Last week’s article on Heritage Loans and grants has stimulated a lot of interest.To demonstrate a sense of such funding and how it is put to purpose, this week we review some examples of how the Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund has been applied in the past. We then follow up on the last year of grants funded by Heritage Victoria. Many of the buildings and locations funded have been featured previously here on Balance Architecture’s blog site and latest news.
Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund
320A Learmonth Street, Buninyong
This is a commercial building located within the town centre of Buninyong. It is a two storey red brick building dating from circa 1890 with a shop at ground level and residence above. The original roof is a prominent feature of the commercial streetscape and was in a deteriorated state requiring complete replacement.
In February 2015, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $6,500 for roof replacement works to original galvanised iron specifications. The works, which were completed in September 2016, have greatly improved the appearance of this building as viewed in the main street of Buninyong and will prevent further water ingress and damage to original brickwork.
Clifton Villa, 208 Winter Street, Buninyong
Clifton Villa is a picturesque Victorian Gothic style red brick residence. The main features are the elaborate fretwork to gables, decorative verandah and highly distinctive paired chimneys with round profiles, brick patterning and circular brick capping. A pair of the distinctive chimneys and the gable end fretwork was in a deteriorated state.
In February 2015, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $2,000 for chimney repair and a grant of $8,400 towards timber fretwork restoration to the three front gable ends. The works were completed in February in 2016, and have improved the appearance of this building to ensure the longevity of these important decorative features.
13 Young Street, Golden Point
This is a substantially intact Victorian residence in a row of Victorian residences. The roof would have originally been clad in corrugated galvanised iron but at some later date this was replaced with ceramic tiles. This roof cladding was not in keeping with the style of the building and was detracting from its street appearance.
In August 2015, the VHRF Committee of Management offered a grant of $7,000 towards the replacement of the existing tile roof to the main house and verandah. The funding allowed the owner to replace the roof with corrugated galvanised iron to match the original. The roof of the verandah was also returned to its original convex hipped profile.
The works have returned the building to its original appearance and improved the appearance of the heritage streetscape of Young Street.
604 Sebastopol Street, Ballarat
This is a single storey Victorian weatherboard cottage in Ballarat. It has a double hipped roof running parallel to the street and a hipped verandah roof. The building remains remarkably intact and retains its original front appearance with verandah, central front door and double hung windows either side.
In August 2015, the VHRF Committee of Management offered a grant of $6,000 towards the cost of galvanised corrugated iron roof replacement with the original galvanizing specifications.
The works, which were completed in March 2016, have improved the appearance of this building and will assist in protecting the original timber fabric of the building.
39 George St, Ballarat East
This is a single storey weatherboard Inter-War Bungalow. Features of note include the dominant gable roof, bay window to the front gable wing and timber framed windows.
In February 2016, the VHRF Committee of Management offered a grant of $6000 towards the replacement of the existing roof with corrugated galvanised iron matching the existing short sheets.
The works have ensured that the building is now water tight and improved the appearance of the building in the heritage streetscape of George Street.
208-210 Sturt St, Ballarat
This is a three storey building completed in 1869 as a warehouse for Messrs. L.S. Christie & Co (drapers). It has a classically rendered façade with decorative pilasters, cornices and window mouldings. The existing render to the façade had hairline cracking to the entire façade and was causing water ingress.
In November 2015, the VHRF Committee agreed to offer a grant of $40,000 towards the cost of render repairs and repainting after repairs. The works have restored the appearance of the property and halted water ingress through the rendered façade and parapet. The works also greatly improve the appearance of the building in the Sturt Street streetscape.
Living Heritage Grants Program
Grants – Successful Projects Round 3
Wollaston Bridge – Warrnambool City Council, Warrnambool
A grant of $195,000 has been awarded to Warrnambool City Council to undertake urgent conservation works to the failing timber elements of the Wollaston Bridge. The suspension bridge was erected across the Merri River in 1890 as an entrance to the Wollaston Estate. Today, the bridge is one of the oldest surviving cable suspension bridges in Victoria and a local landmark. The bridge provides a key link for pedestrians over the Merri River and is frequently used for birdwatching, cycling, and other recreational activities.
