Residents are rallying to save North Williamstown station’s two historic buildings when the level crossing is removed.
As reported by Star Weekly, the state government has announced it will lower the rail line under Ferguson Street and is calling for community feedback on what should happen in the new station precinct.
Williamstown Crossing Group spokesman Lorenzo de Falco, who is also on Hobsons Bay council’s Ferguson Street Williamstown Level Crossing Community Interest Group, said people clearly wanted to preserve North Williamstown train station.
The station is listed on the Victorian Heritage Database for being significant as “a good example of a well-preserved architect designed Edwardian-domestic style station building, which contributes to the historic character of the Williamstown line“.
Mr de Falco said the community wanted to retain both station buildings, while the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) had earmarked the eastern building for demolition.
“The North Williamstown train station is over a century old and is part of the precinct, being visually connected with the Rifle Club Hotel, Bristol Hotel and Owen’s Buildings,“ he said.
“It is integral to Williamstown’s unique character, and the community has long said they would like to retain it after the level crossing is removed.
“While we agree that the decision to lower the rail is the best outcome among the grade separation options, we disagree with LXRP that the eastern station building needs to be removed due to lack of space.
“We think both station buildings can and should be retained in view of their historical significance, and would like to invite LXRP to explore all possible options to retain it.
“Ideally, the space between the two station buildings could be fully decked and turned into a plaza, with both station buildings repurposed for community use.“
Construction at Ferguson Street will begin in early 2021 and the level crossing will be removed in 2022.