Melbourne‘s oldest building has gone on the market for the first time in over a century, with the family that owns the property being forced into a sale.
Former actress Lola Russell, 98, lived in the building at the corner of King and La Trobe streets in the CBD since she was one month old, but now has been forced to sell up.
The building was once home to popular café Russell’s Old Corner Shop but is now in urgent need of repairs the family cannot afford, and has been occupied by a series of squatters.
Melbourne’s oldest building is being sold after being owned by the same family for a century
Former actress Lola Russell, 98 (pictured with her late husband George Dixon) lived in the building since she was one month old
The building was build in 1850 by James Hefferman
Built by 1851, the partially sandstone building is one of Melbourne’s only pre-gold rush structures still standing and has been valued around $4million.
It has been owned by the same family since 1899, and Ms Russell lived in the building from the time she was an infant.
She was an actress who for decades lived on the top floor while operating the café from the bottom with her husband George Dixon.
She inherited the building in 1970 but is now in a nursing home on a pension and requires a high-level of care.
Ms Russell (pictured) was married to George Dixon, whose nephew Owen has been working to get a government body to take on the building
‘She loves the shop, and the residence. It’s been a big part of her life, obviously, and out of respect for that we’ve been doing everything we can [to save it],’ George’s nephew Owen Dixon told Despite the property’s high market value, Ms Russell’s family have tried to save it but said they now need to sell the building to pay her expensive care needs.
‘Her only source of finance is this [and] it hasn’t been an option to make her penniless,’ said Mr Dixon.
The building was once home to a popular café called Russell’s Old Corner Shop (pictured)
The once popular haunt and tourist attraction (pictured) is now run-down and inhabited by squatters
Ms Russell (pictured) now requires high-level care in a nursing home
The family also said the property is being destroyed by burglars and squatters, and an antique stove has been stolen.
‘The last six months we’re having constant break-ins and things are starting to either get damaged or stolen,’ said Mr Dixon.
He claimed negotiations with government bodies including the National Trust and the Melbourne City Council had broken down since the pandemic.
‘We’ve been working with the National Trust for about three or four years to help us try and coordinate potential future use.
‘We haven’t managed to find a public buyer, we hoped we would,’ he said adding a beneficiary would have best pills to get my penis hard and strong restore the building from ground-up.
Melbourne City Council and the National Trust won’t be restoring the building (pictured), so the family said they are forced to sell it to a private buyer