There's been some comment lately about the fact that for the first time, more than half of the human race lives in cities. At the same time, cities are being seen again in a generally positive light.
Inside the Collection
You might have seen in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald a piece about the Knock Down Rebuild (KDR) phenomenon. Across Sydney’s middle-ring suburbs – from Strathfield to Granville, Earlwood to Hurstville, Manly to Avalon - old timber, fibro and brick cottages are being purchased for ‘land value’, demolished and replaced with new homes.
Copper sheeting from St James Church, Sydney (1819-24) Occasionally we happen upon the previous lives of objects in our collection. Two pieces of roofing copper have been in the Powerhouse Museum's collection since 1946.
The demise of Osama bin Laden is certainly the news story of 2011. Among the torrent of analysis, news stories and blogs this event has generated, bin Laden’s home of the past five or six years has attracted considerable comment.
Well not just any incinerator. The Pyrmont incinerator was rather special, it was one designed by Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937) in 1935. Memorable on the Pyrmont skyline for fifty years the incinerator or reverberator has inspired responses from a variety of artists even after its removal from the landscape.
I love ruins, and I’m not alone in this taste. A fair swag of the world’s most visited tourist sites are ruins: the Forum, the Great Wall, the Pyramids and so on – it’s an impressive list.
The NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour has just released a report about asbestos and its terrible legacy. According to the report asbestos-related disease will soon be killing more people in Australia than car and traffic accidents.
By coincidence, two major city brewery sites are currently being redeveloped in both Sydney and Melbourne. The venerable Kent Brewery on Broadway, founded in 1835, is being transformed into Central Park, a new residential precinct.
Two recent happenings in New York City set me thinking about skyscrapers. One was a small controversy about the Empire State Building. The other was the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre towers.
There’s been an interesting heritage controversy recently about the car park which ‘starred’ in the movie Get Carter. The Trinity Centre parking tower overlooking Gateshead in north-east England features in several Get Carter scenes, notably one in which Jack Carter, played by Michael Caine, throws a corrupt businessman to his death.
Do you remember Joseph Cindric? Probably not, unless I tell you that Joseph (or Josef or Joso or Joe) Cindric was the man who for decades pushed a hand-made trolley around the Sydney CBD. From the 1960s to the 1980s he was as much a part of the city scene as the Town Hall or Hyde Park where he often rambled or slept during the day.
Source There’s been some publicity lately for a proposal to transform the UTS Tower on Broadway. The idea is that the building could be clad with a lightweight mesh skin which would collect rain water, generate solar electricity and cool the tower, saving energy.