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After Griffin: the work of Eric Nicholls 1935–1965

You are invited to an illustrated talk – Sunday 30 March, 2.30pm, Albert Chowne Memorial Hall, Willoughby Park Centre, corner McClelland Street and Warrane Road, Willoughby, Sydney

Eric Milton Nicholls began work for Walter Burley Griffin in 1921 at the age of 19. After the Griffins left for India in 1935 Nicholls continued their practice.

This is an informal illustrated talk with architects of Nicholls’ office reminiscing about office practices and some of the projects ranging from residential to Caltex House, Sydney’s first high rise building.
Please join us for this unique event.

All welcome
Cost: $5 Members
$10 Non-members

For further information contact the Secretary
Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc
Tel 02 9958 4516

After Griffin: the work of Eric Nicholls 1935–1965 |  1

Left to right: Caltex House, 167–187 Kent Street, Sydney, 1950s, City of Sydney Archives, SRC4109; W.E. Smith printery, Croydon, 1947 courtesy Stuart Murray

After Griffin: the work of Eric Nicholls 1935–1965 |  2

Mittagong Shire Council Chambers, photographer Michael Thomson

Marion Mahony Griffin as Author: The Voice of Magic of America - 3pm Sunday 20 January 2008

Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc. invites you to this talk at the outdoor Haven Amphitheatre corner, The Scarp and The Barricade, Castlecrag, Sydney, Australia.

Jack Perry Brown, Director, Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago will talk about the Art Institute of Chicago’s exciting project completed in August 2007 that publishes on the net The Magic of America that Marion Mahony Griffin wrote on her return to USA after Walter Burley Griffin’s death in India. It was in part intended as ‘a testament to their life and work together’. The website created to publish this important architectural document collates 1,400 pages of text with approximately 650 accompanying illustrations from the three known copies of The Magic of America. See it at

How to get to the Haven:

There is no parking at the Haven Amphitheatre so we suggest you leave your car in Rockley Street and walk the 500metres along The Bulwark to the Haven. Alternatively leave your car near The Citadel and walk about 300 metres down the steps between 17 and 19 The Citadel then follow the roads downhill to the Haven. Wet weather alternative venue: The Community Centre, Castlecrag.

Further information:
contact Kerry McKillop 02 9958 4516

Marion Mahony Griffin as Author: The Voice of Magic of America - 3pm Sunday 20 January 2008 |

Marion Mahony Griffin about 1930. Photograph courtesy Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Canberra bus tour Saturday 5 May

This tour of Griffin’s Canberra will be led by Griffin scholar and Society President Professor James Weirick who will relate the exciting story of the development of Canberra from sheep paddock to the national capital, covering the international competition, the Griffins’ vision and plans, political intrigue and bureaucratic intervention.

Please print out and complete the Members bus tour booking form pdf (152KB), enclose with a cheque for the appropriate amount and mail to the Secretary (address on form).

Special viewing at the National Library of Australia - Friday afternoon 4 May

The National Library of Australia has kindly offered a special viewing of the Nicholls Collection to members of the Walter Burley Griffin Society in the afternoon of Friday 4 May.

The Nicholls Collection acquired by the Library in early 2006 has over 3,300 items of astonishing scope and complexity. The Library has conserved Marion Mahony Griffin’s drawings on silk, and has been methodically cataloguing the entire collection, which is expected to be completed in April 2007. Already much has been digitised and can be viewed on the Library’s website.

Between 12.30pm to 4.30pm on 4 May, the Library will give members and friends of the Walter Burley Griffin Society a rare opportunity to see the Griffins’ drafting and architectural skills in sketches, presentation drawings, correspondence, renderings and photographs of their works. View on 4th floor.

Further information tel 02 6262 1370.
Free event but bookings essential: telephone Brett Odgers 02 6286 4395 or Kerry McKillop 02 9958 4516.

The Griffins' Castlecrag walk - Sunday 18 March 2007

10.00am – 12.30pm

For Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin nature was their great source of inspiration. Professor James Weirick will take this guided tour of Castlecrag where the Griffins implemented their dream for an idealised urban community subservient to the landscape. This tour will take you through some of the community reserves and walkways, past some Griffin houses and to the outdoor Haven Amphitheatre.

Bring water, hat and good walking shoes for uneven ground.

Cost $25 per person
Bookings essential, contact

A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Haven Amphitheatre, Castlecrag, Sydney

23 – 25 Feb and 2, 3, 4, Friday 9, Saturday 10, Sunday 11 March

See Shakespeare’s most loved comedy the way he intended! Outdoors in the idyllic bush setting of The Haven Amphitheatre designed by the Griffins in Castlecrag.

There is no better backdrop for this magical and romantic tale of warring fairies, Athenian lovers and a group of bumbling actors in a moonlit forest as they fall under the magical spell of the summer solstice – Midsummer Night. For 9 performances only, delight in this uplifting adventure about love, chaos, marriage and dreams.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the first co-production between RAW-EM Theatre Co. and The Haven Amphitheatre Committee, Castlecrag. The start time for all performances is 7.30pm. As there is no parking at The Haven Amphitheatre, a FREE continuous shuttle bus operates from 6.30pm onwards from the corner of Raeburn Avenue and Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag.

Bookings tel 02 9958 0124 (business hours).

Adults are $30, concession cardholders $25, students $20 and children under 12 are free. Groups of 6, get 1 ticket free. A scrumptious supper is also available.For further information, please visit or contact Julie McKay at RAW-EM Theatre Co. on 0413 961165 or

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.
An evening reception will be held in the Emery house.

Reservations essential – go to:

Walter Burley Griffin Society of America's 7th annual meeting and tour |

Official opening of the Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin Festival, Castlecrag 1995. L to R: Mayor Cr John Squire, President WBGS Adrienne Kabos, Mayoress Anne Squire, heritage consultant Jennifer Hill, guest speaker David Marr. Photographer Theo Junge.