Canberra centenary celebrations
On the centenary of Walter Burley Griffin’s arrival in Australia, the Walter Burley Griffin Society is celebrating the Griffins’ Canberra as part of the Canberra 100 program of events. Walter Burley Griffin first arrived in Australia in August 1913 after winning the international competition for the design of Australia’s national capital the year before.
The Society’s celebrations will include:
See the Events webpage for further information.
Proposed planning changes threaten conservation areas and the environment in NSW
The NSW Department of Planning put on public exhibition its Green Paper “A New Planning System for NSW” in July this year just prior to all local councils in NSW going into caretaker mode before the council elections.
It is a 92 page document proposing very extensive changes to planning laws and the DA approval process in NSW. Most controls and laws protecting the environment and heritage that have been put in place over the last 30 years with expert advice and extensive community consultation, are proposed to be either repealed or abandoned.
Unfortunately there has been little or no media coverage about the multitude of changes proposed in the Green Paper that has the potential to negatively affect all citizens of NSW.
Comments on the Green Paper closed on 14 September 2012. The NSW Government plans to have a draft White Paper released for public feedback by the end of the 2012.
Below is the Society’s media release and the submission that the Society made to the NSW Government identifying its concerns about the proposals in the Green Paper.
You may wish to contact/email your local state parliamentarian to also express concerns. The Better Planning Network was formed by concerned community groups, including the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc. in August 2012. You can read more and register your concerns at their website (see below)
2012 — 100 years since the Griffins won the Australian National Capital Competition
On 23 May 1912, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs, King O’Malley announced that the winner of the Australian National Capital Competition was entry 29, the entry by Mr Walter Burley Griffin, architect and landscape artist, Steinway Hall, Chicago, Illinois.
1 Canberra 1912: Plans and Planners of the Australian Capital Competition, John W. Reps, Melbourne University Press 1997, p100.
Heritage Guided Tours of the Capitol Theatre, Melbourne
Guided tours of the magnificent theatre interior, designed by the Griffins in 1922, are conducted on the third Friday of March, May, June, July, August, September, October and November on a continuous basis from 10am until 3.00pm (last tour start time).
Trained volunteer guides tell visitors of the history of the Theatre, the changes that have been made over 80 years and show them through the foyers and the auditorium. There is a short audiovisual presentation on the screen at the end of the tour. A gold coin donation, per person, would be appreciated.
No bookings are required for groups under five persons; over five it would
be best to contact Kay Kinder, the Booking Officer at RMIT on
This public meeting with a panel of eminent speakers has been called
Operating behind closed doors and indifferent to overwhelming
The Walter Burley Griffin Society is concerned about the adverse impacts
Photo montage Karina Lee, reproduced with permission of the Lake War Memorial Forum
Grandiose war monuments are a flawed proposal for Canberra
The proposed WWI and WWII Memorials, that would stand as 20 metre towers, are a grandiose scale that if built would be detrimental to the recreational foreshore parklands, and impede the Griffin vista towards Mt Ainslie. This vista creates appreciation of the natural form of the mountain, as intended by Griffin and the open nature of the Vistas in both north and south directions i
The Land Axis and clear vista are fundamental, enduring elements of the 1912 winning design for the National Capital. The memorials would break the length of the Land Axis and narrow the width of Griffin’s ‘Parkway’ (Anzac Parade). Moreover the Lake foreshore is a horizontal, flat landscape that would be upset by the pronounced vertical towers.
Griffin envisaged that the city would develop around his parkway, using the lakeside gardens as a promenade between cultural and recreational facilities. He never wanted it to be overburdened by the memory of war.
On any sunny weekend a great many people and groups, including tourists, can be seen all over the terraces enjoying picnics, games, walking, cycling and sports. The ambience is conducive to these activities. One enjoys unhindered vistas to iconic buildings, structures, mountains and the passing scene on land and water. The towers and other structures of the war memorials would create an altogether different and much less enjoyable ambience and outlook, practically monopolising the site.
The presumption of a military theme displacing recreational, cultural and other national symbolic themes and achievements is unacceptable.
The Australian War Memorial at the foot of Mt Ainslie is perhaps the most memorable Vista in Canberra because it has a human scale, engages our emotions, and engages us with the dramatic natural form of the mountain. The building at the foot of the Mountain speaks honestly and nobly.
There is a great difference between memorialising the realities of war and monumentalising them. The siting and excessive size of the proposed monuments would diminish the Land Axis, Mt Ainslie and the Australian War Memorial.
The Walter Burley Griffin Society reaffirms its opposition to these memorials at the Rond Terraces near the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin.
Prominent Australians Oppose Memorial media-information session
A media-information session and website launch will be held at St John’s Church hall, Constitution Ave., Reid.
A group of prominent Australians has announced its opposition to a proposed new memorial to World Wars I and II on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.
Despite strong public protest when this project was first announced, work has apparently continued behind closed doors, with citizens’ views being either ignored or not sought.
The Lake War Memorials Forum has been established to give all Australians the chance to express their views.
All media and members of the public are warmly invited to attend.
Designing for Canberra
This occasion was a fascinating discussion with the award-winning architect of Australia’s Parliament House, Aldo Giurgola and colleagues Hal Guida and Pamille Berg, about the challenges and opportunities of integrating the design of Australia’s Parliament House with Walter Burley Griffin’s original vision for the national capital.
The three architectural colleagues provided a wealth of candid reflection on their planning of Parliament House.
Romaldo Giurgola listed order, simplicity, human relationships, humanity, symbolism and the natural environment as objectives. He aimed for the health and wellbeing of the people and not Texas-style ‘vibrancy’ and above all not ad hoc planning. He abhors ‘conversations’ that never end, instead of genuine community engagement based on leadership vision, public interest criteria and model demonstration. This long term visionary and design approach has given way in Canberra to timid government reaction to developers.
He believes Canberra has reached a critical point where urban planning has become ad hoc and default. To keep its character alive, Canberra must take a knowledgeable, intelligent, regional and community wellbeing approach.
While all three panelists spoke frequently about Griffin’s fundamental and lasting influence on their work, the moderator Tony Powell studiously tried to marginalise and misrepresent Griffin.
Romaldo Giurgola continues to be an active member of the Walter Burley Griffin Society.
