Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Narre Warren and Fountain Gate Estate

In the last post we looked at some of the early housing sub-divisions in Narre Warren, and in the aerial photographs we saw Brechin, which was located on the site of the current Fountain Gate Shopping Centre . Brechin was built in 1937 for John Lloyd (1906-1984). His uncle, Charles Duplan Lloyd (1863-1937) had purchased the Holly Green property in 1924, from the Webb Family, and had moved his Glen Iris jersey cattle stud from Glen Iris to Holly Green. When John inherited the property he changed the name to Brechin.

A contemporary report on Brechin. Our Archive has an original of the article, but unfortunatley, there is no indication which paper if was from.

John Lloyd was one of the foundation members of the Narre Warren Fire Brigade and a member of other Narre Warren organizations such as the Hall Committee, Progress Association and he was also involved in many other Community organisations. The Brechin house was described as being of 'American Californian mission architecture'. It was demolished around 1990, though parts of the garden, including some of the magnificent trees you can see in the photograph below, still remain. The garden is on Brechin Drive, off Overland Drive in Narre Warren.

An aerial of Brechin, taken in the 1980s. Below is a close-up of the lavender hedge leading to what looks like a sun dial or bird bath.

The Fountain Gate housing estate, in Narre Warren, was developed by Isador Magid in the mid 1960s. He employed Robin Boyd to create the Estate on Radburn principles, which involved separating pedestrians and vehicles by providing short cul-de-sac entries and internal spines of open space. Prominent architects were also employed to design Protoype houses. The Fountain Estate is bounded by Tinks Road, Sweet Gum Avenue, Prospect Hill Road and Dawn Avenue and is listed in the City of Casey Heritage Scheme as being of local significance and possibly State significance and an innovative and imaginative housing development. Some individual houses also have Heritage listing. The fountain at the entrance to the Estate, was designed by Robin Boyd, and also has Heritage Listing.

This is a close-up of the January 1972 aerial, which was in the last blog post, showing the Fountain Gate Estate. Below is the map of the Fountain Gate Estate precinct which has Heritage listing.

This map and much of the information on the Fountain Gate Estate comes from the City of Berwick Heritage Conservation Study, 1993, prepared by Context Pty Ltd.

Isador Magid and his Overland Construction Corporation donated land to the City of Berwick for their Municipal Offices and for park land, and also built the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. This was very innovative at the time, as it was a new planning concept to combine housing with a Civic Centre and a major shopping centre. Fountain Gate Shopping Centre was opened on March 11, 1980 by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Winneke, which makes it thirty years old.

Narre Warren News , Issue 2, Volume 8 1980.

This is the report from the Narre Warren News, the community newsletter, from Issue 2, Volume 8 1980. Fountain Gate Shopping Centre obviously did have 'the attractions and competitive shopping' to succeed as it has expanded on a number of occasions since opening.

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