Categorized | Inner Perth

Elizabeth Quay not authentic: MRA

State agency admits its major project obliterated important Perth landmarks.

CHRIS THOMSON

The government agency that dismantled the verdant Esplanade Reserve to erect skyscrapers at Elizabeth Quay has admitted the once heritage-rich area now lacks authenticity and integrity.

A Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority heritage assessment seen by oneperth.com.au declares that the $2.6 billion project should receive heritage protection despite having low authenticity and integrity from a heritage perspective.

“The place has considerable historic value as the location of the former Esplanade Reserve which was formed through major reclamation work commenced in the 1880s along the Swan River foreshore to create a network of public open spaces and river amenities aimed at integrating the city environment with the river,” the MRA document says.

“By the nature of its formation, ‘Elizabeth Quay’ continues the history of the manipulation of the landscape to create connections between the city and the river.

“The place has very high historic value for the many important events and elements that occurred or were constructed on Esplanade Reserve (former), including the proclamation of self-government for the State in 1890, the Perth city Anzac Day parade and service from 1916 to 2013 and including the statue of Sir J. J. Talbot Hobbs, the Perth Exhibition in 1881, the site of the former Allan Green Conservatory which commemorated the State’s 150th anniversary of foundation, the Alf Curlewis Gardens and the Florence Hummerston Day Care Centre.”

The report says the development of Elizabeth Quay has seen the former reserve’s public garden and lawn, the Allan Green Conservatory and Alf Curlewis Gardens removed.

In 2014, the historic Talbot Hobbs memorial was relocated from its original position to its present location at the Supreme Court Gardens, near the intersection of The Esplanade and Barrack Street.

Also in 2014, the Florence Hummerston Day Care Centre was controversially deconstructed and reconstructed in a new location on an artificial island at Elizabeth Quay.

Many mature trees including Moreton Bay figs on the corner of Barrack and William Streets have been retained.

The MRA plans to officially open Elizabeth Quay to the public on January 29. Though, as revealed here, several of the planned skyscrapers will only be grassy blocks of land for some years, and much-anticipated food outlets are likely to be delayed.

One Response to “Elizabeth Quay not authentic: MRA”

  1. Steve says:

    It has been an absolute waste of money and an act of environmental and historical vandalism.
    Better to let the empty lots stay emptying perhaps become gardens or lawn.
    As for the “skyscrapers” assumed to one day rise from those lots, they will scrape nothing but the eaves of buildings already nearby.
    None of them will be over 25-30 storeys, or 80-120m tall.
    What a waste of space.
    Should have gone with the 2008 proposal, Col.
    Should have gone with a lot of things.
    Now you should just go.

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