The President of the Castlecrag Progress Association James Fitzpatrick and the President of the Walter Burley Griffin Society Professor James Weirick today said that the large community membership of both organisations would be very pleased with this outcome.
The case against the refusal by Willoughby Council, followed several amendments to the applicant’s development application for the site over the past two years.
In her judgement refusing the appeal concerning 95 The Bulwark Castlecrag, Commissioner Sue Morris said “The planning principles for the Griffin Conservation Area must be upheld to ensure that the importance of this area is not lost to large scale, non-sympathetic forms of development that do not respect the natural environment and landscape setting.”
Professor Weirick said, “The point of Willoughby Council’s planning and development controls is to preserve the principle that buildings should be subordinate landscape in the unique garden suburb of Castlecrag designed in by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin on the shores of Middle Harbour in the 1920s and maintained through community support to the present.”
The main issues in the matter were the size, bulk and scale of the proposed dwelling, whether compliance with the height control was unreasonable and unnecessary and the impact of the development on the Griffin Conservation Area.
At the Land and Environment Court site inspection, submissions were made to the Commissioner by Professor James Weirick, for the Walter Burley Griffin Society, Peter Moffitt for the Castlecrag Progress Association, and several local residents. In the Court, expert witnesses included heritage experts, arborists, and planners.
The Commissioner also found: “The Griffin Conservation Area is an area of high heritage significance and contains a number of individual heritage items. It is clear from the extensive planning controls that apply to the site and the clearly articulated statement of desired future character for the area that the community expectation is that development of the area will remain subservient to the landscape setting.” . . . “A merit assessment of the application has also shown that the application is not appropriate for the site in its context and that there are other design alternatives for the site which would meet the planning controls. . .”
The Commissioner found that the proposed development “fails the principle of being subordinate to the landscape setting” and “The dwelling is too big for the site”.
James Fitzpatrick said, “We commend Willoughby City Council on defending their judgement to refuse this application in the first instance. This judgement is thorough and recognises the unique values of the Griffin Conservation Area in Castlecrag. The Progress Association hopes that this will provide a strong indication of the importance of the Griffin legacy, and the need for future developments throughout the suburb to observe the planning controls which protect those values. I believe that the majority of the Castlecrag community would be very supportive of the court’s decision. We congratulate Willoughby City Council on defending this case.
The whole Judgement can be read on the Land and Environment Court website.
The Way Forward? Can Canberra’s planners learn from Washington?
Brett Odgers and Bruce Kent pose this question one year after the Rudd Government promised to fix the National Capital’s planning system. An edited version of their article below was published in The Canberra Times in early January 2010.
The National Capital Authority’s Public Forum at Parliament House on 26 November 2009 showed that the Canberra community takes a keen interest in the planning of the National Capital. It also demonstrated the deep and ongoing problems in planning the city.
The manifest problems in Canberra’s planning system (the subject of Professor Jenny Stewart’s article, The Canberra Times, 7.12.09 p.9) are due in large degree to the settlement over self-government in 1988 but have intensified over the past few years.
The opportunity to review the division of governmental responsibilities for Canberra was not taken last year on the 20 years anniversary of ACT self-government. However, the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories report The Way Forward (July 2008) recommended some reforms in NCA governance, consultation, coordination with the Territory government and compatible plans.
The Commonwealth Government’s response on 12 December 2008, accepted 13 recommended reforms in full or in principle and noted another five. However, they were referred to a task force, to report within three months on NCA functions and governance reforms, and an intergovernmental committee was to report within 12 months on the alignment or coordination of the Territory and federal planning bodies and statutory plans. Both committees have been working behind closed doors.
The issue of most concern to the JSC and at the recent NCA Public Forum was the inadequate provision for meaningful consultation between the NCA and community stakeholders. The Canberra community is, as one would expect, highly sensitised to the bureaucratic ‘pipeline effect’ – the tendency of plans and developments to become virtually unstoppable in the minds of their authors once they have been approved in principle or even at the concept stage. It was in order to counter the ‘pipeline effect’ that the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC), which shaped Canberra before the advent of self-government in 1988, was advised by a National Capital Planning Committee (NCPC).
This body consisted of the NCDC Commissioner, together with two architects, two engineers, two town planners, and two other persons ‘with special knowledge and experience in artistic and cultural matters’, appointed by the Minister from lists provided by professional bodies. Throughout the life of the NCDC the NCPC regularly reviewed all the major matters of planning and development under reference from the Commission before they entered ‘the pipeline’.
The current impasse between planners and citizenry in Canberra would be allayed if a similar body were established, along the lines of the National Capital Consultative Council recommended by the JSC. It would include representatives from the two governments, the community and business and be co-chaired by the federal Minister and the Chief Minister. It is to be hoped that this Council, agreed in principle by the federal Government a year ago, will be confirmed by Minister Brendan O’Connor, not only to defuse counter-productive disputation within Canberra but also to strengthen the arm of the beleaguered NCA against pressure from government departments and developers.
Washington DC is guided by such a National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). It also has democratic processes for the development of monuments and memorials in the National Capital. The land bank of suitable locations is precisely monitored and identified. Canberra has no such care and scrutiny.
A related matter which vitally affects the development of the National Capital is the location of responsibility for ACT planning and development within the appropriate Commonwealth portfolio. The issue was broached in Recommendation 8 of the JSC Report that there should be consultation about the Canberra Airport Master Plan between the NCA and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. In view of the inability of recent incumbents of the Home Affairs portfolio to pay sufficient attention to National Capital planning and development matters, there is a strong case for relocating responsibility for the ACT to the infrastructure, urban and regional planning portfolio.
The JSC recommendations on ‘the dual planning framework’ between the Commonwealth and ACT governments and ‘vision for future planning’ were decidedly weak and regressive. The Government’s response was even more ominous, being cast in terms of ‘simplification and removing duplication.’ They were an invitation for the Commonwealth to eliminate ‘areas of special national requirements’ and hand over (‘uplift’) to the Territory government portions of the ‘designated areas.’ It presupposed delegation and cooperation; and envisaged combining the Territory and National Capital Plans into one accessible document.
Canberra needs an integrated, unified and capable planning organisation geared to the idea and the ideal of the National Capital, strategic planning, deep sustainability, a real land use and transport strategy and specific controls over, say, location of federal offices and the National Capital Open Space System. The Territory Plan, the Spatial Plan and the National Capital Plan are all long overdue for substantive review and for sustainability integration into a metropolitan strategy.
