The Palace Theatre in Bourke St – What’s your decision?

The Palace Theatre Melbourne – perhaps you remember it as the Metro Nightclub. Demolition of this well known Melbourne icon was approved in 2016 at VCAT. The interior was illegally demolished without permits in 2014. It is now owned by the Jinshan Investment Group. The group planned to build a 30 storey W Hotel on the site but are now restricted to a 7 storey site after the intervention of the City of Melbourne. Located at 20-30 Bourke St, the venue has a long history in the Entertainment Industry. As it stands, it is slated for demolition at any time.

The Palace Theatre is somewhat of an enigma. Its scenario is not that dissimilar to the Corkman Hotel of Carlton illegally destroyed by developers recently. The building is in fact a large, high roofed theatre. What was significant about it were its internal fittings. In 2014 a contracted demolition company removed the ornate plaster features, facades and balcony decorations, rendering the interior somewhat featureless and undermining any claims of heritage value. One could consider it a ‘tactic’ to enable a party to proceed with a demolition that might otherwise be opposed.

It this case, the venue represents a very valid principle in both planning and preservation. In the view of many – including the City of Melbourne’s representatives, it should be incumbent on the properties owners – Jinshan Investment Group – to restore the interior to its previous state.



Originally the site was occupied from the late 1850s by the Excelsior Hotel. Hotels at the time were close relations to the Theatre and Theatre companies of the time. The Excelsior had a ‘hall’ attached known as ‘Queen’s Hall’. Vaudeville, boxing and wrestling events were staged there regularly. Name changes occurred in 1875 (Stutt’s Hotel) and 1900 (Hotel Douglas). The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1911 and the land was sold for 32,000 pounds.

In 1911, a new theatre was commissioned by the new owners, to occupy the site. Queensland Architects Eaton and Bates in association with Melbourne Architect Naham Barnet were tasked with designing the new theatre. It featured seating on 3 levels with a large proscenium and very grand ‘curtains of gold’. The theatre incorporated a hotel, the Pastorial, with bedrooms on the first floor.


The theatre was modified in 1916 with a complete refitting of the lobby and auditorium under the instruction of Architect Henry E White. This involved the addition of ornate plaster mouldings decorating the theatre in a style recognised as ‘Louis Seize’.

Further additions to the decorative style occurred in 1923 when the theatre auditorium was extensively remodelled , retaining the Louis Seize style yet overlaying it with a further Adamesque decoration. Upon completion it reopened as the ‘New Palace’.

In 1934 a further new renovation occurred and the theatre became known as the Apollo. It was renamed again in 1940 – The St James Theatre. 1951 saw it renamed ‘The St James Theatre and Metro’. Now an MGM theatre it became a cinema and showed films exclusively from that studio.


The street frontage and facade was remodelled in an Art Deco style – designed by a H Vivian Taylor, and to this day the design remains. The Proscenium and side boxes were removed to allow for the installation of a ‘CinemaScope’ screen.

In 1971 it reverted to live theatre with the production ‘Hair’ running for 39 weeks. By 1974 it had reverted to its original name and was a working Cinema – again. 1980-1987 saw it as a Christian Revival Centre run by the Pentecostal Church.

A major refurbishment was undertaken in 1987 by Melbourne Architects ‘Biltmoderne’. From then on it was known as the Metro Nightclub. The Nightclub was sold in 2007. The new owners were the former owners of the Palace live music venue in St Kilda.

They renamed the venue ‘The Palace’. Holding 1850 people, the venue hosted many well known touring groups and musicians over the next 7 years. It was sold to the Chinese Development Group Jinshan in late 2012.

In 2016 opponents to the demolition of the venue finally lost the fight and VCAT ruled that the Demolition should proceed and the redevelopment works go ahead.

Excerpts from Wikipedia


This is a rather interesting case study. From an architectural viewpoint, much of the original charm of the foyer and auditorium were removed over the years but the very ornate plasterwork remained up until 2014. Additions made in 1987 including stainless steel staircases and galleries could easily have been reverted.

Its claim for heritage value was not on architectural grounds but on cultural grounds. The Bourke St Precinct has strict heritage overlays yet the Developer was prepared to challenge these, even in view of the Windsor result and the location of the Victorian Parliament, with a 30 storey tower – until challenged by Council as to its height.