Balmoral Court House – Balmoral & District Historical Society, Balmoral
A grant of $50,000 has been awarded to the Balmoral & District Historical Society to undertake vital conservation works to the roof, rainwater goods, and timber elements of the Balmoral Court House, which has been closed to the public due to safety concerns. The rare timber court house was designed by Alfred T Snow and built by the Public Works Department in 1876. It is one of only three surviving timber court houses of its type in the state. Today, the former court house is used as a community space managed by the Historical Society. The grant will allow the court house to re-open, providing a local venue for exhibitions, meetings and education.
Hamilton Botanic Gardens Thomson Memorial Fountain – Friends of Hamilton Botanic Gardens, Hamilton
A grant of $160,000 has been awarded to the Friends of Hamilton Botanic Gardens, whom together with Southern Grampians Shire Council will restore the Thomson Memorial Fountain in Hamilton Botanic Gardens. The Hamilton Botanic Gardens are one of the earliest regional botanic gardens in Victoria, and the Thomson Memorial Fountain forms an important feature in the historic gardens. The gardens are open to the public seven days a week and is frequently used by members of the local community and visitors alike. The grant will enable water to once again flow through the fountain, currently fenced off for safety reasons.
La Mama Theatre – La Mama Theatre, Carlton
A grant of $50,000 will assist La Mama Theatre in developing a recovery strategy after a recent devastating fire. Built as a printing works in 1883, it has served as a theatre since 1967. The theatre is important for its significant role in the development of Australian drama and has nurtured a host of internationally award winning Australian playwrights, directors and actors. The grant will contribute towards assessing the impacts of the fire and provide options for restoration or rebuilding of this much-loved theatre.
Murtoa Grain Store – Murtoa Stick Shed Committee of Management, Murtoa
A grant of $70,000 has been awarded to fund urgent repairs to the windows and doors of Murtoa Grain Store (known as the Stick Shed). Murtoa Grain Store was built in 1941 as a war-time emergency grain storage. Similar structures were erected around Southern and Western Australia during World War 2 for the temporary storage of wheat. Murtoa Grain Store is the only one of its kind still standing.Due to the poor condition of the building, it has only had limited public access. The grant will enable this nationally significant site to be opened to the public, as a witness of an important part of Australian history.
Warracknabeal Town Hall – Yarriambiack Shire Council, Warracknabeal
A grant of $130,000 has been awarded to Yarriambiack Shire Council to fund structural repairs to Warracknabeal Town Hall. TheTown Hall was erected in 1939-40 on a prominent site in the centre of town, as one of the first Modernist Town Halls in Australia. The building also includes a cinema with 1930s projection and sound equipment. Today, it is used by a wide range of community groups and provides an accessible venue for community events and functions. Due to the structural issues, the Town Hall has been at risk of closure due to public safety.The grant will enable an increased use of the building as a community space.
Tyntyndyer Homestead – Tyntyndear Homestead Inc, Beverford
A grant of $200,000 has been awarded to Tyntyndyer Homestead to undertake urgent conservation works and the structural stabilisation of the Homestead and Store. The site is one of Victoria’s earliest homesteads dating from 1845. The homestead has a shared indigenous and pastoral history, through its long association with local Aboriginal communities. The grant will support the Watti Watti people in their continued use of the site for educational and cultural purposes and provide a venue for the local community for functions and events.
Theatre Royal – Privately owned, Castlemaine
A grant of $75,000 has been awarded on a matched-funds basis to fund urgent structural repairs and conservation works to Theatre Royal in Castlemaine. A theatre was built on the site in 1858, replacing a timber and canvas theatre which had burned down. After many moderations, the theatre was extensively adapted to a Moderne-style cinema in the 1930s. The building continues to operate as a cinema, with a café and bar, and now provides a venue for live music and other events.The grant will contribute towards the safe-guarding of this much-loved community space.
