Preservation Alerts

Michelides Tobacco Factory, City of Perth

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Contact Yvonne Geneve, President Art Deco Society of Western Australia (Inc)

 

Petition: Protect, Restore and Preserve the RMS Queen Mary

The world famous ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, has been owned and operated by the City of Long Beach as a hotel since 1967. Over the years and up to today, they have done numerous alterations, demolished many historic areas, and left others in a state of disrepair from neglect. The Queen Mary was an important part of the 20th Century and a marvel of engineering and design and the owners need to treat her accordingly. We, the public, are here to show them that we care about the future of the ship and want to see her properly protected, restored and preserved, something they are not effectively doing today. Please sign the petition to tell the City of Long Beach they need to properly take care of this historic masterpiece that is in their care.

To see more photos of her current deplorable state click here.

To sign the petition click here

Cincinnati’s Union Terminal

 In a December 16, 2013, editorial, Cincinnati.com asked the question “Should Union Terminal be saved?” It described the terminal as a 500,000 square foot money pit that needs about $180 million in repairs and upgrades, including a new roof, new mechanicals, and repairs to its fountain and nearby streets. The editorial calls for voters to make ataxes to pay for the repairs or “tear it down and stop spending money inefficiently.”

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Hamilton (Ohio) commissioner Chris Monzel said that “It’s a beautiful, iconic building, but, at the same time it’s something that’s not viable as a building anymore. It’s the house too big and beat up to maintain without some serious funding, and where’s the cost-benefit analysis?” He asks the question “Is Union Terminal a building that can be saved, or is there a better, higher utilization for that land?

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Without the support of the Commissioner and voters, Union Terminal could face demolition or demolition by neglect. It is a difficult decision to raise taxes to restore the building so all options, including the National Trust taking control of the building and operating it as a National Trust property should be considered.

Cincinnati’s Union Terminal is one the most important Art Deco structures in the country and is now probably the most endangered. Cleveland will be hosting the World Congress on Art Deco in 2017 displaying that city’s rich Art Deco architecture.

Cincinnati (and Buffalo) would be logical choices for pre and post-Congress visits. Buffalo seems to be taking preservation seriously and is a model for preservationists. Cincinnati, however, seems to look at preservation as simply a tax question. Do the citizens really want to pay an extra $5 or $10 a year in taxes to save an international icon of Art Deco architecture. It seems possible that they will choose to demolish Union Terminal rather than spend $180 million dollars to repair it.

Placing Cincinnati Union Terminal on the Most Endangered list would draw national and international attention because of its stature in the nation’s most admired buildings.

Contact Jim Linz to find out how to help.

 

Civic Hall, Ballarat, Australia

Let’s save this building designed in the late 1930s. It is similar to a group of civic buildings around the state. However, for various reasons of funding, availability of resources and the intrusion of WW11, construction did not commence until 1953

Ballarat Civic Hall, 300 Mair Street, Ballarat, Australia, 1953CivicHall

 

Mr. H Lampp, Manager Statutory Planning and Building, City of Ballarat

Dear Mr. Lampp,

On behalf of the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS), a voluntary alliance f osocieties from around the world which strive to inform and educate the public on the important contributions made by artists, designers and architects of the Art Deco era, I would like to oppose the demolition of the Ballarat Civic Hall, 300 Mair Street, Ballarat.

This cream brick and steel-framed hall was designed in the late 1930s and is similar to a group of civic buildings around the state.

The grounds for our objection can be summarized as follows:

·        The hall is not redundant. It has not been used for some years and needs some refurbishment but is structurally sound and could be refurbished to meet the requirements for a large civic hall and a centre for community activities

·        The hall has major social and cultural significance for Ballarat, as it was the venue for numerous public events (dances, balls, music competitions, civic receptions, political speeches, etc) for 50 years

·        It has major architectural significance for Ballarat, although this has not been recognised by the council and parts of the community

·        It is included in a Heritage Overlay, but is not noted as a significant individual building

·        The architects were Les Coburn and Gordon Murphy, both prominent in  Victoria in the years between the 30s and 50s

·        Demolition and clearing of the site will have major effects on the environment (at the least, it contains over 500,000 cream bricks)

·        Council has not proposed a replacement building – when they have a clear space, they will investigate the options (something that residents and ratepayers are not permitted to do!)

We sincerely hope this building, which contributes to the historic fibre of Ballarat, will be saved from demolition for future generations to enjoy.

Sincerely,
Sandra Cohen-Rose
International Coalition of Art Deco Societies, Facilitator

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