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ACT National Trust Issues List of Most at Risk Heritage Places

By Clown Killer - 4 July 2008 17

The ACT National Trust has nominated 18 places they believe possess heritage values and that are at risk from a range of potential impacts incliuding neglect, demolition, drougy, vandalism and poor planning decisions.

The Trusts top three places include:

  1. The Dickson-Lyneham Flats on Northbourne Avenue;
  2. Redwood Forest, Pialligo; and
  3. The Yarralumla Brickworks

Numbers two and three seem pretty straight forward, but I suspect that the boys and girls at the National Trust will be on a hiding to nowhere trying to save the Dickson-Lyneham Flats. Whilst it is certainly the case that late 20th Century heritage places are often the most vulnerable, are these really the best examples of this style of building?

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
ACT National Trust Issues List of Most at Risk Heritage Places
Thumper 10:44 am 07 Jul 08

http://www.icomos.org/australia/burra.html

It’s an interesting document.

Generally places have to satify the following criteria, aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations.

Do these flats meet these?

Having said that, the ACT government could simply slap them on their interim heritage register.

Clown Killer 10:27 am 07 Jul 08

Where does the Burra Charter detail criteria for for assessing significance?

Thumper 10:18 am 07 Jul 08

And frankly I think those flats should be demolished as they really don’t meet the criteria of significance as per the Burra Charter in any real way.

Thumper 10:17 am 07 Jul 08

No, I didn’t, but that is the reality of it all.

Blundell’s Cottage is just an old cottage. Nothing special. it could have easily been demolished. thankfully it wasn’t.

jakez 9:47 am 07 Jul 08

Thumper said :

While you all sneer now, your grandchildren will probably be grateful that something of historical importance was left in this town, rather than demolishing just about everything after twenty years of use

Exactly. Imagine if they just knocked down OPH. After all, we got a brand new shiny one.

Thumper did you just compare Old Parliament House with a block of flats in Lyneham? Come on mate, turn it up.

I think Meconiums comments are a strawman. It’s not about demolishing everything after 20 years of use, it’s about sensibly determining what is and what is not worth saving, and the true cost of saving it.

Jonathon Reynolds 9:26 am 07 Jul 08

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was an innovate way to preserve an example of the Dickson-Lyneham flats.

I am quite partial to the approach that was taken in Melbourne for the Coops Shot Tower:

Before:
http://www.walkingmelbourne.com/building543_coops-shot-tower.html

After:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coops_%28Melbourne_Central%29_Shot_Tower
http://austtrams.tripod.com/citycircle/citycircle06.jpg
http://wikimapia.org/#lat=-37.810365&lon=144.963221&z=18&l=0&m=a&v=2

I believe a similar approach was proposed for the Sydney/Melbourne buildings in Civic several years ago but that was knocked back by the government on the basis of cost.

Thumper 8:43 am 07 Jul 08

While you all sneer now, your grandchildren will probably be grateful that something of historical importance was left in this town, rather than demolishing just about everything after twenty years of use

Exactly. Imagine if they just knocked down OPH. After all, we got a brand new shiny one.

Meconium 11:07 pm 06 Jul 08

The flats are in a prime real estate location, and I can imagine a lot of developers are licking their lips at the prospect of putting up some James Court/The Avenue-type apartments up, and making a pile of money from those who can afford to buy them.

While one block of flats is in my opinion as valid as another, I’m glad they’ve brought to light the architectural and cultural merit of these places, because otherwise they’d be forgotten. On top of this, we’re short of public housing and developers obviously have absolutely no interest in that.

While you all sneer now, your grandchildren will probably be grateful that something of historical importance was left in this town, rather than demolishing just about everything after twenty years of use.

Pesty 5:51 pm 05 Jul 08

Is that the three blocks of flats on the left (southbound) on Northbourne Avenue? If so, I’ve been in there, they are like prison cells. Certainly not worth listing IMO !

Gungahlin Al 12:14 pm 05 Jul 08

I think that with some TLC and architectural facade work, those flats could be converted into some very nice apartments. Less residences per block, maybe just one per block for some of them?, some awnings and shade devices to break up the blockiness, replace the windows with better noise buffering glass options, and some landscaping to break up the expanses of plain grass. The open space around them would be something some people would be quite willing to pay for I think.

While I like the Space buildings, preserving some of the old flats would ensure some breaks to along Northbourne.

ant 11:08 pm 04 Jul 08

Those redwoods (it’s our original arboretum) are dying of some nasty tree disease. It’s a real shame as they’re old, and no one seems to know they’re out there.

Clown Killer 3:54 pm 04 Jul 08

It’s a difficult issue. The age of something is only one aspect of its value – so not all old stuff is significant and noit all new stuff is insignificant. I suspect that the Dickson-Lyneham Flats are probably on the list for somthing like being a good example of architectural design for that era (1950s I think). Whilst OI don’t have a lot of problems with recognising that as a value, I still doubt there’s a lot of community support for keeping them.

That said, the ongoing conservation of a place is only one response to heritage assessment – you could effect a detailed recording of the site before letting rip with the wrecking ball if those values could be retained in that way.

jakez 3:12 pm 04 Jul 08

I can’t help but think that sometimes heritage listing goes too far.

I think because Canberra is only 80 years old we suffer from a bit of a skewed perspective. Comparing the Sydney and Melbourne buildings to the Parthenon…..well of course there is no comparison.

However that isn’t to say that buildings that have a significant historical importance for Canberra shouldn’t be protected. I hardly think that the Dickson-Lyneham flats are a good example though.

NoAddedMSG 3:11 pm 04 Jul 08

Well, if you really look at them, without the “euw, public housing” filter on, I think they are reasonably interesting buildings. Not outright thrilling examples of architecture, but not boring square blocks either. In particular, the glassed-in stairwells, the lines created within them.

Snahons_scv6_berlina 1:48 pm 04 Jul 08

You have got to be f*@king kidding me with #1…

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