Wyndham City's Preservation Efforts Transform Bluestone Landmark into Community Gathering Place
Wyndham City has put forth a proposal to safeguard the historical Doherty’s House in Tarneit, a significant bluestone landmark, by transforming it into a vibrant café, offering a gathering place for the community. The Council is now seeking input from the community regarding the suggested conceptual plans.
Doherty’s House, originally constructed in the 1870s, suffered severe damage during the devastating 1969 bushfires, which consumed the surrounding area and left the structure in ruins, with its wooden rafters, windows, and outbuildings reduced to ashes.
These ruins hold great historical importance, serving as a testament to the European heritage of the area and are safeguarded by the Council’s heritage overlay. Restoration efforts were completed on the site in 2022.
The proposed design for the Doherty’s House Café intends to incorporate the original walls and chimney into a distinctive layout, featuring:
– A new pitched roof
– Exposed bluestone walls
– A commercial kitchen and a service/coffee counter
– Seating capacity for up to 50 patrons indoors
– A fenced garden area for outdoor dining
– An auxiliary outbuilding housing restrooms and a cool room
Wyndham City’s Mayor, Cr Susan McIntyre, expressed enthusiasm for the Doherty’s House Café project, emphasizing that it not only preserves the building but also creates a functional space for families to enjoy. She stated, “By incorporating the bluestone walls into a café, we’re able to retell the pastoral history of the area to new generations keeping alive this important aspect of our past while creating a lovely new space to enjoy with family and friends.“
Wyndham City Councillor and City Design portfolio holder, Josh Gilligan, emphasized the significance of heritage preservation. He expressed pride in the progress made thus far in converting this bluestone ruin into a noteworthy attraction in Tarneit. Gilligan also envisioned the site evolving into a central hub for families and children seeking a place to dine, have coffee, and experience the essence of community living.
Residents interested in learning more about the project can attend a drop-in session at Doherty’s House on September 3rd, from 2 to 3 pm or 12 to 1 pm. For additional information, location details, and the opportunity to provide feedback until September 18th, please visit www.theloop.wyndham.vic.gov.au.