Loan to assist with balcony and verandah upgrade

Northern Grampians Shire Council has approved a loan of up to $73,400 for the restoration and construction of a balcony and verandah at 70 Main Street.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $146,788.

The property is the former Men's Store and General Emporium (now trading as Raunchy Rooster).

In April 2005, the Northern Grampians Heritage Study identified a large number of commercial, retail and community buildings in the business districts of Stawell and St Arnaud.

Subsequently, council was successful in obtaining a small fund from Heritage Victoria to enable the restoration of specific heritage verandahs in the shire.

The property at 70 Main Street was recommended for local significance in council's 2005 Heritage Study.

It was noted as architecturally significant because it still demonstrates original design qualities of a Victorian Free Classical style.

These qualities include the projecting and dentillated parapet flanked by rectangular stylised consoles, three-bayed first floor composition of arched window and door openings having projecting surrounds with punctuating keystones in the arches and crowning label moulds, and the timber framed double hung windows and timer and glazed French doors.

Other intact or appropriate qualities include the symmetrical composition, two storey height, rendered brick wall construction and the rendered masonry quoin work.

The building is associated with commercial developments in Stawell as early as the 1870s and has particular associations with Albert William Whiteside, who operated a Men's Store and General Emporium for many years. The building continued as a Men's Store until 1960.

The works are planned to be undertaken by local Stawell-based contractors and in accordance with a plan provided by council's Heritage Advisor, Wendy Jacobs.

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