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The Embassy Motel comes down

By SammyLivesHere - 6 July 2009 18

Today at 10am WIN NEWS will be filming at the Embassy Motel, Deakin.

The RoundAbout building is all that remains of the once popular motel in Deakin. By close of business today it will become an empty block, completely levelled.

When you visit the website of the Embassy Motel the music tells a tale that the end is nigh.

The end of an era in the Inner South, and the suburb of Deakin, along with many others now, is about to get it own set of residential tower blocks. In one sense loosing some old Canberra history and heritage, and another of a newness, of progress of freshness to a suburb held dear to many hearts. I feel torn between the old villagey feel; and residential improvement and freshness.

A few weeks back before about half an hour after the last over night guests checked out the Auction of rooms was held, rooms selling from $80 to $500; well the contents anyway. It gave you a chance to see behind the scenes of this then run-down motel.

The end of an era, but I ask the question – who will preserve the WebSite for Heritage research on the suburb, along with photographs and stories about the place for people read about? What are we doing to preserve the history?

Visiting politicians, pool party gossip, secret rendezvous and other tales of hidden Canberra we hear about will be gone from Deakin and left only in our memories.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
The Embassy Motel comes down
trevar 4:09 pm 06 Jul 09

Well Danman might not be trying to persuade me, but Sepi succeeded! Knock down the scene of the Evans/Kernot affair?!?!?!?!? For shame! It’s a travesty! An injustice of the greatest proportions! Where’s the petition? Hand me my chain! I’ll tie myself to the damn thing!

Bah, it’s too late to protest now anyway… I wonder who bought the bed from THAT room???

Danman 3:20 pm 06 Jul 09

Trevar, you for one should support the preservation of such an eyesore, for those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Let style anti icons remain so they are not recreated i say.

Just for sh1ts and giggles I have included one of the definitions of style, that fits into your statement I outlined is “a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work

Everythign I have said is my opinion anyway…Not trying to persuade you.

sepi 2:55 pm 06 Jul 09

The downfall of the Democrats, the scene of the infamous affair between labor’s Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot. A significant giggle every time I drove past.

Holden Caulfield 2:49 pm 06 Jul 09

trevar, international man of style.

trevar 2:28 pm 06 Jul 09

Danman said :

Trevar, you said “it’s different if it was built in a particular style” straight after saying “we have so many of these brick boxes from the 50s and 60s with no redeeming features at all”

Isn’t that defining a style from the era. Just because it is unappealing does not mean that it is not a classic example of archetecture from the period, and hence worthy of preservation ?

Oh, that’s not a style. Those brick dogboxes of the 50s and 60s (and even into the 70s) might be a pattern, or a habit, or a culture, but it’s a stretch to call them a style! And what is the purpose of preserving an example of something undesirable? I’ve never kept used toilet paper in order to be able to preserve an example of what I did to it twenty years ago! The only reason I can think of for preserving such a thing is as a warning to all budding architects: “this is what could happen if you go to sleep for twenty years! The future of our national aesthetic is in your hands!” And for that, photographs are perfectly sufficient…

I suppose the place wasn’t that bad… and maybe someone has a closer connection to it because it was the venue of a first kiss or a first dance or something, but I still think we can afford to lose the ugly stuff.

harvyk1 1:50 pm 06 Jul 09

Thanks Sammy, it’s even more proof that once something goes on the internet it’s there forever… 🙂

SammyLivesHere 1:34 pm 06 Jul 09

Hej Harvyk1 – that’s a great archive – thanks for letting me know!

I certainly appreciate the boring square motel rooms… however, with a little imagination The RoundAbout could have been transformed into a nice Art Gallery, Cafe or something. As you all say the majority of the block was visually ‘ugly’… But with the site now to become 4-towers (120 residential units) – along with the 28-units behind it and next to the Soccer club the area of Deakin is about to become very busy indeed – a big change from the villagey feel of days gone by.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping a photo diary. No doubt on the way past tonight The RoundAbout will be gone as well… and early next week I’ll post the story of demolition in frames…

The builder is doing a great job of sorting the materials for recycle be it for cost saving for dumping the rubble, or to help the environment. Either way this is not having a huge impact on those directly affected by the noise and dust created from this job. Well done to the builder for keeping it a low key affair.

Danman 1:28 pm 06 Jul 09

Trevar, you said “it’s different if it was built in a particular style” straight after saying “we have so many of these brick boxes from the 50s and 60s with no redeeming features at all”

Isn’t that defining a style from the era. Just because it is unappealing does not mean that it is not a classic example of archetecture from the period, and hence worthy of preservation ?

Not saying thats the case for this particular example, but if we didnt preserve things just because we didnt like how they look in the modern scope of things – then when will anything ever get preserved ?

trevar 12:51 pm 06 Jul 09

Thumper said :

And why does everything have to be modernised?

I wouldn’t want everything modernised, just the ugly things! And not the ugly people, they can stay, but we have so many of these brick boxes from the 50s and 60s with no redeeming features at all! It’s different if it was built in a particular style or is surrounded by contemporaneous buildings, but the Embassy was just so nothingy!

And it can’t be that significant, can it? What happened there that makes an ugly building worth keeping? Okay, I’m only in my 30s and have only lived in Canberra for 11 years, so I admit you may be right, maybe some great event occurred there that I’m not aware of, or maybe there was some great tradition associated with the structure that I’ve never heard of, so I’m ready to be enlightened, but at the moment I know of nothing that makes the place significant enough to retain it despite it’s ugliness!

harvyk1 11:28 am 06 Jul 09

“The end of an era, but I ask the question – who will preserve the WebSite for Heritage research on the suburb, along with photographs and stories about the place for people read about? What are we doing to preserve the history?”

The internet archive – check out http://www.archive.org/index.php and type in http://www.embassymotelcanberra.com.au/

Holden Caulfield 10:03 am 06 Jul 09

Yellow bricks. Cement render. Problem solved.

Thumper 9:52 am 06 Jul 09

Landmark? It was an eyesore!

Lots of culturally significant buildings are eyesores. Doesn’t make them less significant though. The round bit could have been kept and adapted.

And why does everything have to be modernised?

trevar 9:44 am 06 Jul 09

Thumper said :

It’s a pity that the developers couldn’t find a way to incorporate the old building into the new development. A bit of adaptive reuse would have allowed this landmark building to survive.

Landmark? It was an eyesore! Yellow bricks! Is there anything uglier than those horrible beigey-yellow bricks piled up into boring little boxes?

Okay, it wasn’t completely irredeemable, at least it had a round bit… Maybe they could have rendered it and made it look more modern with some paint and whatnot, but demolition is good too… There’s no point in lamenting the loss of something built in that era.

I just hope the new development is an improvement.

Danman 9:19 am 06 Jul 09

I drove past on Thursday Arvo – another one bites the dust…Wish I knew earlier, I love photographing abandonements

Thumper 9:12 am 06 Jul 09

It’s a pity that the developers couldn’t find a way to incorporate the old building into the new development. A bit of adaptive reuse would have allowed this landmark building to survive.

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