Pentridge’s treasured architecture deserves preservation.
In accordance with the long-term Masterplan for the adaptive reuse of Pentridge, Shayher Group have commenced work in restoring the heritage assets on site.
The work includes restoring six guard towers around the entire site, the historic rock breaking yards and re-roofing the Division A building to stop leaks and remove existing damage. The work is expected to cost over $2 million and will ensure these heritage assets are preserved and remain historically accurate for generations to come.
The Heritage Interpretation Masterplan sets out our approach to showcasing and interpreting the history and heritage of Pentridge.
The Conservation Management Plan sets out the basis for the preservation of the physical environment at Pentridge.
The Pentridge site is set to evolve in the coming years and will combine both heritage buildings and modern architecture to create a community inclusive site. Shayher Group is committed to ensuring the heritage aspects of Pentridge are both restored and protected throughout this process. All existing historic buildings will be retained for public use, enabling new generations to explore the history in their bluestone walls for years to come.
In Pentridge, Coburg is experiencing a renewal that honours the past while looking to the future. By sensitively utilising and preserving the key elements of this iconic site, the redevelopment of Pentridge will provide a unique place to live, work, enjoy and belong.
On 5 December 1850, 16 prisoners are marched to the site from the Melbourne Gaol. The prison begins its life as a stockade made of log huts on wheels surrounded by a low 1.2 metre fence. Local residents are outraged by the inadequate security.
As Victoria’s population continues to increase, so too does its criminal population. This leads to a need for a more permanent complex of prison buildings and a second phase of construction is undertaken between 1857 and 1864. The perimeter walls, Entrance building, A, B and D Divisions and the Warders’ residences are all built during this period.
It is believed that silence and solitude are the best methods of reforming prisoners. This results in the construction of the Panopticon. Prisoners are contained in the wedges of a circle while prison officials are stationed at a central inspection house. Prisoners are isolated in their cells for 23 hours a day, with just one hour in the ‘airing yard’, as the panopticon is called. Talking is forbidden and the prisoners are addressed only by their cell numbers.
As a result of the Stawell Royal Commission, an extensive work program is implemented with a number of industries established on the site including a wool mill, tailor’s shop, blacksmith, carpenter’s workshop and timber yard.
The 1970s are a time of unrest at Pentridge. Political and social radicalism emphasising the rights of the individual shines a spotlight on the treatment of criminals and brings the concept of prison reform to the fore.
The Northern part of Pentridge, referred to as "Pentridge Coburg", is purchased by Shayher Group, who are committed to retaining the heritage of the site while transforming it into a usable community asset.
Pentridge is a major development for the Coburg area, and Shayher Group is committed to engaging with the local community to ensure an outcome which we all can be proud of.