Le Louvre, Collins Street

27 March 2014:

What was #lelouvre, exclusive dress shop #appointmentonly ! Run by mother then daughter for 70 years. Bought by #officetower developer, going to be part of #popup by the looks. Probably with big hole in side wall where matching terraces dem in the 70s. Built #1855, copper #shopfront 1927 and facade georgianised in the 1950s.

26 March 2022:

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 last 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 !

Original post 25 Feb 2015:

The side wall of the 1855 townhouse long occupied by #lelouvre exposed by demolition for #80collins. Actually been like that since 1973, when adjacent #terracehouse demolished for #nauruhouse forecourt/ entry, but longer view now available. This house is part of the development, not sure how much they will leave unmolested.

The remains of #82collins (click tag to see before). Not so upset about losing it, but that it will be replaced by glass boxes and a 30 storey office tower squeezed in where it will dominate whats left of the #parisend of #collinsstreet.

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