The State Government has completed extensive restoration works to repair the three heritage-listed Viewbank silos in Melbourne’s inner north.
Last year, funding was provided to Parks Victoria by the Living Heritage Grants Program which is administered by Heritage Victoria. The final commitment of $170,000 enabled reconstruction of all three of the silo roofs, including additional strengthening works approved by Heritage Victoria.
The three silos are part of the Viewbank Homestead site, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, managed by Parks Victoria. The silos are the only intact structures remaining from the dairy, which operated there from 1922 to 1974. They have long been a landmark in the Yarra Valley landscape and are particularly significant to the local community.
The silo roofs, timber framed with galvanised iron roofing, were all in very poor condition, exposed to the elements and inundated with birds. In July 2016, the roof of one of the silos blew off in a storm. This generated strong local community interest in options for reinstatement and repairs.
The project, undertaken by McCorkell Constructions, had many unique technical challenges, including reconstruction of the unusual dodecahedral roof to one of the silos.
The silos are maintained as prominent landmarks and are an important reminder of previous land uses in the area. Parks Victoria is considering what potential occasional use the silos could support, subject to approval from Heritage Victoria.
The site is an important historic remnant for Melbourne’s inner north. In 1839, a homestead was constructed on the property by pastoralist, James Williamson, who named the property “Viewbank” after a property in Scotland. From the 1920s to the 1970s, the Bartram family ran a dairy farm from the Viewbank property.
Today, the Viewbank property includes remnants of the original homestead, plantings, outbuildings, tracks, gateposts and other structures associated with the 1920s dairy.
Quotes attributable to Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines MP
“I am proud to announce that the Viewbank silos have been restored back to their former glory.”
“This is a fantastic outcome and a real testament to the cumulative power of local community and government, working together to preserve a significant local landmark.”
“The silo restoration works would not have been possible without funding provided to Parks Victoria by the Living Heritage Grants Program, administered by Heritage Victoria.”