Heritage Protection for Fed Square
We welcome and support the National Trust’s nomination of Federation Square for listing on the State Heritage Register.
8 August 2018
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria welcomes and supports the National Trust’s nomination of Federation Square for listing on the State Heritage Register.
Melbourne has long dreamt of a civic square that would be a public space at the heart of the city, offering a meeting place open to all. Federation Square has quickly established itself as the fulfilment of that dream. In architectural terms, it embodies a remarkably coherent example of late 20th-Century architecture. In civic terms, it has become a truly public civic square. It has, as the National Trust puts it, ‘come to be highly valued by the community on both a cultural and architectural level’.
Both designs for the Apple store will destroy its architectural coherence and alienate its public status. It has been asserted that fifteen years is too soon to nominate a building, however significant it is, for the Heritage Register. But this assertion assumes that such a significant monument would enjoy a normal life span. If its public status and architectural coherence can be threatened so soon after its construction, then it is important to act now to protect it.
The RHSV strongly urges Heritage Victoria to support this listing and will make a detailed submission to this effect. Listing would ensure that any proposals for significant change to the square would be subject to a proper public permit process, unlike the proposals for the Apple Store to date.
(Professor) Charles Sowerwine,
Chair, Heritage Committee,
Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
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