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Visionaries in Suburbia book launch 17 September 2015

The Walter Burley Griffin Society’s new book Visionaries in Suburbia: Griffin Houses in the Sydney Landscape was launched on 17 September at the Art Space in Willoughby Incinerator, Sydney designed by Walter Burley Griffin and his partner Eric Nicholls in 1933 and recently restored by Willoughby City Council.

After more than three years of research, writing, sourcing images, designing, editing and publishing, we celebrated the launch with well over 100 members and guests. Mayor of Willoughby City, Cr Gail Giles-Gidney and heritage planner Sheridan Burke gave guest speeches and the Society’s Patron John McInerney, former deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, officiated as MC.

Also present were the newly elected Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Cr Cheryl Szatow, and the former mayor Cr Jennifer Anderson, now the Chair of Ku-ring-gai Council’s Heritage Reference Committee. Attendees from Willoughby City Council included Cr Judith Rutherford and Cr Lynne Saville, Chair of the Willoughby Heritage Advisory Committee.

In her speech Mayor Gail stated that the book “celebrates and documents the unique legacy left to us by Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin, who worked hard to preserve the natural landscape, cultivate sustainable living and create a cohesive community … As a resident of Castlecrag, I am honoured to be able to experience this astounding legacy every day – from the physical environment of the incredible buildings, streetscapes, landscapes, reserves and walkways, to the great sense of community that Castlecrag fosters. The Walter Burley Griffin Society is a local community group that has grown from this ethos and their production of Visionaries in Suburbia is a monumental accomplishment – connecting us to our past and creating an understanding and appreciation of the roots of the Castlecrag community”.

The Society is most grateful to its many generous sponsors (listed in the front of the book) who made possible the task of printing a high quality book in Australia and retailing the book at a reasonable price, without having to compromise content, quality or price.

Heritage planner and guest speaker Sheridan Burke’s speech.

RRP: $59.95 available in good bookstores around Australia and online at: http://www.manic.com.au

Visionaries in Suburbia book launch 17 September 2015 |  1

(L–R): Mayor of Willoughby City, Cr Gail Giles-Gidney, the Society’s Patron John McInerney, Chair of Ku-ring-gai Council’s Heritage Reference Committee Cr Jennifer Anderson, Coordinating Editors Dr Anne Watson and Adrienne Kabos, photograph by Michael Thomson.

Visionaries in Suburbia book launch 17 September 2015 |  2

(top left clockwise) The Society’s Vice President Akky van Ogtrop greets the Mayor of Willoughby City, Cr Gail Giles-Gidney;  Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Cr Cheryl Szatow with the Society’s Patron John McInerney and Mayor Gail, photograph by Michael Thomson.;  Members and guests at the book launch are introduced to guest speaker Mayor Gail, photograph by Bob McKillop;  Maisy Stapleton, photographer Eric Sierins, historian Dr Ian Hoskins and the books coordinating editor Dr Anne Watson;  Heritage planner and guest speaker Sheridan Burke, photograph by Michael Thomson.

Castlecrag Community Fair Sunday 7 June 2015

10.00am to 3.00pm Castlecrag Shopping Village, Edinburgh Road and The Postern

The Walter Burley Griffin Society will once again have a stall at the biennial fair organised by the Castlecrag Progress Association.

The Society will have on display some knitlock tiles, a concrete building block developed by Walter Burley Griffin and David Charles Jenkins, patented in 1917. The segmental building system was used to build several Griffin designed houses in Castlecrag and a number in Melbourne.

A new book about the fascinating Melson house, designed by Griffin at Rock Crest Rock Glen, Mason City, Iowa, USA, will be for sale. It is titled The Melson House Revealed: An Owner’s Perspective and is by Peggy Bang. Also for sale will be greeting cards with two of Marion Mahony Griffin’s magnificent forest portraits.

Castlecrag Community Fair Sunday 7 June 2015 |

The Society’s stall at the Castlecrag Community Fair 2011 with a close-up of the showcase with knitlock tiles and photograph of a knitlock machine used to manufacture the knitlock tiles. The actual machine is on display at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Guided walking tour – The Griffins' Creative Forces: Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin at Castlecrag Saturday 23 May 2015

10.30am to 1.00pm

A guided walking tour through some of the reserves and walkways at Castlecrag created by the Griffins based on their environmental and community ideals.
The internationally renowned suburb of Castlecrag was designed by Walter Burley Griffin in the 1920s as a residential community inspired by the ecological and aesthetic qualities of the landscape of Middle Harbour and its foreshores.

