CHANGES to the park around the Shrine of Remembrance, the protection of National Gallery artworks and any effects of vibration on historic buildings along Swanston St from tunnelling works will be closely monitored as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail project.
St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders St station, Victoria Barracks and the Young & Jackson Hotel will be subject to “dilapidation surveys” during tunnelling from 2018 to ensure facades and fittings are not damaged.
But several known archaeological sites will be dug up, and up to four memorials, including the Burke and Wills statue, Boer War Monument, Marquis of Linlithgow Memorial at the entrance to Government House, and the South African Soldiers Memorial, may be temporarily moved.
Although overall heritage effects of the $10.9 billion Metro Rail are “low” given its scale and complexity, there is a “medium” risk of “detrimental visual impact” to the entrance to Shrine Reserve at the Shrine of Remembrance, the project’s environmental effects statement has warned.
A “key heritage issue is that of the introduction of the station entry at the edge of the Shrine Reserve”.
The EES said “assuming care in siting and detailed design” and “low-key presentation”, the station entrance would not affect “the significance or detract from an appreciation of the Shrine of Remembrance”.
“The entrance would alter the presentation of the place in this location, but the change would be a relatively modest one.”
Connecting Flinders St station with a new, underground CBD South station would require removal of some “significant” pressed metal ceilings in two shops, and new escalators “would require the removal of internal walls and floors in an area of primary significance” in the station.
But it would not affect the exterior of the1910 building and the internal heritage impact “would be limited”.
The 1853 Young & Jackson Hotel may also be affected, and with a new building to abut it on the north, excavation and construction works mean “the potential for vibration and ground movement” must be monitored.
Some archaeological sites, both known and yet to be discovered, could also be affected by works for the twin 9km tunnels through the city from Kensington to South Yarra.