Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elizabeth Towers

I know Elizabeth Towers better as Ampol House. Melbourne University bought the property and is set to demolish it to build a research centre or some such thing. It is a few years since I first noticed Ampol House and I rather liked it. The evil VCAT has approved its demolition.

While I am sure whatever Melbourne University build there will be a marvellous asset to them and perhaps the general community, let me pose this question.

It is already a large multi storey building. Why can't it be reinvented to suit Melbourne Uni's purpose?

Under our previous Labor government, many of Melbourne's important and/or historic buildings dropped like flies. It seems there will be no change under our present Liberal government.

Bad Melbourne University. Bad VCAT. Bad State Government.


  1. It's happening all over Australia.
    Perfectly good buildings being torn down instead of being reinvented, reused, recycled.
    Governments and councils should all be ashamed.

  2. Supposedly the 'historic' content of the building is the stair case. Couldn't this have been kept?

    Just like Lonsdale house where even part of the facade could have been kept to reduce the backlash or complaints. . . . .

  3. Many, many, many moons ago there was a young "Jayne" in a Scottish pipeband which leased, short-term, one of the floors for band practice (I think it was pre-hotel renos) and that young "Jayne" mightily enjoyed galloping down that stair at 10PM (the lifts were turned off after 8 or 9pm).
    I am most pissed off at stupid State Govt - no matter who you vote for the govt always gets in.

  4. River, no surprise to you, I am sure, but it is all about money. As my builder brother says, cheaper to pull down and put a new one up.

    Msilsby, the focus does seem to be on the staircase and that is what grabbed me, but so often I have seen bits of buildings saved and incorporated and so often it ends just looking stupid.

    How cool Jayne. Did you play an instrument or dance over swords? Don't worry, when we get our benevolent dictatorship act right, we will sort it.

  5. is this the building on the cnr of um, Royal Pde and is it Grattan? It's looking a bit derelict, I always wondered why no one loved it.

  6. That's the one Fen.

  7. I played tenor drum - the one where they twirl the fluffy-looking sheepskin drumsticks above their heads in between bashing the crap out of the drum dangling from over-the-shoulder-strap (which is not healthy for kids under 10 as it shifts collarbones/spines/etc, so there is an age restriction now in place) *she says listing to starboard*.

  8. Perhaps you should take up drums again to get rid of your frustrations. Ah, no, you have your husband. So drums are bad for kids but multiple overloaded schoolbags are not.

  9. Agree totally with you, Andrew.

    Bloody Melbourne Uni own most of Carlton now and surely at least the spiral staircase could be retained as a feature in whatever multi million dollar building (The Glynn Davis Centre? The Ron Walker Emporium? Jeff Kennett Collective?) is plonked there.

    The curved building behind it (Alan Gilbert building) is where I spent five miserable weeks last year in a job that left me walking home in tears most nights and realising that money (not support, real results or genuine outcomes) was what it was alllll about.

    Oh dear - that was a bit bitter. Time to go and snuffle up some chocolate!

  10. Kath, you are probably on the mark with the Glynn Davis Centre. Re the building behind, I did not even notice it until I was posting the picture. It looks a bit interesting, but I am sure inside it is the same as all such buildings. You certainly are heading to the right place for chocolate.

  11. News of the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This year Melbourne is placed number 44 in the world. This is the first time an Australian institution has been numbered below 50 on the ARWU list of best research universities in the world.

    I am not sure if we should be delighted that Melbourne Uni did so well, or offended that 43 unis in the world did better. At what?

    1. Hels, the obvious ones come to mind. Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard. But 43 in front of ours? I am surprised, dismayed and then sceptical.