Over the last few days, revelations that a developer is set to demolish Lonsdale House have sent a wave of disbelief throughout Melbourne. How was this building not heritage listed, we demanded?
But it’s true: if you’ve been keeping track of Myer’s current refurbishments, they’re set to close their Lonsdale Street store and consolidate everything into the Bourke Street store. Turns out Lonsdale House isn’t listed as heritage, and Melbourne City Council are rolling over for the developers. The building is destined to become the entrance to a new shopping centre named Emporium Melbourne.
I’m sure that I read that the new centre would be inspired by the nearby QV – lots of open-air laneways weaving around the building. Unfortunately, the artist’s impressions that are now appearing in the media don’t suggest this at all.
So, Lonsdale House aside, which other Melbourne buildings should we fight hardest against being redeveloped, and why?