40 La Trobe Street to be Demolished

The City of Melbourne council has voted 6-3 to allow demolition of the 1890 Burton & Co. livery building at 36-40 Latrobe Street, Melbourne.

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It appears that Council preferred to accept the developer’s advice that the building was not worthy of preservation, rather than their own heritage adviser’s, who recommended listing the structure.
The Lord Mayor weighed into the debate during a sitting of Council, stating his view that the developers bought the building “in good faith” and that this heritage matter had just come up “at the last moment”. He also stated that he did not support interim heritage controls, even though they are designed for situations exactly like this where a building’s significance is only examined when demolition is proposed.

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The Burton & Co building was built as one of a pair of matching buildings with a yard between (now occupied by an altered Edwardian factory) and represent the last remaining livery/carriage works within the City of Melbourne. There was once more than a dozen within the CBD alone.

The building is a great example of Victorian-era architecture, with three bays of paired arched windows and an elaborate cornice, and a characteristic brown brick side wall on a lane, complete with original windows openings, a bricked up arch and even a night-soil hatch.

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Photos by Tristan Davies.

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