Visitors will enjoy a blast from the past when Jack’s Magazine opens as part of this weekend’s Open House Melbourne weekend.
The former gunpowder magazine on the banks of the Maribyrnong River is just one of the westside locations taking part in the highly popular event, along with Yarraville’s Sun Theatre, The Substation and Australian Islamic Centre in Newport.
In Footscray, doors will be flung open at Footscray Town Hall, the Bluestone Church Artspace, Victoria University Sports Science Facility and the Drill Hall – home of the Snuff Puppets and the Women’s Circus.
Working Heritage executive officer Ross Turnbull said tours of Jack’s Magazine were all snapped up in the first 30 minutes of bookings opening, but anyone who missed out can join in a longer Sunday tour held once a month by booking at jacksmagazine.org.au
Jack’s Magazine was built in the 1870s to store gunpowder for use on the goldfields.
It was later used to store materials for the ammunition factories that once dominated the area and became known as Jack’s Magazine after Wally Jack who served as depot foreman from World War 1 until 1943.
It has been unused and inaccessible since the 1990s.
Mr Turnbull said Working Heritage was appointed to manage Jack’s Magazine in 2015 and has been working on bringing life and creativity back to the iconic location.
“We are about to run an expression of interest for artists and makers to take over some of our spaces,” he said.
Maribyrnong mayor Cameron McDonald said the council looks forward to opening up some of its architectural gems for the public to enjoy.