$100k to look at the Sydney and Melbourne buildings

johnboy 17 July 2008 17

When in doubt, announce a study.

Mr. Stanhope has just announced a study (to cost $100,000) of what to do with the iconic, and privately owned, Sydney and Melbourne buildings.

    The Strategic Project Facilitation group in the Chief Minister’s Department will coordinate the study in conjunction with Canberra CBD Limited and relevant Government agencies including the Department of Territory andMunicipal Services and the ACT Planning and Land Authority.

When they’re looking good those buildings are an absolute ornament to the city so it’s hard to disagree as to their importance.

Just a shame we can’t get the owners to take better care of their assets.

UPDATED: Well on tonight’s TV news bulletins the Chief Minister appears to have realised that the Canberra Centre is hurting the rest of the city.

Did he really not see that coming?

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17 Responses to $100k to look at the Sydney and Melbourne buildings
Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:22 pm 17 Jul 08

Perhaps people are mixing iconic and landmark. They are definitely landmark buildings. But I’d argue for iconic too. As in, an icon of a bygone era or some such.

But I’m more interested that someone said “gosh” on RA! Really – just what is this site coming to? JB’s back a few days and the moderation goes to the dogs…

seekay seekay 9:20 pm 17 Jul 08

Thank God for the Canberra Centre! It makes Civic – I almost called it “the CBD”, but that would be too funny – look like a try-hard suburban shopping mall rather than some country town that’s been slowly sliding down and down for 40 years or so.

And even the band of incompetents that make up the toytown parliament should release one of the easiest ways of tarting up the Melbourne and Sydney building would be to issue a few eviction notices.

ant ant 8:53 pm 17 Jul 08

The federal gov’t used to own the Melbourne building, or at least the western-most bit of it, as our landlords were DAS (Asset Services). There’s some interesting cellers underneath it, with old bank vaults and sign-written stuff on the walls from when they were banks. creaky floors though! the buildings have an alley running through the middle, with carparking and whopping Plane trees.

johnboy johnboy 6:44 pm 17 Jul 08

I swear there was a twinkle in the WIN newsreader’s eye as she called these buildings “Iconic” tonight…

peterh peterh 5:52 pm 17 Jul 08

johnboy said :

Some places demand you have three generations in their graveyard.

Never let it be said Canberra is not a generous place.

the act heritage library has some great old photos of the buildings in their original glory. maybe we need to close off northbourne ave and make it pedestrian access only between these 2 ICONIC buildings to make them receive better care and attention.

it would also make it easier to stagger to the atm and back without being run over….

I would think that would be a good use of 100k…

johnboy johnboy 5:41 pm 17 Jul 08

Some places demand you have three generations in their graveyard.

Never let it be said Canberra is not a generous place.

FredJ FredJ 5:37 pm 17 Jul 08

Damn I’m not a Canberran. I promise to try harder.
Another good excuse for getting trashed – love it – thanks.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 5:31 pm 17 Jul 08

Icons. Goodness me here we go

johnboy johnboy 5:30 pm 17 Jul 08

Well I beg to differ. These buildings have been at the heart of Canberra since its earliest days.

They’re Icons.

Heck you’re not even really a Canberran unless you’ve thrown up on the pavement outside at least one of them.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 5:28 pm 17 Jul 08

For goodness sake, can we stop using this word “iconic”???? Honestly, at any given opportunity, when talking about anything significant people seem to blurt out this word and have driven it to the point of no meaning! How ironic! How about calling these the heritage listed Sydney and Melbourne buildings. There is no need to bang on about their “”iconic”” status. Gosh!

amarooresident amarooresident 4:33 pm 17 Jul 08

Doesn’t the Sydney building have something like 25 different owners/landlords? I think that has been the main stumbling block to getting any consistant maintenance on the place.

NickD NickD 4:20 pm 17 Jul 08

The Melbourne Building (the one on the ANU side of Civic) seems to be in much better condition than the Sydney Building. Is this just due to good luck, or has someone been managing it better? The Sydney Building looks like it’s about to fall down – though the same applies to all the buildings around the bus interchange now.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 4:05 pm 17 Jul 08

If you buy a property, and it is Heritage listed, you are obliged as the owner to keep the property in a good state of up-keep and not to make any alterations. While these expectations are rightly there, as the owner of the property, you must fund it yourself as the owner.

Why, because the seemingly tight or disrespectful owners of these grand buildings refuse to, is the government coughing up tax payers money to do this? The owners should be forced to maintain the building to their former splendour, or hand them to the government. They shouldn’t be able to have it both ways. Those buildings have been only half-painted for well over 10 or 12 years! Doesn’t give a good look to our fine town!

Thanks god they are heritage listed, otherwise, like every other building that shows any sign of age in Canberra, is torn down and replaced with some kind of gross modernistic crap in a lot of cases.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:42 pm 17 Jul 08

My mum used to operate a secretarial business from upstairs in the Sydney Building back in the 60s.

Reality is that they will always be there, given their heritage value. So they should be looked after.

I believe that the courtyards in the middle of each, with great established trees (see the Google satellite pic) would make for great alfresco dining areas. Fix up all the backs of the buildings, arrange alternative loading bays around the outsides and allow people to enbrace the outdoors in cosy areas sheltered from winds in winter and shady in summer, and away from the traffic noise/fumes.

miz miz 3:39 pm 17 Jul 08

Dumb question I know, but are these ‘buildings’ the entire block, or just the facade bit? Are there multiple owners?

jakez jakez 2:47 pm 17 Jul 08

Yes if only those buildings were in better upkeep I know my life would be much improved.

Nickamc Nickamc 2:33 pm 17 Jul 08

Totally. Those buildings both need an all-over paintjob, and the Phoenix bar drips every time it rains.

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