Buda House & Garden – Buda Historic Home and Garden Inc, Castlemaine
A grant of $50,000 has been awarded to Buda House & Garden to undertake much needed conservation works to the garden including replacement of the irrigation system, urgent tree removal and tree surgery, and resurfacing of the historic paths. The extensive garden is open to the public four days a week and is available for community functions and events.The grant will ensure the early twentieth century garden can continue to be accessed by the local community and visitors alike and reduce public safety concerns.
Bendigo Trades Hall – Bendigo Trades Hall and Literary Institute, Bendigo
A grant of $42,000 has been awarded to undertake the urgent roof replacement of the front section of Bendigo Trades Hall. The hall dates from 1896 and is one of the only surviving purpose-built trades halls in Victoria. Today, it is a well-used community space, providing a venue and meeting spaces for over 50 community groups annually. The building also houses an extensive collection of historical artefacts and archival records relating to the history of Bendigo and the Trades Hall.
Windmill Farm – Kyneton Historical Society Inc, Kyneton
A grant of $20,000 has been awarded on a matched-funds basis for the urgent repair and stabilisation of the Mill roof and column, which is currently at risk of collapsing. The mill site dates from the mid nineteenth century and is the only surviving wind driven flour mill in Victoria.The emergency works is the first step in enabling this historic site to be re-opened to the community for guided tours and community days, and as a venue for public events.
Omeo Justice Precinct – East Gippsland Shire Council, Omeo
A grant of $200,000 has been awarded to fund urgent structural repairs to the Old Court House dating from 1859 and conservation works to the New Court House dating from 1893 at the Omeo Justice Precinct. The precinct is one of the most intact example of a nineteenth century police and court complex known to survive in Victoria.The precinct is open to the public 7 days a week, from 10am-2pm. The Old Court House houses a museum, and the New Court House is used as a regular Magistrate’s court.Due to the poor state of both buildings, use for community events are currently limited. The grant will enable increased public use of these important heritage assets.
Major Building Projects 2016-17
Trades Hall, Carlton – Victorian Trades Hall Council
Melbourne’s Trades Hall will benefit from a grant of $10 million for essential conservation and activation works including, the urgent and high priority roofing works and repairs to the Lygon Street portico. Conservation works will include the specialist restoration works to key interior spaces including the Old Council Chamber, New Ballroom and Bella Union as well as the investigation and protection of decorative finishes within the New Council Chamber. Other works to activate the building will allow for compliant access to all levels of the building including provision for vertical access. Trades Hall is significant for its role in Victorian and Australian political history, and for its associations with working class politics and activism. It is Australia’s oldest and largest trades hall built in several stages from 1873-1926. It is a prominent Carlton landmark, and it continues to serve as a hub for union organisation. Trades Hall also hosts a wide variety of tenants and events and the works will allow new spaces to be opened and accessed by the public.
Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford – Abbotsford Convent Foundation
A grant of $2.7 million will enable the transformation of the Magdalen Laundries buildings on the Convent site through priority conservation and activation works. The Laundries are the last remaining buildings to be redeveloped for arts, cultural and learning purposes in the Abbotsford Convent multi-arts precinct. The Laundries provided commercial income to the Convent from the 1860s, and were staffed by the girls and women who had been placed in Magdalen Asylum. It is now acknowledged as a site of suffering for the women who were forced to work there, and since the laundries were decommissioned in 1975, the space has remained empty and unused. The grant funding will allow the spaces to be opened to the public and will provide new leasable space for the Convent, as well as multi-functional performance and event space.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat – Her Majesty’s Theatre and City of Ballarat
A grant of $2 million will fund the urgent roof replacement and drainage works as well as interior render repairs to Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat. Built in 1874 as the Academy of Music, the building is a rare surviving example of the theatres erected in the gold rush towns of Ballarat and Bendigo in the nineteenth century, which rivalled those in Australian capital cities. Her Majesty’sTheatre, Ballarat, is thought to be Australia’s oldest operating theatre, and is known for its unique interior, with double horse-shoe shaped balconies supported on ornate columns – the last example of this type of theatre design in Victoria. Home of the Royal South Street Eisteddfod and Sun Arias for many years and site of the original Fine Art Gallery, Her Majesty’s Theatre has been the centre of the city’s arts and cultural life since it opened.