Twelve months ago, however, all that the Commonwealth Minister could foreshadow was ‘The Commonwealth will consult with the ACT Government on matters relevant to the holistic development of Canberra as the National Capital.’ How confident can we be about the awaited decisions on The Way Forward by the Rudd Government?
Brett Odgers and Dr Bruce Kent
Plans for proposed Immigration Bridge abandoned
As reported in The Canberra Times on 30 March 2010 “The controversial Canberra Immigration Bridge proposal is dead. Its proponents … have abandoned their plans to commemorate the contribution of migrants to Australia by building a 400m footbridge across Lake Burley Griffin.
Instead, the group will push for a land-based monument within the Parliamentary Triangle.
… The announcement is expected to be hailed by the yachting and rowing fraternities which lobbied hard against the bridge because it created an obstruction to lake users, as well as heritage groups which thought the bridge was contrary to the vision of Walter Burley Griffin because it cluttered the lake.”
Last year the Walter Burley Griffin Society was involved in the inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee of the National Capital and External Territories into the Immigration Bridge Proposal. The Society made four written submissions and gave verbal evidence to the parliamentary committee. Professor James Weirick’s 43 page submission provided an historical and analytical case study of the structural collapse of the current administration of the National Capital Plan.
This news of the proposal being abandoned is very welcome, as the proposal if constructed would have impeded the main central area vistas, altered the shape of West Basin and Griffin’s lake symmetry, detracted from the Water Axis, obscured the diagrammatic separateness of the Parliamentary Triangle and potentially transformed West Basin into an uneven shaped pond to embrace intense development from the expanding CBD.
The Canberra Times reported that the NCA’s chief executive Gary Rake had said that while the National Capital Plan did make provision for a pedestrian bridge in the general location spanning from Acton Peninsula to near Lennox Gardens, any bridge there would ultimately have a negative impact on the heritage values as outlined in the heritage management plan for the area.
The Society’s president Professor James Weirick has said: ‘The Walter Burley Griffin Society supports the creation of an Immigration Gallery and Meeting Hall at the National Museum of Australia as a living celebration of the immigration story in Australia’.
MEDIA RELEASE 15. 1. 2010
A proposal for a 17 storey building not far from the foreshores of Lake Burley Griffin is unacceptably unsympathetic to the National Capital Plan but is currently on public notification by the National Capital Authority (NCA). The proposed development is at the end of Edinburgh Avenue south of the heritage Hotel Acton, overlooking Parkes Way.
The height and scale of the proposal called ‘Nishi’ on this location is at odds with the geometry, landscape design and symbolism of the Griffin Plan. Perusal of the planning report, design report and architectural drawings submitted by the proponent in support of the works application make no reference to the Griffin Legacy or the National Capital Plan.
Walter Burley Griffin rejected towers. He emphasised that buildings in Canberra should be horizontal, not vertical “... the necessity of making these large units stand end on end, as in the congested American cities, can be avoided in a Capital City, securing a horizontal distribution of the large masses for more and better air, sunlight, verdure and beauty.”
Professor James Weirick has pointed out that the principle of horizontal building masses in the design of Canberra is particularly important.
The National Capital Plan ‘Policies and Standards for Urban Design’ inscribe the principle that “Buildings in Central Canberra should be of a height generally not greater than the height of the mature tree canopy (typically 3 to 4 stories).” The principle is fundamental to the character of the city created since the 1920s.
Brett Odgers from the Canberra Chapter of the Walter Burley Griffin Society states that “This proposal would impair important Central National Area vistas, and it foreshadows the proposed commercialisation and privatisation of West Basin, a vital formal component of the symbolic, Griffin Plan core of the National Capital. Such appropriation of public land in Washington, the American national capital, would be unthinkable and should be here too.”
The height and scale of this works proposal is insensitive and ill conceived. It needs to be rejected to ensure that the symbolic national area of Canberra is not adversely impacted. Similarly Amendment 61 for West Basin needs to be reviewed so that Canberra’s heritage and major assets of foreshores and the vistas across the Water, or Nature Axis to Acton Ridge and Black Mountain are retained and not adversely affected.
Intrusive plans for new ASIO headquarters
An overview of Walter Burley Griffin’s Plan for the National Capital would include the land and water axes, the National Triangle, Capital Hill, its radiating avenues, democratic symbolism, constitutional diagram, landscape settings and vistas. Seeing Marion Mahony Griffin’s competition drawings and looking today from Parliament House or Mount Ainslie over central Canberra, these features are still wonderful to behold.
However distinctive features of the National Capital Plan are currently under major threat from a series of Plan amendments, construction projects, approved developments and planning consultancies.
Deviations from Griffin’s Plan are not unprecedented but this time they are being conducted misleadingly in the name of Griffin himself.
In order of magnitude of impact, one of the worst would be the massive ASIO headquarters which will sit directly across the lake from the High Court and the Parliamentary Triangle, between Constitution Avenue and Parkes Way and just a stone’s throw from Anzac Parade.
The planned ASIO Headquarters is the largest building project in Canberra after the new Parliament House, and would be a highly visible intrusion in the symbolic centre of Canberra. The site is half a kilometre in length and seven hectares in area. The monolithic building will be a prominent intrusive element from across the Lake at Commonwealth Place, Peace Park and so many other vantage points in the Central National Area and on the hills around.
The large assertive building complex with perimeter security fences and devices would dissipate any attempt to create vibrant streets and active urban spaces. If built the mass and bulk of the project would intrude on the landscape of the most visually sensitive location of Central Canberra.
The project makes a mockery of Griffin’s design for the municipal axis of the great national triangle, intended to be a grand terrace of diverse civic and urban activity. The whole eastern half of Constitution Avenue and fronting Parkes Way will be locked into security and defence offices.
The planned ASIO Headquarters will destroy the balanced symmetrical urban pattern proposed in the Griffin Plan, and detract from the balance and symbolic strength of the Canberra land axis. These impacts will degrade the symmetry, landscape design and symbolism of Walter Burley Griffin’s vision.
The project was developed under wraps without parliamentary or public scrutiny. When the project was referred to the Environment Minister for environmental and heritage impact assessment on 25 March 2009, his delegate approved it on 23 April and the construction site office materialised the next day. Site clearance and construction commenced on 23 May. Yet it still requires formal works approval from the National Capital Authority.
