AN OBSERVATORY linked to one of Bendigo's prominent early architects needs heritage protection, City of Greater Bendigo staff say.
They want protection for what was once the city's main observatory for meteorological readings, which sits in a a Kennington backyard.
Councillors will consider whether to forward a heritage overlay application to the state's planning minister when they meet on Monday.
Architect John Beebe built the observatory in or around 1900 and council staff say it is "potentially of state significance as a rare surviving example of a private observatory that had served a public function".
Beebe was a noted amateur astronomer who offered use of the observatory to Bendigo students.
Council staff originally considered applying for an interim heritage overlay for the site in 2019 when it went on sale, but the owner withdrew the site from sale.
Officers had planned to consider the property in a later heritage study but have moved early because it is back on the market.
They have asked the council to make several requests including that the minister applies an interim order as well as something more permanent.
Beebe likely designed and built the observatory at about the time he graduated as an architect from the Bendigo School of Mines in 1900, council officers believe.
It mirrored the sorts of designs popular in Britain, Europe and the United States at the time, though it was smaller in scale and sat at the bottom of a Beebe family property.
It became the city's primary meteorological observatory in 1908 after people questioned the suitability of a site chosen by the government, and remained in public use until 1914.
Only three private observatories built between the 1850s and the 1920s survive throughout Australia. All are smaller than Beebe's.
The National Trust describes it as "perhaps the only surviving nineteenth century private observatory in Victoria".
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