November 5, 2020

Footscray’s 148-Year Old Historic Henderson House Gets a Revamp

Over the last 7 months of forced closure, our beloved heritage Henderson House has received a much-needed and eagerly anticipated renovation, in preparation of welcoming our community and audiences back through its halls. 

The iconic bluestone Henderson House building has overlooked the Maribyrnong River since 1872, and through its many lives, been home to a piggery, trading merchant and bank, before becoming home to Footscray Community Arts in 1979. Originally home to Footscray Community Arts’ operations and programs, it has more recently been home to tenants, artists and companies in residence, as well as Gabriel Gallery. Urgent need for renovation was identified by Footscray Community Arts’ Precinct Plan research study (2019), undertaken by Parallel Practice, and supported by Maribyrnong City Council and the Victorian Government. 

With the support of Maribyrnong City Council, countless hours of specialised heritage restoration work and elbow grease from Footscray Community Arts staff, Henderson House is now a modern and comfortable creative community space, which will be activated in 2021 by artists who take up RESIDENCE for up to 4 months at a time. 



New and improved Henderson House! Photo by Gianna Rizzo.

Each studio inside Henderson House will be named after flora found in the local area as a way to honour the pre-colonial story of the area. Footscray Community Arts has worked with Footscray Community Arts’ Elders in Residence, Indigenous Advisory Group and visual artist Mitch Mahoney on this process. 

Following an extensive EOI process, Footscray Community Arts’ is also excited to welcome the arrival of Myrtle Wine Café to the precinct, run by local Ellen Turner, owner of popular Kingsville favourite, Willow Wine Café.  

We can’t wait to show off our newly revamped creative precinct to our artists and communities once the centre re-opens. 

Images: “After” by Gianna Rizzo.