It is the responsibility of NCA to safeguard the design integrity of the National Capital’s areas of national significance.
Winter House listed on the State Heritage Register, 9 January 2009
The Winter House, designed by Walter Burley Griffin has been listed on the State Heritage Register. Also known as Redstone, the Winter House was built in 1935 at Telopea in Sydney’s west. The listing was announced by the Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally at a media event at the house on 9 January 2009.
The Minister for Planning the Hon. Kristina Keneally MP presents Winter House owner Mrs Kerry Lee with the Certificate of State Heritage Register Listing. Mr Tim Smith, Deputy Director, Heritage Branch, Department of Planning, and to the right Professor James Weirick, President of the Walter Burley Griffin Society look on.
The Winter House has exceptional intactness and integrity, and is the last Griffin house still remaining in the ownership of the family who commissioned it.
The Winter House 2008. Photographer Eric Sierins
The house is an example of Griffin’s development of Prairie School principles that had their origin in the landscape-inspired houses of the early modern movement in Chicago.
The house is sited at the top of a rise within the Parramatta Valley with long views towards the Blue Mountains. It responds to the broad, open site of the undulating Cumberland Plain at Dundas. It is well set back on the intact original block, retaining its intended setting and layout.
The Winter House 2008. Photographer Eric Sierins
Commonwealth Government response to the parliamentary inquiry into the National Capital Authority
The report and recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on the ACT issued its report on the role of the NCA in July 2008. The Hon. Bob Debus MP, Minister for Home Affairs, indicated that the Government would respond by December 2008. He and the acting Chair of the NCA, Professor Don Aitkin, together with Senator Lundy who chaired the Committee, have all recently expressed in public strong positive sentiments about “all Australians share a high regard for Canberra” (Debus), “the vision splendid for the National Capital” (Lundy) and “the unfinished business of Canberra” (Aitkin) and “the special quality of human beings, their buildings, the site and the environment existing in a special harmony” (Aitkin).
The report of the parliamentary Committee stated as the first objective “to ensure the Commonwealth protects the unique design of Canberra because it represents the intrinsic character of the National Capital.” At paragraph 1.17 this unique design is described as “Griffin’s plan.”
This was the third major inquiry in four years by the Committee into the performance of the NCA. They established the case for reforming the NCA to be more accountable and responsive. The 2007 report called upon the NCA to review and revise its so-called “Griffin Legacy” Amendments to the National Capital Plan. By 2008 the public disquiet and deep-seated problems associated with the NCA merged with concerns about the dual planning system instituted upon ACT self government in 1989 and growing public perceptions of falling standards in Canberra’s metropolitan planning, infrastructure, public architecture and sustainability.
Issues addressed in the Committee’s report include the NCA’s role and governance, consultation with the community, protection of Canberra’s heritage, Canberra Airport, location of Commonwealth government offices, the transport system, the dual planning system and strategic planning for National Capital and sustainability.
The report gives an even-handed representation of all the wide interests conveyed by written submissions (136) and witnesses (50 over seven public hearing days). The general tenor of the report could be characterised as pragmatic, conservative, moderate, balanced. It is strongly evidence-based and conveys a strong, comprehensive and determined dynamic towards a much improved National Capital planning system. The direction and scope are commendable.
The principle recommendations are more orthodox NCA governance, increased NCA accountability through the Parliamentary Committee on the ACT and much enhanced responsibility of the NCA through the creation of a National Capital Consultative Council (NCCC). The NCA Board should consist of a Chairperson and seven members, with a minimum “two members from the ACT region.” One Commonwealth appointee at least must have relevant expertise.
The NCCC “would have representatives from the Commonwealth Government and the ACT Government, the community and business. The Council would be co-chaired by the responsible Minister and the ACT Chief Minister.”
There is a recommendation that the Commonwealth establish the position of Commonwealth Architect within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
These recommendations presuppose a new Commonwealth Government commitment to the National Capital and to closer collaboration with the ACT government. The complementary recommendations on the dual planning system, statutory amendments and memoranda of understanding, are however about weak rather than strong integration.
Moreover, there is a confusing and complex recommended set of new and revised “Land Use Plan, Integrated Plan, NCA Plan, single integrated overarching document, Implementation Strategy and policy plans” rather than an emphasis on a new Metropolitan Strategy Plan and one integrated planning organisation. The perpetuation of the problematic dual planning system is compounded by a recommendation for a “geographic re-alignment of land administration with planning responsibility.”
The recommendations for control over Canberra Airport, location of Commonwealth government offices and formulation of a transport plan are similarly incremental and questionable. Sustainability is to be achieved through a “principle imbedded” in legislation, the new and revised Plans and Strategies, transport plan and an MOU on administrative collaboration. The Committee avoided the issue of security-related developments such as the ASIO/ONA complex and federal Parliamentarians have recently reaffirmed their exemption.
The NCA’s record on public consultation is abysmal but the Committee’s recommendations do not advance the cause, other than community representation on the NCCC.
The Committee refrained from making recommendations on general funding and professional planning resources, other than “NCA be resourced to participate in working parties and reviews as required” and the ACT Planning and Land Authority to be resourced for planning under delegations in National Capital “Designated Areas.”
It is hoped that many of these issues will be debated in due course. Already ACT Senator Gary Humphries (a member of the Committee) has organised a public forum for 17 November 2008 to discuss the recommendations. The Inquiry and the directions recommended in the Report are constructive and dynamic. The Government’s response is keenly awaited.
The Magic of America published online
The Art Institute of Chicago has made Marion Mahony Griffin's great work The Magic of America available online. This is a very great achievement by Ed Fishwick, Mary Woolever and other staff at The Art Institute of Chicago – and above all, a very great day for Marion, as after almost 60 years her work is now available worldwide.
To quote from the website: "The Magic of America a typescript of over 1,400 pages with approximately 650 accompanying illustrations, was written and compiled by Marion Mahony Griffin (1871-1961), architect, designer, delineator, and artist. In 1911 she married Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937), architect, landscape designer, and city planner. Their architectural practice spanned almost four decades on three continents, and The Magic of America was meant, in part, to be a testament to their life and work together.