According to Professor Graeme Davidson, the Heritage listing (not ratified) for cultural importance was and is well justified.

“This is likely the last surviving expressly built Vaudeville Theatre (Variety Show) in Melbourne.”

The destruction is breathtaking when considering the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots. In our view this is a glaring example of manipulation of regulations by third parties to gain an outcome that provides little recognition of heritage values. Under the Bourke Hill precinct overlay, the theatre’s internal fitout was protected as was the building’s facade. When the theatre was gutted and the interior demolished – no authority intervened.

Heritage is often more than just the value of the individual aspects of a building. It is the sum total of the history, the usage, the architecture and the decorations of a building. And as with the Corkman in Carlton and the Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda, this time VCAT, you got it wrong.


What’s your opinion? Should the developers be forced to restore unauthorised demolitions? As it stands we have precious little left to preserve.

Its time Council started to respond and intervene when required. Our city has great character and we must do whatever it takes to retain what is quintessentially Melbourne.

Or are we satisfied with a 7 storey hotel with 143 rooms, a gym, swimming pool and a restaurant? You be the judge.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

History? Sentiment? Safety? One of our oldest buildings under threat.

On the corner of King St and Latrobe St (South East corner) is situated one of Melbourne’s oldest buildings. A shop and dwelling, it is owned by George Dixon and his wife Lola Russell. It was built in 1850, but the building today faces serious structural problems. The Latrobe St Wall has now been braced. M/s Russell has lived there since the 1920s. Both George and Lola are aged in their nineties. Lola was one month old when she arrived at the King St address.


Lola Russell’s grandfather purchased the building in 1899, setting up a News Agency and a General Store. Today it is known as ‘Russell’s Old Corner Shop’. Both M/s Russell and Mr Dixon still serve tea, coffee and snacks for the occasional customers. The shop is a living time warp – full of interesting curiosities. Both Lola and George are professional actors who will occasionally put on a performance for some lucky visitors.


A photo taken from Flagstaff Gardens in 1867. The Russell Corner Shop is clearly visible near the exact centre of the image.

The problems faced in rectifying the structural issues of the property are substantial but not insurmountable. Consider that in 1850 building methods were so very different to today. Foundations were often bluestone lintels laid directly on earth with a very low grade mortar holding them in place. This was built as a residential home and shopfront, not a public building. As such it was never intended to be standing 167 years later, at least not in its original conformation. This is one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections. And this old house and shop have done extremely well to be still standing. Look around it – nearly all modern buildings, bitumen and concrete roads, gas and electricity services – it is indeed a small miracle that this tiny building has survived.


The Melbourne City Council has indicated it will ‘assist’ the couple with their required rectification works. It has not however specified how.



Shaynna Blaze

TV personality Shaynna Blaze (The Block, Selling Houses Australia, etc) has set up a crowd funding campaign to save the couple’s home aiming at collecting the $30,000 price tag on repairing the home currently quoted by contractors. The City of Melbourne has taken emergency action to prop up the leaning Latrobe St Wall on the Heritage listed building in the last few weeks and is monitoring the site.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told Mr Dixon, who was attending a Council meeting to put he and his wife’s case for assistance, that “Council was very aware of this property. We are very proud that it has been maintained by you and yours for the longest period of time – it is an absolute landmark”.


St Francis Church, Lonsdale St (1841)

There are very few buildings of this vintage still standing in Melbourne. St Francis Church in Lonsdale St was built in 1841 and has stood the test of time. There are 5 other buildings of this vintage still standing in the Melbourne CBD. These are:

  • 1845 – The Baptist Church – Collins St Melbourne
  • 1848 – 300 Queen St Melbourne
  • 1848-49 – 58-60 Bourke St Melbourne (Jobs Warehouse)
  • 1849 – Oddfellows (former Hotel) 33 Lonsdale St Melbourne
  • 1849 – Black Eagle (former Hotel) 44 Lonsdale St Melbourne

At Balance, it is our opinion that it matters little who lives at such a property such as that currently owned by Lola Russell and George Dixon. This is an amazing vignette of Melbourne’s colonial history and provides a staggering contrast to the extraordinary development agenda of the last 100 years in our CBD.


Basic human dignity and social responsibility says that the City of Melbourne should provide some duty of care for the elderly couple living in the dwelling. And it should not be lost on Council to accept that the property at this time would be worth a staggering amount of money, so any costs can surely be recovered in the future.