Returned Soldier’s Memorial Hall, Bendigo – City of Greater Bendigo
A grant of $1.5 million will support the urgent conservation and restoration works to the Returned Soldier’s Memorial Hall in Bendigo. Funded works will include structural repairs, conservation of the building’s exterior, and restoration works to windows and doors.The works are part of a broader scope of works to construct a new exhibition space to one side of the memorial building.The memorial hall was opened in 1921 to commemorate all those from Bendigo who served in World War One and particularly to those who died in service. The hall is architecturally significant for its unique external detailing and design, including the uncommon feature of a band rotunda on the roof. The memorial is a Bendigo landmark, and the home of the Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum.
John Kelly’s Former House, Beveridge – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
The Kelly House in Beveridge will be stabilised and restored through a grant of $1 million. Assessed as part of the 2015 Living Heritage Audit, the house was found to be in very poor condition, requiring urgent structural stabilisation works and weatherproofing. The earliest phase of the house was built in 1866 by John Kelly, the father of Ned Kelly, using materials gathered from the surrounding bush. The place is significant as a highly rare example of vernacular timber cottage construction based on Irish principles, and as the childhood home of one of Australia’s most iconic and divisive historical figures. The conservation project will include collaboration with key stakeholders to activate the site and facilitate tourism to the growing area.
Sunnyside Wool Scour, Geelong – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
A grant of $1 million will fund the most urgent conservation works at the Wool Scour, including stabilisation and bracing, roof repairs, removal of hazardous materials, and general ‘make safe’ works. Associated with the region’s wool trade since 1853, the site is significant as a rare and highly intact example of a wool scouring establishment with operations dating from as early as the 1850s. Funded works will support activation of the Barwon River site, which may include interpretation and adaptation of spaces for various community uses.
Former Royal Australian Army Medical Corps Training Depot, Melbourne Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
A grant of $1 million will support urgent conservation works to the A’Beckett Street ‘Drill Hall’. Built in 1938, the site is architecturally significant for its design which combines several stylistic influences, with colonial revival, art deco, classical and Moderne elements. Historically, the building is representative of Australia’s military preparedness prior to the outbreak of the Second World War as international tensions mounted. The Drill Hall is the home of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and funded works will allow increased usage of a versatile community space.
Former Reid’s Coffee Palace, Ballarat – UnitingCare Ballarat
A grant of $700,000 will fund urgently required conservation works to the Former Reid’s Coffee Palace in Ballarat. One of the city’s most imposing and iconic landmarks, the building dates from 1886 and is representative of Ballarat’s grandeur and opulence during the Gold Rush. Now owned and managed by UnitingCare Ballarat, Reid’s Coffee Palace is a key community resource, offering low-cost accommodation and support programs for those facing financial and social hardship.
Polly Woodside, Melbourne – National Trust (Victoria)
The Polly Woodside will benefit from a grant of $500,000for essential repairs to the three timber masts and all riggings. The ship was included in the 2015 Living Heritage Audit and was found to be in poor condition. Built in Belfast in 1885 as a cargo vessel, the Polly Woodside carried wheat, nitrate and coal between England and South America, North America, Africa and Australia. It was later used as a coal hulk in Australia and New Zealand and as a refuelling ship in New Guinea during the Second World War. The National Trust purchased the ship in 1968, and oversaw its large-scale restoration. Since 1978, the Polly Woodside has been open to the public as a floating museum.
Day’s Flour Mill Complex, Murchison – Parks Victoria
A grant of $500,000 will support urgently required conservation works at Day’s Flour Mill in Murchison. The site was included in the 2015 Living Heritage Audit and was found to be in very poor condition, owing to ongoing vandalism, loss of windows and doors, damage by birds to soft timber joinery, structural stability of the chimneys and salt damage to handmade bricks. The site was owned and run by the Day Family from 1865 until 1986, and is highly intact with a significant collection of machinery and associated artefacts. Now managed by Parks Victoria, the mill site is closed to the public due to safety concerns.