The Magic of America: Electronic Edition is available at
Winter House nominated for listing on the State Heritage Register
The Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc is very pleased that the Heritage Council of NSW intends to consider listing theWinter House (also known as Redstone) on the State Heritage Register. The Society fully supports listing the Winter House designed by Walter Burley Griffin and completed in 1935. It is a house of outstanding significance.
Winter House, 2008. © Eric Sierins photographer
The Winter House is one of the most significant 20th century houses in western Sydney, and as the Heritage Branch’s nomination report states it has “exceptional intactness and integrity” retaining all its original interiors, fixtures and fittings. It is “the last Griffin house still remaining in the ownership of the family who commissioned it. ”The family is praised highly in the report “for having employed high quality heritage advice in its maintenance and repair since the 1970s, ensuring that it has been conserved according to Burra Charter principles.”
“Redstone remains almost unaltered in its structure and layout” and “is of State heritage significance for its aesthetic qualities as a fine work of architecture and an outstandingly intact example of Walter Burley Griffin's small-scale house design. It contains many of the features for which Griffin is highly regarded including open planning, juxtaposition of robust stonework with fine oiled timber joinery. ... The gracious garden retains trees and other species planted by the original clients and its design has been largely unaltered since 1953.”
The house is an example of Griffin’s development of Prairie School principles that had their origin in the landscape-inspired houses of the early modern movement in Chicago. The house is sited on a rise in the Parramatta valley and has long views to the Blue Mountains, and responds to the broad, open site of the undulating Cumberland Plain at Dundas.
Further details on the nominated item, and making a submission (submissions close 19 November 2008) can be viewed at
Due to the generosity of the owners, more than seventy people enjoyed viewing the Winter House, its beautiful grounds and wonderful intact interiors on Sunday 26 October 2008. The Society’s twentieth AGM was held in the garden with heritage architect Ian Stapleton as guest speaker who spoke on the recent restoration work.
The Society’s twentieth AGM in the garden of the Winter House, 2008. Photgrapher Michael Thomson
Proposed planning ’reforms’ threaten NSW heritage
The proposed reforms to the New South Wales planning system involve measures that, if implemented, pose significant threats to our built heritage.
The NSW state government revealed its sweeping proposals in November 2007 in a discussion paper titled ’Improving the NSW Planning System’. In its submission in February 2008, the Walter Burley Griffin Society outlined issues that would be damaging to heritage generally and the Griffin Conservation Area at Castlecrag in particular. The Society’s full submission can be viewed below as a pdf.
In its submission (to briefly summarise) the Society stated that:
The state government received 538 submissions in response to the discussion paper. Since then on 3 April the government released its Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2008. The media release from the Minister of Planning Frank Sartor that accompanied it states the draft bill is “the first legislative step towards reinvigorating the NSW planning system. … Mr Sartor said many of the key reforms outlined in the discussion paper were reflected in the exposure bill”.
The bill has ignored the arguments put forward in the submissions and continues to seek a significant dumbing-down of standards both in urban design and architecture. The proposed blanket approach, if enacted, would inevitably lead to poor-quality outcomes.
The situation is summed up well in Moir’s cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald of 7 April where Sartor, in the guise of Napoleon, sits at his desk with a sign behind him proclaiming “NSW Government … for the people in property development”
Public comment on the Bill closes on 24 April 2008.
Griffin and Modernism in Lucknow 1930-1970
The Cultural Heritage Educational Initiative was established in 2002 by Mary Kay Judy and local educators in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India to promote local preservation through education and greater public awareness.
Griffin and Modernism in Lucknow: 1930-1970 held in March 2007 was the first seminar to focus on the concept of Modernism as heritage. The majority of students were practising professionals and architectural faculty members in Lucknow. The seminar began with a study and investigation of the career of Walter Burley Griffin in Lucknow in the 1930s.
Bhatia House with participants of the Griffin and Modernism in Lucknow seminar with, at right, the Bhatias, owners of the house and descendants of the original Dr. Bhatia, Griffin’s client. Upper storey detail. Front porch door. Photographers: Participants of the seminar, courtesy Mary Kay Judy
Before leaving the classroom for field work, students learned about Griffin’s early career in America at Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio and his years in Australia after he and his wife, Marion, won the competition to design the new Federal Capital, Canberra, in May 1912. Griffin initially went to Lucknow in 1935 to design the University Library. He also designed the United Provinces Agricultural and Industrial Exposition grounds and buildings, a series of commissions for private residences and the Pioneer Press newspaper building. Unfortunately, most of these buildings and his legacy in India have been lost to history.
When Griffin was introduced in the seminar, most students were unfamiliar with his work, connection to Wright, or his role in local Lucknow architectural history. Using archives from the Avery Architectural Library in New York City of the original Exposition plan, renderings and drawings of his commissioned work in Lucknow, and donated copies of Two American Architects in India: Walter B. Griffin and Marion M. Griffin 1935-37, by Paul Kruty and Paul E. Sprague, the class sought to find any remaining evidence of his work and retrace his career through the city.
The Bhatia House was visited by Mary Kay Judy and the students as part of the seminar program. The house was designed by Griffin for Bir Bhan Bhatia a professor of science from Lucknow University. Dr Bhatia’s descendents still live in the house which is rapidly being surrounded by high rise apartments.
Details of the Bhatia House parapet and gate post at street. Photographers: Participants of the seminar, courtesy Mary Kay Judy
Griffin’s work and local contributions became a starting point for analysing early Modernism in Lucknow followed by a critical analysis of the thirty most significant local Modernist buildings dating from 1930-1970, identifying many works by significant Indian architects such as Achyut Kanvinde. During the seminar, international organisations that promote preservation of the Modern Movement were introduced, such as DoCoMoMo and the World Monuments Fund, and the work of the Walter Burley Griffin Societies in the United States and Australia.
Albert Hall public meeting of 24 May 2007
On the evening of 24 May, in response to mounting public concern over the NCA’s Draft Amendment 53, more than three hundred people attended a very successful meeting to discuss the future of the Albert Hall and its precinct. Among the speakers were the Convenor of the Friends of the Albert Hall, Dr Lenore Coltheart, the co-ordinator of the meeting, Di Johnstone, WBGS Committee member, Rosemarie Willett, Head of the ACT Heritage Unit, Dr Michael Pearson, ACT Senators Garry Humphries and Kate Lundy, ACT Planning Minister, Andrew Barr, and NCA Chief Executive, Annabelle Pegrum.