One hopes the building can be preserved for posterity, that George Dixon and Lola Russell get to live their days out in their home of – in Lola’s case – over 97 years.


And it would appear that common sense will prevail. Let’s hope we can pop in for a cuppa, a piece of cake and a little bit of showmanship for a few more years yet. Good luck to Lola and George, and on with the show!

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

Secret Mansions of Victoria

This time we visit two exciting properties. In Central Victoria at Murchison we visit Noorilim Estate, an extraordinary property established by William Irving Winter in 1879. The Winter family built many grand homesteads on the Goulbourn River and its Valley, including the 68 room Dhurringile, Curop, Caragarac, Toolamba, Colbinabbin and Stanhope. The other property we visit is the 44 room Barwon Park Mansion built by Thomas Austin who famously introduced the English Rabbit to Australia.



Noorilim was constructed using ‘imported Italian craftsmen’ and ultimately cost 72,000 pounds to complete, a small fortune in those times. Featuring a prominent tower Noorilim is one of a very few substantial nineteenth century residences in rural Victoria. The winding road leading to the formal driveway is flanked by large Eucalypts and the extensive botanical gardens of the estate.

Vineyards now sit adjacent to either side of the entrance and its parklands. Abundant birdlife and peacocks provide insight into how abundant the wildlife is on the estate.

The building itself is an Italianate mansion. Its tower is reminiscent of Werribee Park and the Victorian Parliament. It is considered the finest work of Architect James Gall who also designed Mintaro at Monegeeta and Frognell in Canterbury.


Here is a description from ‘Domain’, circa 1910

Wandering its spectacular botanical gardens and touring its exquisite interiors is a rare pleasure, easily prolonged.

Noorilim is owned by cleaning business tycoon and controversial art auctioneer Rod Menzies. He says it’s the atmosphere that is the defining glory. “It’s like stime stands still,” he says.

True enough, and thanks to Mr Menzies’ and past owners’ loving and thoughtful care, Noorilim shines still, despite its 130 years.

Designed by James Gall for former member of parliament William Winter-Irving in 1879 and set on 65 verdant hectares, the house is a most elegant study in ornate Italianate style and, while its looks are storybook gorgeous, a robust Australian aesthetic can be found here as well.

The colonnaded southern side is the natural face of the structure built on this orientation to make the most of the prevailing south winds to flow through the great arches in this often searingly hot part of central Victoria.

Those arches, or loggia, rise up to the first level, providing a beautiful coherence of form, while performing a vital cooling function.

The main entrance is on the eastern side, where the tower rises central to the facade.

A stunning broad reception area is enough to make you weep over the splendour — the ceilings rise to five metres and the deep cornices look as edible as delicate frosting; even the skirting boards are grand.

Corinthian columns also dominate the space as if their graceful heft holds fast the beauty all around. The great hall they frame boasts luminous Minton tiles laid by Italian artisans brought out specifically for the task.

Beyond here, the split stair conjures images of great soirees and period intrigue and leads to the minstrel gallery where Nellie Melba once sang.

Estate manager John McMaster’s wealth of knowledge, affably conveyed, helps to interpret the singular floorplan, explaining that the right wing of the house was the more utilitarian section.

“The hallway is behind a dividing wall so that on this side of the grand hall, the servants could get along the passage to the kitchen, laundry and to their upstairs quarters,” Mr McMaster says.

On the left, opening off the foyer, three exquisite formal rooms with floor-to-ceiling panes, marble fireplaces and access to the loggia provide a window into what it might have been like to live in the time of ballrooms and formality.

The property has 10 bedrooms in all and upstairs are some of the most beautiful you’re ever likely to see with adjacent dressing rooms that are larger than most modern standard bedrooms.

A great billiards hall, stairways to the tower, views to the Strathbogie Ranges and all that mesmerising Victorian-era space complete a breathtaking first level. Underground is a network of cellars.

The majestic grounds are a pure joy. A lily-covered ornamental lake with boat house, formal Italian and rose gardens and lush, rolling lawns, where peacocks and all manner of birdlife roam with a fabulous insouciance, are all part of the bounteous prize here.

Further afield, 30 hectares of vines produce red-wine varietals.

The Goulburn River runs silkily by, time stands still and life, like Noorilim, is very grand indeed.