Learn about some of the creative forces Walter and Marion Mahony Griffin brought to their work at Castlecrag and the environmental ideals and community life they fostered here.

Please bring hat, walking shoes and water.

Cost: Adults $20; Children $10; Family $50; Concession $15
Walter Burley Griffin Society members and National Trust members $15
Bookings essential: info@griffinsociety.org or phone Kerry on 02 9958 4516
specific address given on booking.

Guided walking tour – The Griffins' Creative Forces: Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin at Castlecrag Saturday 23 May 2015 |

The avenue of Lemon Scented Gums in The Parapet, Castlecrag, 2014. Curved tree-lined roads that follow the contours, foreshore reserves and numerous walkways are just some of the creative features of the Griffins’ Castlecrag

Invitation to AGM - Sunday 19 October 2014

The Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc. cordially invites you to its twenty sixth Annual General Meeting Sunday 19 October 2014 at 2.00pm at Greenwich Community Hall, 46–50 Greenwich Road, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia in the centenary year of when the Griffins arrived in Australia and first settled in Greenwich.

Light refreshments will be served, followed at 3.30pm by guest speaker Adrienne Kabos

‘Protecting the Griffin legacy in Australia and at Rock Crest/Rock Glen, USA’

Invitation to AGM - Sunday 19 October 2014 |

Blythe House, Rock Glen, Mason City, Iowa, USA, 1912-1913.
Photographed by Adrienne Kabos 2014

Canberra centenary celebrations Thursday 15 August to Saturday 17 August 2013

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.
Join us to celebrate in the following events:

Marion Mahony Griffin Lecture 2013
The Magic of Australia
Thursday 15 August 2013, 6.00pm

The Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science
Gordon Street, Canberra

The Walter Burley Griffin Society invites you to the fifth annual Marion Mahony Griffin Lecture to be given by architect Caroline Pidcock.

Program and biography

Proudly supported by the ACT Government Community Centenary Initiatives Fund.
Tickets: WBGS Members $20 (earlybird bookings $15 until 30 June);
Non-members $25; Students $10
Bookings essential: http://www.trybooking.com/CHPJ

Canberra centenary celebrations Thursday 15 August to Saturday 17 August 2013 |

Marion Mahony (1871–1961), photograph courtesy Art Institute of Chicago

Bus tour – The Griffins' Canberra - Saturday 17 August 2013, 9.30am – 1pm

Professor James Weirick will give this guided tour which will include looking at the Griffins’ land and water axes, their plans for a railway line and central station, urban centres and suburban ideals.

Tickets: WBGS members $35, non-members $45
Bookings essential: http://www.trybooking.com/CHSW

Bus tour – The Griffins' Canberra - Saturday 17 August 2013, 9.30am – 1pm |

Symposium - The Griffins' Canberra: 100 years - Friday 16 August 2013

12.45pm – 4.30pm – The Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science – Gordon Street, Canberra

Join three leading international experts on the Griffins as they talk about the influences and ideals that underpin the Griffin design for Canberra, and its international significance.

Professor Emeritus Paul Kruty
Professor Emeritus of Architectural History at the University of Illinois, USA
Walter Burley Griffin’s Ideas about Architecture, Landscape and Planning, 1901–1913

Professor James Weirick
Director of the Master of Urban Development and Design Course, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales
100th anniversary of Walter Burley Griffin – Griffin and Canberra

Professor Dr. Karl Fischer
Acting director of the Master of Urban Development and Design Course, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales; University of Kassel, Germany (2009 – 2012)
The Urbanism of the Griffin Plan – a 21st century international perspective

Program and biographies
Proudly supported by an Australian Government Your Community Heritage Grant.
Tickets: WBGS Members $75 (earlybird bookings $65 until 30 June);
Non-members $85; Students $30
Bookings essential: http://www.trybooking.com/CHQR

Symposium - The Griffins' Canberra: 100 years - Friday 16 August 2013 |

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
(03) 9925-1773 to make a booking so extra guides can be in attendance.