ACT government considered new public housing museum at Northbourne Flats site

A museum would preserve a Northbourne Avenue public housing block for posterity under an ACT government plan described to Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay.

While curious visitors can learn about the homes and lives of early 20th century Canberrans at Calthorpes’ House, and get a taste of 1850s Australia at Lanyon Homestead, the government’s arts agencies told Mr Ramsay they feared the city’s “house museums” failed to reflect more recent times.

A brief prepared for Mr Ramsay as he took over the ministry in late 2016, released under freedom of information laws, said the government could solve the problem by opening heritage-listed units of the run-down Northbourne Flats to the public.

It said the government should advance plans to give Canberra a “house museum” on the city’s main thoroughfare showcasing the flats, which were built in the post-war international modernist-style.

“The presentation of one or more units would assist in demonstrating the government’s commitment to the heritage significance of the precinct at a time when the area is undergoing major redevelopment in association with the light rail project,” Mr Ramsay was told.

Click here to read more.