  • $10 million-plus hopes
  • 205 Wahring Murchison East Road
  • 2-hour drive from Melbourne
  • One of Australia’s most significant private estates
  • Beautifully restored by several owners over the years
  • Named after the local Aboriginal tribe, the Nkurekban (formerly Ngoordaialum)
  • Classified by the National Trust and featured on the Historic Buildings Register
  • 500 metre Goulburn River frontage
  • 80 acres of income producing vines including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Viognier are partly leased.
  • 10 bedrooms
  • 15 fireplaces
  • 7 staircases

History of a treasure

  • 1850s: Varying reports of Andrew Sinclair and Frederick Manton squatting on the land then known as the Noorilim run.
  • The estate was later taken up by Mr. William Drayton Taylor
  • 1870: At Taylor’s death it became the property of the Winter-Irving family
  • 1879: Noorilim house designed by James Gall and built for William Winter-Irving.
  • Later bought by Mr. Samuel Finlay.
  • 1927: Mr Norman Falkiner bought the estate from Finlay.
  • 1930: £40,000 (approximately) sale price to Mr James Tweedle for the house and 2,357 acres freehold, and 80 acres lease-hold from Mr Falkiner’s estate.
  • 1950s: Rumor of planned demolition, but apparently the demolition company gave such an exorbitant quote, its then-owner replaced the roof instead of the whole building.
  • 1975: Bryan and Loel Thomson bought the property and spent 24 years on restoration of the home and garden.
  • 1999: $3.325 million paid by Mr Rod Menzies
  • 2010: $10 million plus sale hopes

Noorilim Estate is a true reflection of the Golden Age of Australia and the riches wrought from the Golden Fleece – fine merino wool.


Barwon Park Mansion

Another property of some note is Barwon Park Mansion. This imposing bluestone mansion was built in the 1860s for Thomas Austin and completed in 1871. It now holds a State Classification with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Register.

In all there are 42 rooms. Thomas Austin, a pastoralist, built it to accommodate a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh in the future as he felt his existing homestead, where he hosted the Duke had been manifestly inadequate, causing him great embarrassment.

Once one of Australia’s grandest mansions, it was designed by Architects Davidson and Henderson. It has a most striking staircase and is noted for its early use of Australian Cedar. It features staind glass windows, intricate, delicate ironwork over the entrance and around the verandahs with magnificent interior arches throughout.

The new mansion consisted of 42 rooms but unfortunately for Thomas Austin he had little time to enjoy it. He died six months after its completion. His wife Elizabeth Austin continued to live there for many years and became a noted philanthropist. The Austin Hospital in Heidelberg is named after her.


Unfortunately for Thomas, he is best remembered for introducing the English rabbit, hares, blackbirds, thrushes and partridge to Victoria (and Australia). He was a member of what was known as the ‘Acclimatisation Society of Victoria’ . He started our ‘rabbit plague’ with 24 breeding pairs. Poor fellow! But he built a beautiful home and left a fine legacy. At the time he was praised for his efforts with rabbits!

Barwon Park is open for visitors twice a week. It remains relatively untouched and is well worth a visit. Details can be accessed on the National Trust Site. It provides a stunning vision of the past with great authenticity.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

Congratulations Andrew Fedorowicz, Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects

Congratulations to our principal Architect Andrew Fedorowicz on achieving Fellowship of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.


The honour acknowledges both Andrew’s skill and understanding in delivering professional excellence in his chosen field as well as the time and effort he has devoted to community work for the benefit of others.


In the past, apart from a range of highly awarded and significant residential projects Andrew has developed The Legends Club facility at Mooney Valley, overlooking the famous Race Course in Mooney Ponds, and the Cragieburn Sports Club, its bistro, gaming and golf facilities. Interestingly, the Legends Club at Mooney Valley is one of the few buildings that will remain upon the Race Course redevelopment.


Large scale institutional buildings, gymnasiums, clubs and hotels, Andrew has designed all in his busy and awarded career over 35 years.


Spending his time flitting between the country and city, Andrew recently completed a project to redesign the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Gatekeepers House for its return to the Botanical Gardens recently.


So consider these factors when selecting an Architect for your project.

