By Gav Ross
ONE of Wonthaggi’s oldest landmarks is now a pile of bricks.
The historic and iconic 88 year-old structure – which was once the Wonthaggi Co-operative Society Bakery and, in its final years, The Bakery Restaurant – was demolished over the weekend.
Bass Coast Shire Council approved the demolition, issuing a permit last October after the building had been fenced off for months due to safety concerns.
‘The Bakehouse’, as it was known colloquially to locals, had been derelict for well over 15 years, with part of its roof missing and substantial damage to its interior.
Calls from the local historical society and other community members to at least retain the façade fell on deaf ears.
Speaking yesterday, Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said permit requirements, which included a full photographic study and architectural drawings as part of recording the history of the site, had been met.
“We’ve worked comprehensively with the owners and any future development there will include a direct reproduction of the historic text,” he said, referring to the upper portion of the front of the building, which read ‘Wonthaggi Co-Operative Distribution Society Ltd Bakery Department’.
When news broke early last year that the building was under threat, Cr Rankine was one of the first to express concern, granting the structure a brief stay of execution.
He said it was unfortunate the building posed a risk to the public and that reports from engineers had deemed it unsafe.