For those who seek out the more unusual real estate offerings which surface in print and online media, something very striking has recently captured our imagination; A classic Mid-Century Modern public building of concrete block and steel frame in an incredibly dynamic triangular form. A regional landmark informed directly by a new discipline for an emerging twentieth century intellect – Maternal Health and Early Childhood Development. Behold for your consideration, to take and make your own – The Bendigo Crèche and Day Nursery (1956-57) these days known as the Bendigo Early Learning Centre.

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A project originally conceived and built by prominent Melbourne firm Eggleston, McDonald and Secomb in the same year they completed the stunning Beaurepaire Centre at Melbourne University (1956-57) and one year before their other Bendigo gem (now heritage listed) was built; The Beaurepaire Tyre Service Garage (1958) (which was carried out at the behest of Sir Frank’s son – who had seen such roadside Googie wonderlands in the USA) but we digress.

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Now the situation is as follows – this building has seen out its days housing and educating generations of goldfields kiddies and is slated to be moved by the local council. It will not be demolished (huzzah!) and in fact it is being offered to the public with every hope for its continued preservation and use, be it under the banner of community service or some other. It has already been relocated once before from its original site (over a creek) in 1995.

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The council is undertaking an Expression of Interest process for suitable candidates to remove the building at their own cost and give it a new life. So now we hand over the reigns to you. A 500 square metre internal space, in a framed triangle form, elevated so as to hover ever so lightly over the land; what is it? A new kindergarden? A corporate bolt-hole for creative weekends? A community arts centre? A winery/ brewery/distillery/dining hall? A new surfclub, golfclub, nightclub or cult headquarters? Express yourself (and your interest) to the City of Greater Bendigo by the 23rd of this month and it all could be yours for the taking.

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