Old Hawks Nest to be Re-feathered
Major plans are at last afoot for the famed Michael Tuck Stand at Glenferrie Oval. In August 2023, Council unveiled its plans to refurbish the venerable arena and revitalise the 85-year-old stand, which has remained largely dormant since 2006, when Hawthorn Football Club ceased using the site for training and administration and moved to Waverley Park. Dubbed the ‘sardine can’, the Tuck Stand is one of only five remaining significant art deco facilities in Victoria devoted to public use.
According to Council, the double-deck structure will be made available for a variety of uses. These include a sports pavilion, a local heritage exhibition and collection space for Boroondara’s historical societies, rehearsal space for bands, a meeting venue for community groups as well as host to ‘workshops, leisure and fitness classes’. Between 14 August and 11 September 2023, Council held a community consultation to determine locals’ preferred uses of the space.
The stand has seen better days and, according to Council, “has been deteriorating for some time and needs major renovation”. A structural analysis found it is non-compliant with certain health and safety standards as well as building regulations, preventing community groups and sporting clubs from using it at all in its current condition. Gutting of the stand has already commenced, with interior refurbishments expected to begin in late 2026.
A Kew Historical Society (KHS) spokesperson revealed that Council approached them some “five years ago” about the possibility of housing its collection at the historic oval. They explained that the space will become “our home base for research, exhibitions, storage of our collection and archives, public events, meetings, etc.” The 5-year timeframe indicates the society’s interest in these possibilities is not of recent origin and that it is just one among multiple other rejuvenation projects affecting the sports precinct, that date back to the 2009 Glenferrie Oval, Grace Park and L.E. Bray Reserve Concept Master Plan.