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Strathmore house made famous by The Castle film may be saved by its ‘social significance’
SAMANTHA LANDY, Property reporter, Herald Sun
July 8, 2016 11:00am
Strathmore house of The Castle fame may be knocked down
THE Melbourne house famous for its role in The Castle could be saved from demolition by its “social significance”.
The National Trust of Australia’s Victorian branch told the Herald Sun it would like to see the house — Darryl Kerrigan’s “castle” in the classic 1997 film — kept intact, which could be achieved by gaining it heritage protection.
The owner of 3 Dagonet St, Strathmore, who last week declared her intention to knock down the weatherboard home to build two townhouses, has also offered a way to save it.
The Dagonet St, Strathmore, house featured in the Australian film The Castle.
The Castle cast. Picture: Supplied
Pictures inside The Castle house from its rental listing in June.
Vicki Cosentino said she’d happily sell the house she’s owned for 23 years if the buyer would remove it from its block next to Essendon Airport.
“If it becomes heritage listed, I could lose a lot of money. I’d have to fight it,” she said.
“But I’ll take bids from $5000 if someone wants to buy my house and take it away.
“I don’t want to pull it down. It breaks my heart.”
Ms Cosentino said maintaining the property after a string of bad tenants and the destructive two-week shoot of The Castlehad become too much, having set her back $80,000 over the years.
Moonee Valley City Council confirmed a planning application for the construction of two dwellings, which would require the demolition of the existing house, was lodged in late May.
But National Trust (Victoria) senior community advocate Felicity Watson said there was “certainly an argument” that the house had “social significance” because of its role in The Castle.
She said “social significance for pop culture associations” had previously helped Victorian properties earn heritage protection, namely Hanging Rock and the set of 1986 film Dogs in Space, 18 Berry St in Richmond — but these places also had historical or architectural value.
Ms Watson said The Castle house was “iconic for its very ordinariness”.
“Classic phrases like ‘straight to the pool room’ reflect how (the film) has become a part of the national lexicon,” she said.
“It would be great to see it kept, but in many ways it has already been immortalised as a symbol of Australian suburbia.”
For the house to gain protection, Moonee Valley council will need to carry out a heritage assessment and initiate a planning amendment, or an application could be made for its inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Moonee Valley mayor Andrea Surace said the council would assess the planning application for the property “against the relevant policies”, which will take into account its local significance.
The site has already been subdivided and a townhouse built at the back.