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The Heavenly Queen Temple

Home > Melbourne > Escape the City | Historic Houses
by Clay Steele (subscribe)
Nutritionist & Life Coach Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published July 3rd 2012
Heavenly Queen Railroad View
The Heavenly Queen Temple from the Railroad

A recent review I wrote on the Britannia Hotel got me thinking about other mysterious, seemingly abandoned buildings around Melbourne's west. Anyone travelling on a train between Footscray and the city would espy the lonesome looking Heavenly Queen Temple. As long as I can remember this austere looking building has appeared to be under construction, but how long can a building such as this be vacant and remain cost effective?

Temple Arch
Beautiful architecture

On my way to Footscray Market I decided to drive down Joseph Rd, possibly the quietest street in Footscray. Amusingly the signage for the temple doesn't appear until you're a good 200 metres down this ostensibly dead-end road.

Temple Signage
Interestingly positioned signage

At the end of Joseph Rd you come to the car park which has a gate, chain and padlock attached, but open. In another incongruity there are two signs on the gate that contradict each other "Private Property - Trespassers Prosecuted" and "Open 9:30am - 3:30pm".

Temple Private Property
Private property...

Temple 9to3
...or open for business

Going under the theory that I could argue against prosecution before Her Majesty by virtue of the latter sign I pressed on into the car park - quite an extensive car park for a building that apparently receives no visitors (and in fact does not welcome trespassers).

The building up close is very impressive in the morning sun. With a traditional looking Chinese arch and a number of seats it would certainly be a wonderful place to meditate, reflect on life or take some touristy happy-snaps. Unfortunately in another ironic juxtaposition this edifice to Buddhist acceptance is surrounded by a chain-link fence.

Temple Chain Link
Paradise fenced off

See below for some rather dramatic time lapse footage.

Happily having viewed the rear end of the Heavenly Queen herself from the morning train I was able to greet her face-to-face by skirting the perimeter of the building, scattering seagulls who clearly aren't used to human company at this venue. The gold coloured statue is a beautiful work and is certainly what grabbed my attention each morning from the train as it forded the Maribyrnong.

Temple Statue Front
The Heavenly Queen herself

Visiting the Temple's website you wouldn't know that it has been closed for as long as I have caught trains past it. I do notice that there are menu items for Committee 1, Committee 2 and Committee 3 - with so many committees it is small wonder nothing gets done! I guess I will just have to practice the patience of the Buddha.

Temple Sunshine
watch this space...
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Why? Nirvana awaits
When: Between 9am and 3pm according to one sign
Where: 20 Joseph Rd Footscray
Cost: At the moment a possible trespassing charge
Your Comment
It's getting built by a small group of volunteers, slowly.
by AustS (score: 0|4) 2661 days ago
I have been fascinated by this large statue for years, and wondered why it never seems to get finished, now I know. Thanks for the article.
by janef (score: 2|105) 2468 days ago
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