No move to close Cooks’ Cottage, council says
Captain Cooks’ Cottage, a major tourist attraction at the Fitzroy Gardens, is believed to be up review but the City of Melbourne says no decision has been made to close it.
The cottage was originally built in 1755 by the parents of British explorer Captain James Cooks in Yorkshire, England before it was brought to Melbourne by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934 as a centenary gift to the people and State of Victoria.
The City of Melbourne is understood to be conducting a review of the beloved landmark’s viability, but a council spokesperson said, “No decision has been made to close Cooks’ Cottage”.
The council did not confirm if the cottage was under review, but it comes amid a reported drop in visitation numbers and being the target of vandalism containing anti-Australia Day slogans – but there is no suggestion this has formed any council decision-making going forward.
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria’s heritage committee chair Dr Charles Sowerwine said the cottage was one of many attractions in the Fitzroy Gardens.
“The cottage has been enjoyed by generations of Australian children for nearly 90 years,” he said. But he added, given its “tenuous connection” to Captain Cook, the Society believed the cottage could perhaps be renamed “The Cook Family Cottage,” adding it “should be retained but appropriately curated to indicate that it is simply a restoration of a typical 18th Century Yorkshire yeoman farmer home”. •