Friday, April 11, 2014

Tales of the unexpected

I'm not sure how you've found this week but I have to say it's been an unusual one for me with a number of unexpected things taking place.  One of these was someone knocking on our front door the other day - it was a location scout wondering if we'd be interested in registering our house with their agency for TV commercials, etc (and no, we don't live in a mansion!).  Given we're local, Mr Rosanna and I gave the scout a few other addresses to check out in the area which have caught our eye over the years (as well as giving him a tip to grab coffee at Miss Marie) including the Assisi Aged Care Centre (housed in the magnificent former Sisters of Mercy convent) in Rosanna as well as Banyule Homestead at 60 - 74 Buckingham Drive in Heidelberg.
Banyule Homestead image via Jellis Craig
It turns out that the Banyule Homestead has actually gone onto the market this very week and is now up for sale with Jellis Craig.  It's been the subject of much controversy over the years going from being a state-owned asset (and formerly used briefly as a gallery) to then being sold in the Kennett era and going into private hands where it has been ever since.  The current owners were at one stage looking to sub-divide some of the land and sell to developers looking to build townhouses thus obscuring the views down to the Banyule Flats and that has also  been the subject of much community dissent.  The homestead was also used as a location in a previous season of ABC series Jack Irish.
Internal image via www.realestateview.com.au
It is a shame that such an historic and iconic building as this is no longer in the hands of the community but I don't blame the current owners for doing what they feel has been necessary - that is their prerogative.  While I have always hoped there might be some way of including it as a venue (artist in residence, studio) forming part of the proposed Impressionist Lab at nearby Yarra Flats (and again this location is also controversial), I'm not sure this is possible given it sits in the middle of a residential area.  It is a beautiful drive up Beverley Road from Jika Street through the boulevard of trees and then up Buckingham Drive and if you are in the area, go and have a look from the street - it is definitely worth seeing and, as with The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham, I hope that someone who has the resources, a love of heritage buildings and great vision may buy the property.

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