The main focus of the Meeting was on two separate, but related, issues:
1. The conservation and use of the Albert Hall; and
2. The proposals in the NCA’s Draft Amendment 53 to the National Capital Plan for the redevelopment of the Albert Hall’s ‘precinct’ stretching from the Hall to the Lake shore both to the west and to the north, as far as the southern approach to the Commonwealth Bridge.
With respect to the Hall itself, which is currently managed by the ACT Government, the meeting overwhelmingly rejected (in Resolutions 4 and 6) the latter’s premature attempt to privatise the Hall by calling for tenders for its management and upkeep before agreement had been reached about its use and the future of its precinct. The grounds for these resolutions were (a) that a private manager would not be able to fund the outlays of $1 million plus needed to restore and refurbish the Hall and (b) that such a manager would naturally lease the Hall to high rental commercial clients to the exclusion of the many less affluent cultural groups which had hitherto hired the Hall. The meeting was informed that, in an effort to resolve the problem of the financial responsibility for the Hall, the ACT Government had just announced that it intended to suggest to the Commonwealth Government that the building should be nominated for National Heritage listing.
With regard to DA53, dealing mainly with the Albert Hall precinct, there was a collision between the meeting and the NCA, reflected in the near unanimous resolutions 1 and 2 that DA53 should be withdrawn and that fresh planning and consultation processes should be instituted via a joint body set up by the Federal and ACT Government with ‘equal community representation’. This was at odds with an NCA proposal on the eve of the meeting that, because of changes which had already been made to DA53 (most notably the scrapping of a proposed ‘landmark’ eight storey building adjacent to Commonwealth Bridge), the amendment would be ‘re-released’ after further consultations and workshops ‘in the near future’. The determination of the meeting to restart the planning process from scratch was inspired by the view of the overwhelming majority:
(i) that the NCA’s commercially-slanted proposals would hamper the restoration of the Albert Hall precinct as a community cultural centre;
(ii) that DA 53 flouted the principles laid down by Walter Burley Griffin for the plan of the symbolic central areas of the National Capital’ (Resolution 5);
(iii) that the closure of the clover -leaf road system at the southern end of Commonwealth Bridge, upon which DA 53 was premissed, would cause unacceptable peak-hour traffic congestion in the Parliamentary Triangle and Commonwealth Avenue; and
(iv) that the NCA was currently only prepared to consult about the details of DA53, as opposed to its underlying merits or demerits.
Dr Bruce Kent, 28 May 2007
Albert Hall talk Rosemarie Willett.pdf (40K)
Financial interests prevail over democracy and the Griffin legacy.
The inadequate consultation process over the momentous amendments to the National Capital Plan culminated on 10 May 2007 in the Senate. Senator Bob Brown’s Motion of Disallowance of four major amendments (Amendments 56, 59, 60 and 61, inappropriately called the “Griffin Legacy Amendments”) formulated by the National Capital Authority came before the Senate on that day.
In his speech introducing his Motion of Disallowance, Senator Brown stated principles and fears, principally on grounds of democracy and the role of the Senate in reviewing Executive responsibility.
Given the intensive efforts from many quarters to lobby all Senators over the issues, the debate and ensuing vote indicated nearly universal disinterest of federal parliamentarians from the two major parties in their national capital.
Particularly notable was the admission by ACT Senator Lundy (then Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee) that the JSC was misled by the National Capital Authority. Instead of a normal inquiry they opted to have a short reference one-day roundtable hearing, only to be surprised and astounded by the passion, depth and spread of informed and expert objections to the Amendments manifested at the roundtable. This was reflected in the committee’s critical report (March 2007). Lundy castigated the NCA saying “serious questions should be asked about how their so-called thorough consultation” was really carried out. However Senator Lundy stopped short of supporting the recommendations of the JSC, of which she was part.
Remarkable was ACT Senator Humphries’ absence from the debate, and also from the vote. There were only 7 votes in favour (4 Greens and 3 Democrats) of Senator Brown’s motion to disallow the Amendments. In a stirring final speech Senator Brown spoke of the “magnificence of this green capital” and referred to the need for more reflection over the Amendments, and to the grave risks in not incorporating rules and guidelines. He also raised doubts about the lower tiers of regulation being able to protect and ensure a sustainable Canberra, and concerns about the limited assessments and public participation and the scope for vested interests to prevail over vision and principles.
Senate Official Hansard transcript of debate, Thursday 10 May 2007. Refer to pages 22 to 33 for Senator Bob Brown’s speech and the debate. www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/dailys/ds100507.pdf
Griffin Society wins prestigious award for its website
The Walter Burley Griffin Society website has won the 2007 EnergyAustralia National Trust Heritage Award for Interpretation and Presentation, Community Groups. The National Trust awards have been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the heritage world.
Meredith Burgmann, President of the Legislative Council, and ABC broadcaster David Marr presented the awards at the Westin Hotel in Sydney on 12 March 2007.
The website, which went live in mid 2006, promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of the work of Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin and encourages the conservation of their extensive work. It contains thirty-five sections covering the lives and works of Walter and Marion Griffin, the influences that shaped their work and an impressive photo gallery. These were written and designed by members of the society with expertise in various fields. The site also contains downloadable student activity sheets for primary and secondary school teachers.
In selecting the Griffin website for the award, the judges said: ‘It is an impressive achievement from a community-based organisation, about important 20th century architects. It deals with their work both in Australia and overseas.’
The informative heritage site also received praise from members of the community. Scott Robertson, an architect and member of the National Trust’s Urban Conservation Committee said: ‘it is still one of the best, most useful websites I have seen and used. A model of what information websites should be’.
The use of the internet and the electronic media is becoming an important tool in conservation. Tina Jackson, Executive Director of the National Trust of Australia said: ‘Just as heritage may be intangible -- much more than just bricks and mortar -- we must use electronic communication to get the heritage conservation message across to new and wider audiences.’
Congratulations go out to all those in the community involved in the project.
Canberra’s Griffin legacy under threat
Central Canberra and the foreshores of Lake Burley Griffin are poised to be developed with high rise and high density containing excessive residential and commercial space. Such detrimental development would be irreversible and permanent.
Four major amendments to the National Capital Plan formulated by the National Capital Authority (NCA) will come into force unless they are disallowed by Parliament on 10 May.
