Prior to the formation of the association, Beaumaris Modern was a facebook blog, produced by Fiona Austin. The aim of the blog was to match local mid-century gems with sympathetic buyers.
In mid 2017, we officially launched Beaumaris Modern as a not-for-profit, incorporated community association.
Through our advocacy, promotion, events and education we have built a groundswell of interest in these Beaumaris mid-century architecture. But unfortunately, owners & developers without any knowledge of mid-century design, have demolished many of these beautiful homes, not understanding their long-term value nor potential for sympathetic renovation.
So now, along with alerting people of properties for sale, we are also keen to share information about mid-century architecture. Through celebration and education, we hope to save as many of these properties as we can. And in doing so, bring like-minded people together to share their passion for mid-century architecture. The tide seems to be turning with an increasing number of significant MCM homes purchased by sympathetic buyers and others nominated for protection.
We are indebted to our wonderful members and our committee, who have worked tirelessly to organise all our events and speak at Council meetings and VCAT.
We are united in our passion for celebrating, educating and promoting the importance of preserving the mid-century architecture of Beaumaris.
Frequently asked questions
We’ve put together this one page outline on what we’re about.
Our launch attracted some great media attention and we celebrated Bayside City Council announcing in July 2017 that they were undertaking a Heritage Study to specifically review Mid-Century architecture in Beaumaris and Black Rock.
We then participated in the very successful Beaumaris Concourse Vintage Car Show. Shortly followed by Beaumaris Modern members attending Tim Ross’s Man about the House show in South Yarra at a Roy Grounds house.
We were then fortunate to get legendary modernist architect, Peter McIntyre down to Beaumaris to visit a house he designed in the 1950’s for a story in The Age newspaper.
At the end of 2017 we celebrated our achievements with our inaugural A Very Mid Mod Christmas Party.
Some of our committee travelled to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, where they gained great inspiration for Beaumaris Modern, as well as plans for our own Beaumaris Modern Modernism group tours to Palm Springs in subsequent years.
We then had another successful Beaumaris Modern member outing, on the train to Bendigo to the Marimekko exhibition.
In 2018 we were invited by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) to host an event for the Australian Heritage Festival. Our event, Let’s Talk MCM Heritage, featured a panel discussion including Peter McIntyre, Peter Maddison, Tricia Callan and Professor Philip Goad, moderated by Emma Telfer from Open House Melbourne.
Now we were on a roll and we realised our long-held dreams of hosting our inaugural OPEN event, which showcased some of our suburbs most interesting houses and a church. Expecting 250, our 2018 OPEN attracted an attendence of over 450, with Melbourne’s weather providing a perfect spring day.
We enjoyed two amazing launch events for the release of the Beaumaris Modern book by Fiona Austin.
And cap things off for the festive season we celebrated our successful year with an even bigger and better Christmas Party in December, featuring Benny & the Flybynighters.
Unfortunately we also encountered a rollercoaster ride with local heritage advocacy, as Bayside Council overturned their earlier decision and cancelled the local heritage program. It would take great campaigning to finally get this back on the agenda.
In the meantime, significant homes and history were lost. In particular, the loss of the Chancellor and Patrick designed home in Mariemont Avenue, was so shocking and unnecessary (the block remains vacant still today), that it attracted statewide and National interest and proved to be the catapult in re-energising debate with Bayside Council and the State Government.
For 2019, we hosted two events for the Australian Heritage Festival, both of which were an outstanding success:
Our 2nd annual OPEN event in October 2019 featured 5 more Beaumaris homes, including a recently built home designed with a mid-century aesthetic. Over 700 attendees were again impressed by the quality and diversity demonstrated in our local design vernacular.
The popularity of our events demonstrate the appetite in the community for Mid-Century Modern architecture and design and proved how important it is to preserve and appreciate the unique streetscape of Beaumaris.
In 2020, Bayside Council received a warning letter from the Victorian Minister for Planning urging them to re-establish heritage studies and processes, as required by their statutory guidelines. We await the next study, which specifically focusses on mid-century / post-war architecture across Bayside.
Of the over 770 residences, public buildings, monuments and trees listed on the Bayside Heritage overlay, less than 20 are in Beaumaris and Black Rock, and only 3 are mid-century buildings. The new studies will hopefully redress this imbalance.
Finally just prior to Covid changing our world, most of our committee were fortunate to attend Palm Springs Modernism Week in the US. This was a exciting adventure, learning experience and networking opportunity that culminated in our presentation on Beaumaris Modern at this celebrated festival.