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CT goes into bat for Brian Lewis Crescent cottages

By johnboy - 24 June 2009 14

With the much of the Inner North and South verminous with houses built over 55 years ago, and with that housing stock painfully inadequate to the people who want to live in those areas it seems very strange that the Canberra Times is complaining about plans made by the ANU to knock down five not so old residences, and build 57 apartments and an admin block:

    The Australian National University wants to flatten 55-year-old cottages with heritage significance to make way for medium density apartments north of Parkes Way, Acton.

    Designed by the ANU’s first site planner, Professor Brian Lewis, the five cottages and home include a residence purpose-built for internationally regarded historian Professor Sir Keith Hancock and his wife Lady Hancock.

The National Trust is opposed.

The article notes in passing, and near the end, that Brian Lewis’s architectural legacy will live on in the form of University House.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
CT goes into bat for Brian Lewis Crescent cottages
astrojax 9:50 am 25 Jun 09

calm down dr karl, it’s ok. and from your whole i gather the exclaimed ‘good’ is for the anu, despite the extreme ambiguity… but rest assured, the issue of reducing urban expansion and the salvation of heritage can be quite comfortably commensurate, so no need to get all in a huff or anything. now, what’s all this about clubs and pokies? huh?

DrKarl 2:22 am 25 Jun 09

the Canberra Times is complaining about plans made by the ANU to knock down five not so old residences, and build 57 apartments and an admin block: GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its got to be better than expecting people to live a way to hell out in Forde, Dunlop, Tugger, or Googo or what ever its proposed to be called. We have to stop this stupid urban expansion , and expecting people to commute from these places in cars, or suffer poor bus services, Consolidate this city and give it some life.

Maybe move these cottages to the suburbs, better than Mc Mansions on no land.

At the same time pull down all these stupid Clubs and there dumb pokies

Clown Killer 5:57 pm 24 Jun 09

Rarity (locally, regionally and nationally), representativeness, whether or not it’s design intent is still expressed in the present structure, aesthetics, association with significant figures or events (again locally, regionally and nationally) and the social value that the community places upon the items are all equally valid expressions of heritage value.

The age of something with often be of little consequence in terms of assessing its heritage value and in fact would almost never be a reason for heritage listing or conservation alone.

Mr Evil 5:51 pm 24 Jun 09

Yep, and I can imagine what eyesore the VC will aprove to go in the cottages’ place.

astrojax 5:01 pm 24 Jun 09

really, jb? would you trust the anu administration to make a wise and considered decision on this matter? [of course, don’t answer, you may get into trouble!]

ant 3:12 pm 24 Jun 09

Years ago, keeping that area quiet and pristine was the reason for building the short tunnel on Parkes Way that goes under it. How things change.

johnboy 2:15 pm 24 Jun 09

I think it’s best left to ANU to to decide what it wants to keep of its character.

astrojax 1:46 pm 24 Jun 09

‘more’ heritage is simply a matter of degree – the primary issue here, i rekkun, is the imminent urbanisation of this precinct, and that’s out of the question and would destroy the ambience of the location, which is an integral part of the ‘whole’ of anu’s character… that, in itself, should be heritage value…

CanbInt 1:37 pm 24 Jun 09

Agree with neanderthalsis. There are other bldgs designed by Lewis (e.g VC’s House, University House, University Store…). Surely these have more significance, and are a more appropriate Lewis legacy? There are also real ‘cottages’ there (the early ones that were the first in ACT).

sepi 1:32 pm 24 Jun 09

they are relevant to Canberra’s heritage – just becuase Sydney is older doesn’t mean we cna’t have our own heritage stuff demonstrating our history.

you may as well suggest razing all the terraces down for square units, cos Paris has older stuff.

peterh 1:26 pm 24 Jun 09

they were designed by the first site planner. would be a bit of heritage for the ANU at least.

neanderthalsis 1:21 pm 24 Jun 09

What is the “heritage significance” of these cottages? Old terrace houses in Sydney or Melb or prefederation queenslanders have heritage significance, but post war cottages are going a little too far.

A small group of 55 years old cottages doesn’t really strike me as being central to the national culture or reflective of any distinct architectural style that will be lost if they are bulldozed.

Thumper 12:58 pm 24 Jun 09

I’m with the national trust on this one.

astrojax 12:47 pm 24 Jun 09

The National Trust is opposed.

so am i. the anu shouldn’t need to acquire funds through the sale of its heritage. if these cottages went for urbanisation, what would become on the access amenity to the anu and to this area. there are already many sites within the inner grounds of the anu that could or could have been used for more admin – and the grounds do not need urban residences.

s’what in rekkun, anyway…

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