The Amendments contain no urban design controls to ensure quality urban landscapes and architecture, and show no regard for accepted principles of sustainable city planning.
The Walter Burley Griffin Society is concerned that Griffin’s name has been wrongly used to advance mediocre outcomes that will compromise Canberra forever.
Although called ‘The Griffin Legacy Amendments’, they fail to reflect Griffin’s ideals and intent for urban vitality, diversity, landscape design, sustainability nor a community friendly city. Instead the Amendments, if carried out, would perpetuate the Canberra syndrome of isolated buildings, and dominance of the car, and introduce large areas of high-rise buildings that would dominate the landscape of the ‘Bush Capital’.
On 6 December 06, in a break with convention, the Amendments were tabled in both Houses of Parliament prior to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital & External Territories (JSC) commencing its own inquiry.
On 23 February 07, the JSC held a roundtable public hearing into the four Amendments to the National Capital Plan proposed by the NCA. Senator Ross Lightfoot, the Chairman of that Committee stated that: “The Griffin Legacy amendments are some of the most significant and far-reaching changes to the National Capital Plan ever undertaken.”
On 22 March 07, the JSC Chairman Senator Lightfoot and his committee of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives published its 80-page report, including a recommendation that the Griffin Legacy Amendments be disallowed so that the NCA has the opportunity to refine the Amendments. As Senator Lightfoot stated “This fine tuning is necessary and in the interests of Canberra and the nation”.
ABOVE: NCA model at Regatta Point showing the Lake infill at West Basin with hotel and conference centre, and at right highrise around City Hill that would dwarf this landmark and block vistas from Commonwealth Avenue south-west to the mountains.
Canberra needs your help
Let the Senate know that you care about your National Capital and don’t want it damaged by these Amendments. Contact Senators and request their support for Senator Brown’s disallowance motion. Tell them that you support the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee and that you want the NCA to refine the Amendments, and properly consult the community and experts.
Individual Senators can be identified for specific appeals and their email or other contacts obtained from www.aph.gov.au/Senate/senators/index.htm or just address to Parliament House, Canberra. Key potential players include:
Senator Ross Lightfoot
Senator Kate Lundy
Senator Trish Crossin
Senator Kim Carr
Senator John Hogg
Senator Barnaby Joyce
Senator Nigel Scullion
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja
Senator The Hon. John Faulkner
Senator Steve Fielding
Senator Andrew Bartlett
Senator Lyn Allison
Senator Gary Humphries
Senator Kerry Nettle
Senator Marise Payne
Senator The Hon Brett Mason
Senator Penny Wong
Senator Christine Milne
Senator The Hon Rod Kemp
Senator Robert Ray
Senator The Hon Kay Patterson
Senator Chris Evans
News Update No45 April 2007, the newsletter of the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc
Executive Summary of the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc’s submission to the JSC
Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc’s submission to the JSC
Proof Committee Hansard of JSC roundtable on Griffin Legacy Amendments, 23 February 2007, Canberra
Amendment 53 for Albert Hall Precinct – more controversy
Hard on the heels of the four Amendments, the National Capital Authority (NCA) announced yet another controversial draft amendment to the National Capital Plan. Called Draft Amendment 53, it applies to a large area called the Albert Hall precinct that extends down to the foreshores of Lake Burley Griffin and is bounded by Commonwealth Avenue, Flynn Drive, and Coronation Drive. This area includes Albert Hall, which has served as a town hall for many years, the Canberra Hyatt Hotel and the open space of the road easements that permit beautiful uninterrupted views of the distant hills and lakeside peninsulas.
Amendment 53 provides for high rise and high density land uses on the southern lakeshore in the Albert Hall precinct. The proposal has been met by strenuous community objections expressed in the media and at a public meeting organised by the NCA at Regatta Point on 22 March .
Reporting on the meeting, the Canberra Times in an article titled “Expert blasts NCA scheme. Leave Albert Hall alone, says professor” on 25 March, stated that the former chair of the ACT Heritage Committee, Professor John Mulvaney, had said that: “As a major heritage precinct, it should not become cluttered with other structures for which the NCA, in any case, appears to have no designated function”. The Canberra Times article went on to state that Professor Mulvaney “was also critical of an eight-storey ‘landmark’ building, proposed for the western side of Constitution Avenue, which he said was justified at the meeting for providing a balance with the National Library”.
“This suggests that the NCA aesthetic relates to the built environment. It entirely overlooks the alternative aesthetic of the natural environment. “
“At present the majestic landscape stretching to the Brindabellas provides a vista from the bridge, or better still, for viewers from Commonwealth Gardens over the lake. ”
In a second letter to the Canberra Times on 28 March, Professor Mulvaney discussed the proposed Immigration Bridge in this precinct:
“The Immigration Bridge has been omitted from consideration in Draft Amendment 53. As it represents a significant factor in transport arrangements and must occupy some of the vaunted open space claimed by NCA, its omission suggests another example of divide and rule processes at work. What impact will this 12 metre plus structure have upon the general vista?
Necessary lift structures for those unable to climb many stairs may bulk the structure at Flynn Drive. It simply is unacceptable procedure to consider the future Albert Hall Precinct without taking this structure into account. Further, the already cramped nature of the museum site may suffer further from the bridge’s impact and from access pathways, not to mention its aesthetic appearance.”
A ‘Friends of the Albert Hall’ group has been established and is collecting signatures for a petition opposing the NCA plans for the Albert Hall Precinct. Further information www.ouralberthall.com
Draft Amendment 53 can be viewed on the NCA website at www.nationalcapital.gov.au and by going to Planning and Urban Design from where a 6.3MB pdf file of it and also a comment form can be downloaded. Copies are available from Regatta Point, and the NCA offices. The time for submissions has been extended from April 13 to May 4.
Luke Wensing, Treasurer WBGS Canberra Chapter
Plans for Canberra unacceptable
The plans recently proposed as Draft Amendments to the National Capital Plan for Canberra are described by the Walter Burley Griffin Society as an inadequate and unacceptable planning and design response to the promise of The Griffin Legacy study. This study was undertaken ‘to protect the integrity of the Griffin Plan, recognizing its stature as a work of both national and international significance.’. It was prepared by the National Capital Authority (NCA) and widely acclaimed when it was published in 2004 as a significant re-examination of the Griffin Plan.
