Parramatta's heritage buildings to be saved

Published: 8 Oct 2020

Released by: Minister of State

The NSW Government will relocate the historic Willow Grove house and retain the original heritage portion of St George’s Terrace in Parramatta to improve community access and pave the way for the flagship Powerhouse Parramatta museum.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin confirmed the decision to relocate the much admired 19th-century Italianate villa following feedback received by the community during the planning process.

Willow Grove house, which resides on the site for the future museum, will be moved to a new site in North Parramatta, providing the community with better access while restoring it to its former glory.

Mr Harwin said the decisions were the best outcomes for the Western Sydney community as well as the broader arts industry across the state.

“We’ve listened to the community tell us of their connection to Willow Grove. With this decision we will deliver vastly improved access to Willow Grove on a better site, and Western Sydney gets its long awaited and much deserved first Cultural Institution,” Mr Harwin said.

“The realisation of Powerhouse Parramatta will be a defining moment in the history of Western Sydney.

“With more than 18,000sqm of column free exhibition and public spaces, this museum in the heart of Parramatta is going to stand tall with the world’s great cultural institutions.

“With our decision in July 2020 to retain our Ultimo museum as well as build our flagship museum in Parramatta, the public will have more exhibition space than ever before to see our revered Powerhouse collection.”

Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee, said the community is excited about Powerhouse Parramatta.

“It’s a transformational project that will put our city on the global stage as well as providing for over four thousand much needed jobs during this challenging time for our community.

“It is critical shovel-ready projects like Powerhouse Parramatta proceed and we are powering ahead with this once in a generation project for Western Sydney,” said Dr Lee.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said the new Powerhouse Museum will be a game-changer for Western Sydney and this announcement delivers dual outcomes for the city.

“Now, more than ever, Parramatta needs investment in arts and cultural infrastructure; it is critical to a city of our size and one that is growing as rapidly as we are.

“The Powerhouse will not only bring more visitors to our region and boost our local economy, but help foster our booming creative sector,” Cr Dwyer said.

“It is my view that relocating Willow Grove and preserving it at a new site will provide an opportunity to breathe new life into this historic building, while still delivering a world-class cultural institution at an iconic location in Parramatta’s CBD.”

In relation to St George’s Terrace, the aim will be to retain and refurbish the original portion of the building including the brick façade.

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