Battle over historic home as developers push for demolition

Hurlock house in Caulfield North. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Council.
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The Glen Eira Council and locals are pushing to save a “hidden gem” of a pre-war home from destruction. By Elise Unmack.

The threatened demolition of century-old house in Caulfield North has been put on hold as council and developers battle over a Heritage listing for the property.

Hurlock house in Caulfield North, built in 1913, was bought by developers last year. 

Glen Eira Council applied for interim heritage protection after the new owners applied for it be demolished so they could build a “three-storey building comprising 14 dwellings and basement car park”.

The house was included in a Heritage review of the Glen Eira Council area by consultants Built Heritage, which was presented to the council in February. Built Heritage listed it as a “hidden gem” of pre-WWII housing.

Cr Mary Delahunty, who petitioned in March for the property to be added to the Heritage List, said the community expected that the property “was already protected under Heritage listings”.

Built in 1913 by architect Matthew Craig, Hurlockis seen as an example of the classic Australian bungalow style. Mr Craig built the house for his own use, and it was occupied by members of his family for 70 years after construction.

Photo courtesy of Marshall White agents.

The report to council said the house was an “outstanding, notably early and remarkably intact example of an Arts and Crafts Bungalow”, recommended both for its aesthetic appeal and for its “importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period”.

The new owners objected to the move for Heritage listing, saying the council had given “insufficient reasoning” as to the building’s significance.

Glen Eira local and environmental activist Sophie Muller said growing up among “iconic architectural gems” had helped her develop a love for historic buildings and building styles.

Photo courtesy of Marshall White agents.

“Protection of these buildings should be a top priority,” she said. 

Ms Muller said she “100 per cent supports heritage listings of historic buildings and homes”.

The Heritage program for Glen Eira city council acts to “celebrating and protecting sites of historic or architectural significance is important to the community.”

The council has more than 3000 properties on the heritage list, including shops, residential houses and housing complexes such as apartments and flats.