Maffra heritage listing

ONE of the state’s first concrete block constructions, a two-storey commercial building in Maffra, has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register.

Heritage Council chair Daryl Jackson said the Foster Building in Johnson St was built in 1908 for prominent local landowner Askin ‘Alf’ Foster.

“Designed by the Maffra architect Stephen Ashton, the building was an early example of hollow concrete block construction,” Mr Jackson said.

“This began to be adopted in Victoria in about 1905 when American block-making machinery became readily available.”

Mr Jackson said the Foster Building was of architectural significance as an early, intact and unusually ornate example of precast hollow concrete block construction.

“It is unusual for its use of a variety of block patterns on the front facade to replicate the appearance of a stone building, an interesting application of the new concrete block technology.”

Described at the time as ‘the most up-to-date building in Gippsland’, the Foster Building originally had shops at each end with residences above, and in the centre was a solicitor’s office on the ground floor and Alf Foster’s office upstairs.

The Victorian Heritage Register is the official listing of the more than 2000 places and objects which have been assessed as significant to the State of Victoria.

The listings provide the State’s highest heritage protection and mean changes require a permit from Heritage Victoria.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.