OUR CHANGING CITY
These days we are constantly hearing that COVID 19 has led to a movement of city dwellers to regional and country towns. Ballarat is just one example of this. Homes are being built at an extraordinarily fast rate. This extra demand for housing is causing an increase in house prices, especially in the inner city, leaving those who can afford to buy with a heavier debt to pay, and affordable rentals more difficult to find.
New housing estates are frantically pushing the bounds of our once contained city, with many of these homes lacking architectural flair and outdoor space.
In the midst of all this, I wish to comment on happenings which has left me both bewildered and sad. It concerns a beautiful two story house, less than twenty years old, which once graced the shores of Lake Wendouree but, in recent times has been demolished.
The house was once owned by a couple who sold their farm after their son was killed in a farm accident. The sorrow which followed led them to retire in Ballarat.
I am aware that much thought and planning went into this home. The bricks to the front were meticulously hand sorted to enhance the best possible aesthetic appeal. Within was a staircase which resembled a scene from 'Gone with the Wind'. The view from the top windows allowed for a scenic view across Lake Wendouree. Outside the garden was beautifully planned and maintained.
As time went by, the stairs became a challenge and after much deliberation the house was sold and another built, with lift installed, a few doors away. The original home sat lifeless for some time. Eventually this once beautiful home became a demolition sight, extinguishing with it the precious memories it once held.
Today a sturdy, high, ornate fence adorns the front of this block, keeping from view what appears to be a private recreation area.
Like me, many are bewildered by this apparent wasteful destruction. How is it that those at the helm at City Council allow this to happen? It seems a travesty that such architectural bastardry has been allowed to happen?
Unfortunately this is just one example of inexplicable wasteful demolition in Ballarat in recent times. Another can be viewed in Remembrance Drive.
The City of Ballarat pours so much money into saving derelict buildings in the name of Historical Interest but little credence is given to fine, substantial architecture of the present time. Why is this so?
Liz Hanrahan, Dunnstown