THE house at the heart of The Castle is to be relocated to Corowa and become a tourist attraction.
Federation Council has done a deal with the owner of the Melbourne home which appeared in the 1997 film about a family fighting an airport expansion.
The shire’s administrator Mike Eden said the council’s economic development manager Greg Aplin had been liaising with the weatherboard house’s owner Vicki Cosentino.
“He’s been talking to the lady for a few months and they’ve come to a deal and we spoke to the Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory and they’ve got a nice block of land to put it on,” Mr Eden said.
He expects the transaction will involve the council paying for the costs to shift the house to Corowa, suggesting it may involve $20,000.
Ms Cosentino is keen for the house to be removed so she can build two townhouses on the block which adjoins Essendon airport.
Mr Eden said the idea of Corowa hosting The Castle home emerged from Ebden-based Melbourne comedy pioneer Peter Crofts.
He has been seeking a venue for his comedy memorabilia which includes 30,000 books and 3000 records and believed the house would be ideal.
Mr Eden said it was the prospect of the house being used as a repository which enticed Ms Cosentino.
“The lady felt it should be part of a museum,” Mr Eden said.
“That’s part of what attracted her to us because we would promote it as a comedy icon.”
With The Castle having spawned several memorable lines, Mr Eden used a variation of one to underline his hopes for the property in its new location.
“I think it will bring people to the town, some would tell us we’re dreaming, but we don’t think so,” he said.
“I’m pretty confident it’s a good publicity stunt, if you could call it that.
“The media around the house is going to put Corowa out there.”
The timing of the move will depend on when the house’s tenant departs as a lease is in place until the end of June.
However, Mr Eden said it was possible an agreement could be reached with the occupant to end the lease before June 30.
Last month the Moonee Valley Council declined to give heritage protection to the house, voting 5-4 against the move.
Historic consultants had deemed it had “historic and social significance” in the context of popular culture.
Ms Cosentino told Fairfax Media in June that she was losing money on the Strathmore house.
“I paid $94,000 for that house 23 years ago, but this house has cost me over $100,000 to fix so far, and instead of making money, I’m going downhill,” she said.
It has been rented for $380 per week.
- This article first appeared on the Border Mail