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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:

Media Release

WBGS response to NCA proposal

Glebe Incinerator celebratory picnic. FREE event Sunday 24 September 2006

11.30am to 2.00pm near corner of Forsyth Street and Taylor Street, Glebe, Sydney

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.

The Society is very grateful for the work of many members and committee members who have written more than 40 webpages for the website. The grant enabled the Society to employ two web developers, an editor, purchase over 100 images and copyright permissions, develop an extensive photo gallery and produce three quick-time movies.

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.

or more information visit /information/state heritage register

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.

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.

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.