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Photo - City of Melbourne.

Let's Save Melbourne’s Nicholas Building!

12th July, 2021

Tenants in the iconic art deco landmark have launched a petition to protect the newly for-sale creative precinct from developers.

*Attention all arts lovers* – a vital piece of creative real estate needs your help to survive!

You might have heard it about it by now, but Melbourne’s legacy creative hub, the Nicholas Building, was put up for sale at the end of June with real estate agents predicting it will fetch over $80m. In response, the Nicholas Building Association (comprising tenants of the famous block) has launched a campaign to appeal to philanthropists, government officials and private investors to save the historic building from potential developers.

Since it’s construction in 1926, Melbourne’s Nicholas Building has established itself as an eclectic and diverse creative hub, housing notable artists and designers from Vali Myers to Tai Snaith over the years. These days its tenants include everyone from shoemakers and handweavers to DJs, archaeologists, tech innovators, writers and musicians, all of whom occupy 110 studios over 10 floors. There are bookstores, galleries, boutiques and recording studios among its retail offerings in the historic Cathedral Arcade. 

The building on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane has consistently provided affordable studio rent for members of a vast arts community, a reprieve for many  who faced unstable work as a result of the pandemic. All in all, it’s a critical, soulful piece of historical Melbourne.

While the structure of the building is protected by its listing on the Victorian Heritage Register, this does not prevent the eviction of tenants and conversions of the studio spaces to apartments.

SO, how do you do your part to save the headquarters of Melbourne’s creative community? Read up on the campaign, sign the petition and keep your eye on the news!

12th July, 2021

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net