Plan to rebuild historic Alison Homestead lodged with Wyong Council

Reposted article by Errol Smith, Central Coast Express Advocate, 7 January 2014

Historic Alison Homestead is one step closer to being rebuilt after it was burned down by an arsonist in December 2011.

Wyong mayor Doug Eaton (right) with Greg Denning, Kerrie Forrest, Phil Morley and Garry Lee with plans for rebuilding Alison Homestead. Source: News Limited

Wyong mayor Doug Eaton (right) with Greg Denning, Kerrie Forrest, Phil Morley and Garry Lee with plans for rebuilding Alison Homestead. [Source: News Limited]

A development application has been lodged for reconstruction of the regionally significant heritage attraction.

The late 19th century farmhouse, long associated with the pioneering Alison family, was renowned for its social, cultural and historical significance as the oldest house in the town of Wyong, before being tragically destroyed by an arson attack in December 2011.

As the site’s owner, Wyong Shire Council has since worked closely with the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, that manages the site on a volunteer basis, to develop a sound proposal to restore and reconstruct the least-damaged southern wing of the homestead.

“This is a significant milestone for everyone who cares about Alison Homestead,” said Council’s Manager of Community Partnerships and Planning, Julie Vaughan.

“And we are talking about a lot of people.”

“I’ve received countless letters and emails from people keen to see the homestead rebuilt; they don’t want the mindless act of arsonists to be the end of this much-loved community asset.”

Council is planning for a new building to function as a museum/heritage centre to be constructed on the footprint of the original homestead but with a more flexible and functional internal area to accommodate a broader range of uses.

“We have worked closely with the wonderful volunteers from the Historical Society to come up with this proposal,” Ms Vaughan said.

“It retains as much of the site’s heritage and cultural identity as possible while also ensuring the Homestead has a viable future in terms of cultural tourism.”

Advertisements

City seeks better solution over future of historic Alison Homestead rebuild

Reposted article by Errol Smith, Central Coast Express, 20 February 2013

WYONG Council has deferred a decision on the options for the historic Alison Homestead which was destroyed by fire in 2011.

Phil Morley, president of Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, with the Coo-ee violin saved from the deliberately-lit fire that came close to completely destroying Alison Homestead in 2011. Picture: Troy Snook Source: NewsLocal

Phil Morley, president of Wyong District Museum and Historical Society, with the Coo-ee violin saved from the deliberately-lit fire that came close to completely destroying Alison Homestead in 2011. Picture: Troy Snook Source: NewsLocal

The remains of the building, in Cape Rd at Alison, west of Wyong, remain off limits to the public while stakeholders consider its future.

The destruction of the homestead was considered a tragedy for Wyong Shire not only because of the age of the building but because of the destruction of irreplaceable documents and items of historic interest.

Fortunately the building was insured and about $500,000 will be available for any rebuild.

Council was presented, at its last meeting, with four possible options with a recommendation to build a new and different building on or close to the location of the original homestead.

Council planners said this option might incorporate remnants of the original design or entirely demolish the ruins.

But councillors felt further discussions with key stakeholders were needed, in order to come up with a better solution.

They also want to discuss use of alternative sites as a further option.

Sources: www.dailytelegraph.com.au;

Arson attack razes Alison Homestead

Message from Wyong District Museum and Historical Society President (2011), Phil Morley – December 2011.

In the early hours of Saturday morning,  3rd December 2011, our beautiful heritage building (Alison Homestead) which housed our Museum was burned to the ground by the hand of an arsonist.

Historic Alison Homestead ablaze in 2011 after being set alight by an arsonist. [Picture: Steve Broomham]

Historic Alison Homestead ablaze in 2011 after being set alight by an arsonist. [Picture: Steve Broomham]

We are all quite devastated, sad, and angry at losing many wonderful pieces of history given to us by the descendants of the pioneering families of our area. A loss caused not by a tempest, or an electrical fault, but by someone who had no regard whatever for the early history of Wyong, no regard for a beautiful homestead in a beautiful setting, and no regard for the feelings of those volunteers who, over the years, worked so hard to turn a derelict building into the showcase it became.

Fire crews extinguish the blaze at Alison Homestead on 3 December, 2011. [Source: News Limited]

Fire crews extinguish the blaze at Alison Homestead on 3 December, 2011.
[Source: News Limited]

The community of Wyong, other Historical Societies in our area, and even total strangers have contacted us to express their sympathy and offer their assistance – we always said that anyone who visited our Museum immediately fell in love with the house, and the surrounding gardens maintained by our volunteers, and we were right. In our hour of desolation, they have rallied around us.

We have begun the difficult task of salvaging what can be saved, evaluating our assets and auditing what has been lost.

We have begun the difficult task of salvaging what can be saved, evaluating our assets and auditing what has been lost.

This is not the end of the Wyong Museum, or the Historical Society. The will to continue is strong, and our volunteers are determined to move forward as soon as practicable.

In the meantime, you can communicate with us by email at info@alisonhomestead.org.au, or by post to: Wyong District Museum & Historical Society, P.O. Box 241, Wyong 2259.

History lost to arsonist

Reposted article by Errol Smith, Central Coast Express Advocate, 07 December 2011

Click on the images below to enlarge for reading.

Central Coast Express Advocate Wyong, December 7th 2011, Page 1

Central Coast Express Advocate Wyong, December 7th 2011, Page 1

Express Advocate_P3_20111207

Central Coast Express Advocate Wyong, December 7th 2011, Page 3

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Source: Central Coast Express Advocate Wyong, December 7th 2011 [http://digitaledition-wyong.expressadvocate.com.au]