However despite this good foundation work completed more than two years ago, major aspects of the recent proposals are significant departures from the Griffin Plan for Canberra that would be very detrimental to public amenity, and to the vision that Griffin had for Canberra that has only in part been realised.
For further details view the pdfs below:
Glebe Incinerator celebratory picnic. FREE event
The Walter Burley Griffin Society has joined with the Glebe Society to celebrate the restoration and reinterpretation of the Glebe Incinerator with a picnic at the beautiful precinct on the foreshore of Blackwattle Bay, Glebe. Everyone is welcome to come along and bring a picnic.
The interior of the Incinerator can be viewed at 11.30am.
At 12.10pm heritage architect Trevor Waters will talk about the incinerator’s history and operation prior to restoration. At 12.40pm Jannene Smith from Godden Mackay Logan, the heritage consultants who planned and coordinated the incinerator’s restoration work will explain the approach, methods and the journey, including archeological finds At 1.00pm Professor James Weirick, President of the Walter Burley Griffin Society will pay tribute to those involved in the conservation of the Incinerator. Councillor John McInerney will then chair community discussion of possible uses of the Incinerator and the adjacent colonnades.
A FREE event. Hot coffee and muffins may be purchased at the stall.
Website goes live
Funded by an Australian Government $20,000 $ for $ grant, the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc. has produced this website on the lives and work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. The Sharing Australia’s Stories grant recipients were announced by the Minister, Senator Ian Campbell in July 2005 with the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc being one of just 22 recipients out of more than 950 applications.
View the National Library of Australia’s new acquisition, 28 June 2006
The Eric Milton Nicholls Collection revealing the creative collaboration between Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin, is the latest acquisition by the National Library of Australia. The collection will be on view on Wednesday 28 June, 10am to 4pm in the Library’s Conference Room. Researcher Christopher Vernon will reveal this collection (described by the Library as “breathtaking”) at a lecture at 12.30pm on the same day in the Library’s Theatre. Free. Bookings (02) 6262 1271.
Walter Burley Griffin Society of America’s 7th annual meeting and tour
The annual meeting of our sister organisation, the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, will be held on Saturday 17 June 2006, in Evanston and the North Shore, USA.
Events begin at 9:00am at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue (Orrington & Church). Speakers include Mary Woolever, architectural librarian at the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, who will discuss the Griffin/Mahony collections at the Art Institute; Wilbert Hasbrouck, who will expound upon the creation of his magnificent history of the Chicago Architectural Club; and Betsy Downs, who will recount her restoration of Griffin’s J. B. Moulton house in Rogers Park, one of the buildings on the afternoon tour. Paul Sprague will present his findings about one of Griffin’s planning projects for Evanston, and Paul Kruty will provide background for the buildings to be seen on the tour. The morning session will end at noon.
Among the buildings included on the afternoon tour are Griffin’s Carter, Moulton and Schwartz houses, Wright’s Emil Bach house, and several buildings by Myron Hunt, one of the original Steinway Hall Four (that is, Perkins, Wright, Spencer, and Hunt). We will also be able to see three other Griffin houses from the street.
Preparation of Management Plan for Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra
A management plan for Lake Burley Griffin is being prepared by heritage consultants Godden Mackay Logan, and Context Pty Ltd who are assessing social significance, and undertaking focus groups for organisations and user groups who may have an interest in, or special associations with, the lake. An internet survey has been conducted and recommendations as to how the aspects of significance can be managed will be prepared.
Other news from Melbourne
Three Griffin places were recommended in May 2006 for consideration for listing on the Victorian State Heritage Register. They comprise the Lippincott House, the Mount Eagle and Glenard Estates, all in Eaglemont.
The Lippincott House at 21 Glenard Drive was designed for associate Roy Lippincott and his wife Geneveive, Griffin's sister. Dating from 1917 it has architectural significance as an outstanding example of Prairie Style of arts and crafts architecture, rare in Victoria, particularly one so well realised and intact. It is also of historical significance due to its associations with the Griffins, leading figures in twentieth century architectural history.
The Mount Eagle Estate from 1914 is of historical significance for its associations with the Griffins, its role in the history of town planning and the garden suburb movement in Victoria. It is the earliest example of a Griffin-designed residential estate in Victoria and intact, retaining surviving community parklands. It is of historical significance for its association with the famous 'Heidelberg school' of impressionist painting which originated in the area, whose members included Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, and Frederick McCubbin. Many of their most significant works were painted in the area in 1889 and 1890 when Streeton was living in an old cottage, now demolished, which was on what is now Summit Drive on the Mount Eagle Estate.
The Estate is of aesthetic and historical significance as an essentially intact example of garden suburb planning by the Griffins. With its distinctive long curved roads, internal reserves and spacious triangular traffic islands, it is a fine example of a residential subdivision designed to harmonise with the topography and indigenous vegetation of the area.
The Glenard Estate is significant for similar reasons as the Mount Eagle Estate - it was the second Griffin estate in Victoria, in 1915.
For more information visit www.heritage.vic.gov.au / information /state heritage register
Funding for Interwar Housing Typology Study, Sydney
Among the recently announced 92 projects receiving $2.73million in NSW Heritage Incentives Programme funding is a $20,000 grant to The Art Deco Society of NSW to identify and record Interwar Housing in New South Wales, assess its significance and prepare nominations for those of State significance to the State Heritage Register. The focus of the study is creating a typology of housing types and styles in this period and deducing urban design and protection policies arising from them, as a useful guideline to apply across NSW in suburban and country settings. The study has the potential to include works of Griffin and of his associates, such as Eric Milton Nicholls.
It builds on past studies the Heritage Office has funded in this area. These include: $14,000 in 2003 to the Art Deco Society for a study of the development of the highrise apartments of the Interwar period in the Kings Cross, Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay; $45,000 in 1993/4 to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) for a thematic study of interwar subdivisions and housing estates; and $10,000 in 2003 to Willoughby City Council to undertake a study of the work of the architect, Eric Milton Nicholls in the Willoughby area, to provide a register and intactness inventory.
TOP: Detail from “Section B-A Northerly Side of Water Axis: Black Mountain to Lake Park”, National Archives of Australia: A710 40
ABOVE: Detail from Federal Capital Competition City and Environs plan, National Archives of Australia: A710 38