Preservation - High Court Building, 450 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne(John Smith Murdoch for Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, 1926; addition by H. J McKennal 1935)
APRIL 2006 - Preservation NewsIn the face of concerted opposition to demolition, the Department of Justice withdrew the original application and then applied to Heritage Victoria for a permit to modify the building and construct an office tower. The result will be the retention of the front third of the 1926 building, including the facade, entrance foyer and the former Court No. 1. The historic court will become an interpretive display.
SUMMER 2006 - Preservation NewsThe former High Court building was added to the Victorian Heritage Register following its transfer from the Commonwealth in 1999. However, this did not stop the bureaucrats in the Justice Department from seeking its demolition to expand the Supreme Court precinct.
The building is a fine example of interwar stripped classical architecture, dating from 1926 with a 1935 extension. It is highly significant in Australian history as the place that housed the first High Court of Australia and where a number of major cases in Australian legal history were determined.
The demolition proposal was vehemently opposed by ADS, the National Trust, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, and many members of the legal profession.