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PostPosted: 05 May 2012, 13:56 
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The rush to build high rise in the inner city strikes down another victim. The Belgravia hotel in Footscray. It is a shame to lose a pub which has such a strong association with the local community, over such a long period (see article exerpt below). While architecturally it is a loss of a Victorian building of some scale. As I understanding it not even the facade is to be preserved.

Footscray, in a smiliar way as Coburg, West Melbourne, North Melbourne and other areas undergoing considerable redevelopment, will have to be careful that what makes them so architecturally and culturally interesting is not lost in pursuit of the $$$.

The Fairfax press writes: "FOOTSCRAY's historic Belgravia Hotel, along with neighbouring buildings occupied by a pool hall and tattoo parlour, will be demolished to make way for an apartment tower.

Maribyrnong City Council has approved a 12-level, 105-unit tower for the adjoining sites at 16-20 Buckley Street, and 236-238 Nicholson Street. Despite a 2011 parking review suggesting the proposed new complex would generate demand for 137 car spaces, just 70 bays have been permitted.

Developed in 1875, the Belgravia Hotel was reportedly where the Footscray Cricket Club formed more than a century ago."


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/kmart-le ... z1txoNYKN7


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PostPosted: 05 May 2012, 17:33 
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Most people under the age of 40 will know this pub as 'The House of Fools' and it is on the corner opposite a VUT campus. It had for a long time a 'NO POKIES' sign hanging from the corner above the windows.

The owner stated for several years now that he will close down the place and develop it. One evening I had a lengthy discussion on the matter and he kept coming back to the same point. If he didn't somebody else would, so he may as well run it as a hotel until the design and permits were sorted and then...

He was a nice enough guy to chat to and he listened to my (opposing) point of view with interest but I have to be honest in stating there is not much worth saving there. I think The Stork Hotel (former) on Elizabeth Street (near the Vic Market) more worthy to be honest.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2012, 09:57 
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slumberjack wrote:
to be honest in stating there is not much worth saving there


Would appear to be the case.

Photographs of the exterior and interior of the Belgravia Hotel from the sale campaign in July 2010 during which the owner was asking $3.5m but could only raise interest up to $2m for the 683sqm site.
Attachment:
Belgravia Hotel Footscray exterior.jpg
Belgravia Hotel Footscray exterior.jpg [ 21.54 KiB | Viewed 1355 times ]


Attachment:
Belgravia Hotel Footscray interior.jpg
Belgravia Hotel Footscray interior.jpg [ 89.18 KiB | Viewed 1355 times ]


Render of the $18 million 12 storey, 105 apartments and 70 carpark development at 236 - 238 Nicholson St Footscray.
Attachment:
236 - 238 Nicholson St Footscray render.jpg
236 - 238 Nicholson St Footscray render.jpg [ 35.41 KiB | Viewed 1355 times ]


Maybe the real issue is that in 20 years time the Victorian Government is predicting 2 million more residents in Melbourne while the local councils expect that none of them will own cars.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2012, 11:06 
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Good pictures that show a currently intact street scape, and a development that does not appear to have much cohesion with the rest of the street. I notice some very good heritage buildings either side of the hotel? Are they going as well or are they retained?


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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 10:25 
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Its a shame that not even the facade can be preserved. Its certainly more interesting than the proposed podium. One thing that remains to be seen is just what will happen with the current apartment glut. I'm all for high density, but when cheap looking apartment buildings (not saying this is necessarily one) drop in value they will leave a lasting architectural and social legacy and a lost opportunity to retain a link to the past.

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PostPosted: 10 May 2012, 15:13 
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So true, the mantra of 'high density' and 'stopping the sprawl' is too often an excuse for not very attractive, not very long lasting apartment design, which is really about the developer turning a profit.

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