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More than 100 places in Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid could be granted permanent heritage protection following an extensive heritage review of the city centre.

The Hoddle Grid Heritage Review, prepared for the City of Melbourne by Context, recommends protection for 137 buildings and 5 precincts, taking in a wide range of building types from throughout the twentieth century and beyond.

Among them are the 1920s department buildings designed by HW and FB Tompkins in the Jazz Moderne style, Chicago-esque office buildings by Sydney Smith, Ogg and Serpell, interwar classical buildings by Meldrum Burrows and Partners, former warehouses, lecture halls and hotels, and many others.

In addition to the buildings, the distinctive Flinders Street Railway Viaduct designed at first by William Henry Greene in 1891 and finished by Frederick K Esling in 1917 is also recommended for protection.

The city’s mayor Sally Capp noted that of the sites recommended for protection, 55 were postwar buildings constructed between 1945 and 1975.

“This is the most comprehensive review of heritage buildings in the Hoddle Grid since the 1990s. It’s also the largest study of postwar heritage we’ve ever completed” the she said.

“Fifty-five of the sites are postwar buildings, including two hotels, a post-office, a cinema, a women’s club, two -telephone exchanges and retail and commercial buildings.”

“This is about protecting our city’s heritage while providing certainty and clarity to landowners about how they can develop their properties while respecting the places that are significant and warrant protection.”

“Pre and postwar buildings can be easily adapted for new purposes while ensuring their heritage character is retained.”

The final Hoddle Grid Heritage Review, along with the Planning Scheme Amendments to implement the review are being considered by the Future Melbourne Committee today, Tuesday 4 August.

Heritage portfolio chair Rohan Leppert, said the independent review of more than 1,000 buildings took into account Aboriginal, colonial, contemporary, community, tangible and intangible values.

“Melburnians may be surprised that these buildings haven’t been granted heritage protection already. The review gives us an opportunity to protect these cultural legacies,” he said.

“It’s not about age. It’s about recognising the places that have importance to us as a community.”

“Melbourne was Australia’s fastest growing city in the postwar period and became a leading centre of modernist innovation in art, architecture and design.”

“Our recovery from the Second World War was led by a construction boom based on modernist optimism and innovation. We now have a chance to protect our modernist architectural legacy.”

A full list of the sites recommended for protection can be found on the City of Melbourne website



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