With property booming in Melbourne many older heritage style buildings are now changing hands. Younger families with different needs are purchasing property in hot locations like Kensington, South Melbourne, Brunswick, Albert Park, Clifton Hill, Essendon, Kew and other older areas.


Many of these homes purchased are well over a hundred years old and are often protected by heritage overlays. Not only that in the last 60 years quite often heritage features have been removed in the quest for modernity. Many homes in areas like Northcote, Brunswick and Footscray bear testament to this.



Younger more sophisticated buyers or Baby Boomers making that final purchase are looking for complete authenticity in any restoration work embarked upon, yet at the same time, there is the requirements of modern living – space, light, vibrancy.

We recommend you contact Andrew on 8696 9700 or leave a message on his website contact form here.


Andrew is passionate regarding Heritage Buildings yet can and will provide practical and effective strategies and plans to provide owner occupiers with a comfortable, spacious and modern living situation.

Andrew is a most experienced Heritage Architect, understands the requirements of various period homes in terms of adornments, structure, facade and practical limitations. More importantly Andrew can offer advice of great value to his clients in how they should approach their renovation and renewal projects or in fact confront the rather difficult problems often presented when dealing with housing stock of over a hundred years in age or close to it, yet end up with spacious, light filled living areas.


With real experience in many areas of Architecture, Andrew’s overall abiding passion is still Heritage architecture. This is evidenced in the popular weekly posts on social media with associated blogs on Melbourne’s rich history of historical and heritage buildings, estates and the families who have built and maintained them – and lost them.


In any case sincere congratulations to Andrew, we are really proud of you. Next week we will resume our stories on both modern and heritage buildings and precincts.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.

The Mount Buffalo Chalet – Saved from Ruin

The Mount Buffalo Chalet was constructed in 1910 in the European tradition of a Mountain Chalet. Smaller lodges were established along the Gorge area. Constructed by the Victorian Government it represented Australia’s first Ski Resort. Perched on Bent’s Lookout, it became known over the years as ‘The Grand Old Dame’ of the Alpine region.


For thousands of years Indigenous people travelled to Mount Buffalo in late Summer to feast upon the massive numbers of Bogong Moths . The added benefit was relief from the heat of the plains.

William Hovell and Hamilton Hume spotted the mountain in 1824, naming it Mount Buffalo based on the view from their then aspect supposedly resembling such an animal. Baron Von Mueller (of Botanical Gardens fame), the Government botanist climbed its peak in 1853 and collected many new species. Visitors were drawn to the peak from the 1850s onwards for the magnificent views available. The mountain had been set aside as a National Park by 1898 for the most part of its area.


Generations of hikers, skiers and families journeyed to the Chalet every year. It has remained largely untouched for nearly a century, other than additional wings and adding a storey or two in the same style of the original building.

1924 saw the management of the Chalet pass from private hands to the Victorian Railways. As with all Railways activities, whatever you chose to do at Mt Buffalo required – a ticket. All porters wore Railway Uniforms. Guests generally caught a coach from the then Porpunkah Railway Station on the Bright branch line to the Chalet. This ceased in 1952, when that line closed. Guests from then on were transported from Wangaratta Railway Station.


A Grand Ballroom was created from the original Dining Room, complete with a stage. Large windows were installed capturing the view. At its peak the venue accommodated over 200 people – the equal of any of the grand city hotels in Melbourne.

Many migrants after World War II enjoyed the Chalet and its facilities as it reminded them of home. This included many Jewish Refugees. The Railways continued its quaint management until 1985. The Victorian Government Tourist Commission then took over the management until 1993 when it was leased to private interests who continued its business activity in accommodation.

Mt Buffalo is considered architecturally, historically and socially significant and is listed on the Victoria Heritage Listings.


In 2008 it was included on the Australian National Heritage List.

The Chalet closed its doors to business in 2007.

Earlier this year in February a group of local North-east Victorian residents banded together to develop a strong proposal to save the historic Chalet.

Here is a report from the ABC on their efforts…

Community rallies to save the heritage-listed Mount Buffalo Chalet


A group of north-east Victorian residents has created a grass roots campaign to help save Australia’s largest timber building.

The doors to the heritage listed, 110-year-old Mount Buffalo Chalet closed a decade ago, and the weatherboard building has been left to battle the harsh alpine elements.

Residents have spent 18 months putting together a major proposal to turn the mothballed building into a world-class tourism destination.