Camperdown Grandstand, Camperdown – Camperdown Grandstand Restoration Committee Inc.
A grant of $330,000 will fund the final stage of conservation works to the Camperdown Turf Grandstand, allowing the grandstand to be reopened to the public. The grandstand has been closed owing to unsafe conditions, and the final stage of works will include roof bracing, reconstruction of the mounded retaining wall, and repairs and compliance works to the stairways. Built in 1902-1903and extended in 1913, the structure is an outstanding example of a Federation-era grandstand. It is a highly-valued local landmark, and is the largest of its kind in Victoria.
Major Building Projects 2017-2018
Former Moonee Ponds Court House, Moonee Ponds – Essendon Historical Society
The Former Moonee Ponds Court House in Melbourne will benefit from a grant of $1.5 million to fund urgent remedial works following a 2016 fire which destroyed the roof and damaged period timber woodwork. Built in the late 19th Century, the building operated as a court house until the mid-1970s. From 1980 the Court House housed the museum, collection facility and meeting space of the Essendon Historical Society. Currently in a state of disrepair, the grant will reconstruct new timber ceilings and joinery, complete floor repairs and provide new safety fire measures to restore this 1890 building with new purpose. The grant will allow this prominent building to re-open its doors to the public.
Paddle Steamer Gem, Swan Hill – Swan Hill Rural City Council
A grant of $500,000 will support complex conservation repairs to the Paddle Steamer Gem in Swan Hill to prevent water ingress. The vessel was first launched in Moama, NSW in 1876 and is a rare survivor of the steam boat era of trading along the Murray-Darling. The Gem was built in red gum planking over iron frames for a local Echuca shipowner. The Gem was originally fitted with a40 horsepower steam engine, wood fired boilers and carried both freight and passengers, mainly in the lower reaches of the Murray below Mildura.The grant will ensure the Gem continues to float and will enhance the visitor experience aboard the vessel.
Werribee Park Mansion, Werribee South – Parks Victoria
The Werribee Mansion in Werribee Park will undergo urgent masonry repairs, supported by a grant of $500,000. Conservation works involve repairs to the bluestone and sandstone parapets, chimneys and roof, addressing safety issues for visiting public and staff. Werribee Park is one of Australia’s grandest and most architecturally sophisticated mansions, notable also for its extensive garden. Built from 1874 for Scottish pastoralists, the Mansion has been used variously as a private home, religious seminary and currently, hotel. The estate is open daily and the funded works will ensure the continued public use and appreciation of the mansion.
Bluestone building, Pipe Makers Park Complex, Maribyrnong – Maribyrnong City Council
A grant of $400,000 will enable the reopening of the bluestone building for use as a community/public event space and will include masonry repairs, essential structural works and roof, joinery and flooring repairs.The ‘Pipe Makers Park Complex’ building was originally occupied in 1847 as a meatworks, boiling down and canning establishment in the industrial heartland of Melbourne and the banks of the Maribyrnong River. During WWI, the site was repurposed as a concrete works producing reinforced concrete pipes. It is located within an 8 hectare park precinct, also home to the Living Museum of the West community museum.
Great Melbourne Telescope Building, Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens Board
The Great Melbourne Telescope Building, located in Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens, will benefit from a grant of $400,000 to bring the building up to a standard to enable the return of the ‘Great Melbourne Telescope’ –one of the world’s major nineteenth century astronomical instruments – currently under restoration and due for return in 2019. The building was purpose-built for the Telescope with a roll-off roof to be reinstated through this grant. The works include the remediation of rising damp and salt attack issues. The works will ensure that the place will be accessed, understood and appreciated as originally intended.
As can be seen, the projects funded are both intriguing and quite diverse. Some are privately owned, many are not. For further information on applying for a Heritage Victoria Grant please visit the Living Heritage Program – Heritage Victoria
Further Commonwealth funding is available for Australian Heritage Council Grants, but this program requires substantial evidence of the National Heritage value of a site and it is a competitive fund.
Preserving our past provides guidelines for the future and future generations.