Benyon & Hayward building owned by former Marrickville Mayor James Gould
by Max Phillips
Labor and Independent Councillors want to buy the historical building at 6 Livinstone Road and demolish it to expand a car park for the princely some of about $80,000 per car spot!
I recently found out that this building was built and owned by a former mayor of Marrickville, James Gould. James Gould was mayor in 1897, 1898 and 1905. He ran a produce business and records for the current building date back until 1905, although it may have been built earlier.
Given this considerable history which no doubt gives the building some heritage status from a social history perspective, I have put a motion to this Tuesday’s Marrickville Council meeting calling for a heritage study to be conducted prior to any purchase of the building.
I do not think Council officers should waste any more time negotiating the purchase of the property until Council is sure it can actually do what it wants to do – demolish the Benyon and Hayward building.
Given climate change, peak oil and the Inner West’s terrible traffic congestion, The Greens are against the expansion of the Petersham car park. We are also against it because it is financially irresponsible.
Finally we do not support the demolision of a building that seems to have at least some heritage value, as well as being iconic and unsual.
Update: This motion was voted down 7 – 5, with The Greens for and Labor and Independents against. The opposing councillors basically laughed about the building having any heritage value, yet refused to conduct an assessment to test this assumption. Councillor Dimitrios Thanos dared The Greens to hold a referendum on whether the building should be retained or demolished to expand the car park. The Greens said we’d welcome any such referendum and would be confident of winning it!