, with wrought iron bridges and supports – the bridges and half the shelving would go.

If you dont like it this proposal, send an email to the Minister’s Planning department at:
Re: PA1700308 Development of Vertical Campus above Titles Office 281 Queen Street Melbourne
and say something like :

The Title Office is one of Victoria’s major 19th century public buildings, and should be treated as sympathetically as possible.

The loss of a major half of the shelving of the 1880s strong room and the construction of a 17 storey tower OVER the strong rooms, that will loom over the main heritage building, both literally and in views from the street from all sides, is not acceptable.

The University purchased this building knowing full well its heritage value. There is no justification, economic or otherwise, that would allow this level of change.

Update : a permit was refused.

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