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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2012, 18:23 
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New information about this site has just come to light. I had thought that (as identified in the flawed 1979 heritage study) this was the 'Holophane Factory', but actually, it turns out that the site is more mysterious and has two important historic buildings on it. One was a building constructed in 1920 by Ackman's Monster Emporium and the other on Gore Street, was built by Dowd Corsets, later of Mitch Down and Hickory Bra fame. These were iconic Australian brands and businesses. The following is taken from my letter to council and to the immediate neighbourhood residents of Fitzroy:

Some very important information has just come to light regarding the group of buildings in question at 250 Gore. St. Following a conversation with L. E. today, who has been conducting some research in the local ratebooks, as well as some cross-checking online, use of MMBW heritage maps, etc. we have identified the following facts, which bring to light the previously unidentified heritage significance of two of these buildings:

1. The building fronting Gore Street. is indeed of later construction date than the factory building fronting Hodgson St. - it dates to between 1946 and 1948 and was built for the famous Dowd Corset factory. Dowd Corsets later became such iconic Australian brands as Mitch Dowd and Hickory Bras - and it all started at this site on Gore St. This building represents the historic home one of our Australian manufacturing icons.

2. Here is a photograph of the building as it was in 1948: http://www.picturevictoria.vic.gov.au/s ... 15236.html

And here is an article with some interesting notes about the Dowd business heritage: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/a- ... -cqjk.html

One can clearly make out 'Dowd Associates' on the front and side of the elevation, and it's also possible to make out the original appearance of the elegant streamline moderne building along Hodgson Street. It is quite clear from the photo that the Dowd Corsets factory has identical (and quite unusual) windows to the heritage listed Ackman's Warehouse on Hargreaves and St. David Street. These timber windows with hoppers and interesting centre panel detail are not your standard steel frame industrial stock, and must have provided real unity to the historic precinct - I have attached a view of the Ackman's building windows on St. David Street for comparison.

3. The Hodgson St. building (originally 17-19 Hodgson Street) was constructed by Ackman's Emporium in 1920, and forms a significant part of the still extant Ackman's precinct. Other important (and Individually Significant) Ackman's buildings in the immediate precinct include the 1918 red brick warehouse on the corner of St. David and Hargreaves Street (across from the Woolworths carpark), the heritage listed Ackman's Garage building at 239-241 Gore St. and associated red brick Ackman's factory caretaker's residence at 26 Hodgson Street. All these date to c. 1915-20. And of course, the original Victoriam Ackman's Monster Emporium facade still stands on the corner of Smith Street and Hodgson Street. The MacRobertson's factory precinct north of Johnston Street has a heritage listing covering all existing MacRobertson's factories and buildings - the Ackman's precinct and buildings deserve the same recognition for their contribution to the history of the suburb.

Please note that all of the currently identified sites known to have been associated with Ackmans have 'Individually Significant' heritage listings under the Yarra Planning Scheme.

From her research, L. has sufficiently demonstrated to me this afternoon, that the building currently under threat of demolition on Hodgson St. was also built by Ackmans (in 1920) and later leased out to the iconic Dowd Corset and Bra business. It should have an 'Individually Significant' listing under the HO and be placed under an immediate Interim Heritage Protection order from the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy. It is part of a unique collection of Ackman's warehouses and buildings which were part of a very historically significant centre of commerce in this part of Fitzroy. Of equal significance is the fact that the building is in a rare early moderne style with rendered pilasters, open areas of decorative (red?) brick and what appears to be original glazed brickwork around the windows, with decorative iron downpipes and early 'art deco' parapet ornamentation. These elements, which are currently over-rendered, make this a very rare style of industrial building in Melbourne more generally, and therefore of Individual architectural significance, as well as being of local heritage significance.

http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/#detail_places;99494
http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/#detail_places;98864
http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/#detail_places;96375
http://www.picturevictoria.vic.gov.au/s ... /8814.html

I ask council to urgently review the heritage status of this building and call on the Minister to place the site under an Interim Heritage Protection overlay before two important piece of Fitzroy's heritage are lost to this out of character development. The adaptation and refuse of these important heritage buildings should be an essential of this project if it is to proceed.


Original post follows:


This one has not yet gone to advertising, but the owners of the historic 'Holophane' factory at 250 Gore St. Fitzroy have recently applied to Yarra Council to redevelop the building. This will be a significant change to historic Gore St., with a seven storey addition proposed to the tune of $20,000,000 - given the expense, I assume the site includes 252, although the planning application is listed as '250 Gore St', so I'm not quite sure. Here is the text for the application (PLN11/1077):

"Demolition and development of the land for the construction of a maximum 7 storey building to be used as dwellings with a ground floor food and drinks premises (café) (no planning permit required for café use), reduction in the car parking and waiver of ... [sic]"

This building was identified as being of heritage significance in the 1979 South Fitzroy Conservation Study and Fitzroy Urban Conservation Study 1992.

Given the current Smith Street Structure Plan specifies that buildings in this precinct with an interface to Res. 1 areas (like Gore St.) should have an interface height of no more than two storeys, I would be interested to see how the western elevation of this project appears. I haven't sighted it yet - has anyone else been to council to have a look?


Attachments:
File comment: Original Gore Street frontage and side view of the moderne Ackman's frontage to Hodgson Street.
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Screen Shot 2012-06-21 at 3.22.34 PM.png [ 200.1 KiB | Viewed 5456 times ]
Screen Shot 2012-03-10 at 6.19.jpg
Screen Shot 2012-03-10 at 6.19.jpg [ 109.41 KiB | Viewed 5774 times ]
Screen Shot 2012-03-10 at 6.18.jpg
Screen Shot 2012-03-10 at 6.18.jpg [ 95.39 KiB | Viewed 5774 times ]


Last edited by bilby on 21 Jun 2012, 16:27, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012, 19:13 
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This one has now been advertised:

http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/plannin ... t-fitzroy/

Go to Context Report Pdfs 19, 20 & 21 for elevations and images of the new building. The Art Deco era building (Holophane Factory) and Federation era house at 221 Moor St. are to be completely demolished.


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2012, 15:45 
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Being in my neck of the woods I was keen to check this out. The design seems fairly generic apart from the greenery. The blank wall facing the east is a poor response. I was amused by the context report citing design cues from the surrounding terrace houses. Aside from some token brickwork and vertical lines, that call is a bit of a stretch....

There's another proposed development just up Gore St which isn't the best either. Shame because apart from a few missing teeth, it's a very nice street lined by plane trees and terrace houses, dominated by the suburb Cobden Terrace.


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PostPosted: 21 Jun 2012, 16:25 
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Please see my revised initial post for this entry.


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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2012, 14:18 
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I discovered this week that the Hodgson St. factory was designed by the Melbourne firm, Gawler and Drummond, who were prolific in the 1920s and 30s. They also designed the famous 'Social Settlement' at St. Marks in Fitzroy and the Percy Grainger museum at Melbourne Uni. to name just a couple of their more significant buildings. This factory should definitely be retained, given its connection with Ackman's in Fitzroy alone. I think it also deserves recognition as one of the earliest of Gawler and Drummond's industrial buildings in Melbourne, also.


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