One of Melbourne’s most popular public spaces, Federation Square, has been added to Victoria’s heritage list after it was nominated earlier this year.
The 17-year-old site was recognised for its cultural significance to the state in a Heritage Council of Victoria decision announced yesterday.
The ruling found the square had cultural importance and was “historically significant as the pre-eminent memorial to Federation” in Victoria.
Some 754 public submissions were received in response to notice of the recommendation, with all but three in support of the inclusion.
Independent government-appointed body Heritage Victoria will have to approve any future dramatic changes to the square.
However, exemptions have been granted for some works across the precinct including the Melbourne Metro Tunnel site.
In February 2017, public debate over a bid to build a supersized Apple store at the square divided opinion.
The Andrews government announced it would demolish parts of the building to make way for the store, attracting public criticism.
The debate eventually led to the square being nominated for heritage status.
At 3.8 hectares in area, the square was designed by LAB Architecture Studio and Bates Smart, and constructed between 1998 and 2002.