Le Louvre to Shut Famous Polished Copper French Doors For Good Next Month

The relocation paves the way for QIC, which owns the 51-level, 80 Collins Street office directly behind Le Louvre, to forge ahead with a 40-level office building, part built on stilts, on the north-west corner of Exhibition Street.
 
Ms Weir’s mother, Lillian Wightman, established the Le Louvre boutique in 1922, reportedly to cater for the wives of wealthy city doctors.
 
Ms Wightman bought the former doctors home at 74 Collins Street for $40,000 in 1952, which Ms Weir inherited in 1993.
 
The boutique – which socialite Lillian Frank once said “even millionaire’s” would have to take a breath before walking into – is renowned in retail circles for its imported garments.
 
Le Louvre’s move marks the end of a tumultuous and at-times tense relationship between Ms Weir, the National Trust and the various owners of 80 Collins Street, which has towered over Le Louvre since the 1970s.
 
Previous owners of the tower demolished terraces next door to Le Louvre, replacing it with a forecourt to give the Nauru House office a Collins Street address, and the opportunity to reap Collins Street rents.
 
Ms Weir had previously likened the jagged western edge of her Collins Street building to “the polar bear enclosure at the zoo”.
 
Le Louvre’s new South Yarra headquarters will be built into a double storey red-brick building, which has until recently been hidden behind a tall fence, and in a former industrial precinct of South Yarra which is undergoing a $1 billion building boom.
 
The retailer will front a new laneway under construction, connecting the South Yarra train station, to Chapel Street, bypassing Toorak Road.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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