Standing daringly upon a clifftop, the Mount Buffalo Chalet gazes sturdily out across the sweeping Alpine valley below, the building has affectionately earnt the nickname ‘The Grand Old Lady’ from the generations who have visited.

But time has also brought trouble for this ageing lady, after closing down 10 years ago following a disagreement between the then-lessee and the Victorian government.

A community battle

In 2015, a group of residents met with the with Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, in a bid to save the fading Chalet.

The meeting prompted the formation of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group, which has been assigned to work with Parks Victoria to secure a viable future for the Chalet.

The group has worked with 200 contributors and met with hundreds of residents to create a 40-page proposal to turn the Chalet into a world-class tourism destination.

Ideas include repurposing 95 per cent of the building, and developing versatile accommodation at the century-old Chalet from five star, through to budget rooms and school group lodgings.

A new mountain gateway centre, introducing glamping and transport hubs, and moves to work with educational institutes to provide a space for hospitality and outdoor education opportunities have also been floated as ideas.

The groups’ chairwoman and local resident, Janelle Boynton, presented the proposal to before Parks Victoria on Thursday urging it to quickly act and preserve the Chalet before it is too late.


“We’re not asking government for a figure, we’re actually asking government to facilitate and show leadership in enabling this vision,” she said.
“We’ve tied it back to every government policy we can find whether it be about social enterprise, or health, or education, or Indigenous and cultures.
“This mountain actually meets every policy.

“This is how you can achieve it at Buffalo.”

More care wanted

The State Government announced two years ago that no demolition works would go ahead at the Chalet, despite the move being initially flagged.

Instead the revised $5.6 million restoration package for the Chalet and surrounding areas included maintenance works such as restumping the floor, replacing and painting weatherboards, and resetting loose stonework.

A total of $1.5 million was allocated to upgrading The Gorge at Mount Buffalo day visitor area.


There are plans for a spectacular Sky Walk and now a Spa Hotel put by this group recently. This is an iconic location with much history and a great deal of sentiment attached to it by many people. In 2010, the Victorian Government commenced the process of preservation allocating $4.1 million for commencement works.

Here is the Age report…

$4.1 million preservation works to start on Mount Buffalo Chalet


After years of waiting and battling the elements, the most significant preservation works conducted on the Mount Buffalo Chalet since it closed in January 2007 will soon get under way.

Loose stonework at the base of the historic timber building will be re-set, and the building’s ageing water supply line will be replaced, with the work expected to begin soon. Rotten window frames will also be addressed.

But demolition works originally planned for parts of the site, including the accommodation wing known as “Siberia”, have been shelved.

While the works aim to stop deterioration of a timber building that was built above the snowline more than 100 years ago, the building will not be reopened to tourists on completion. The initial aim of the work is to give the building a safe foundation.

Chairman of the local group Community Action for the Chalet (CAC), David Jacobson, said he was “extremely grateful” that the works were about to start. “They are absolutely crucial,” he said.

Asked how important the historic timber chalet on top of Mount Buffalo was to the region, he said: “It’s incredibly important,” he said.

“The Chalet is the jewel in the crown on that mountain, and people relate to it … More than that, it represented relatively inexpensive tourism for locals to visit and to stay.”


Environment Minister Lisa Neville this week also announced the make-up of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group, which will work with Parks Victoria to examine future tourism options for the chalet.

Starting preservation works on the building represented “a really significant day for this really important part of Victoria’s history”, Ms Neville said.

“This is really about trying to make sure we reverse the deterioration and prevent it continuing to just go backwards.”

The recently appointed chief executive of Parks Victoria, Bradley Fauteux , who inspected the building this week, welcomed the project.

“It’s not in great shape but it’s not past saving, and the work that we’re going to do in the next little while is going to maintain it, so that we can make decisions about what it’s going to be in the long term,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work to do if it’s going to be used in the longer term. So right now we’re keeping it upright, we’re making the front look a heck of a lot better than it does and we’re making sure structurally it’s stable.”

The works are part of a $5.6 million package to be spent at Mount Buffalo, with $4.1 million allocated for the chalet, and $1.5 million allocated for works at the gorge and Mount Buffalo day visitor area. Some of the money, $1.3 million, has already been spent on chalet maintenance.



It will be interesting to see just what use this beautiful location and building are ultimately put to. What do you think?

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings.