Bells toll for Perth heritage

THE recently completed Swan Bells belltower is symbolic of the priorities of the State Government which some regard as questionable.

The convention centre is seen in the same light.

The structure is neither a “marvellous landmark” nor will it be Perth’s equivalent to the Sydney Opera House.

The State Government probably hopes the belltower will be an “icon” building, yet while it was being planned and built, the following well-known landmark buildings were demolished: North Quay silos in Fremantle, 1954 ‘Cubist’ Blue House in Scarborough and the 1939 art deco buildings, Berkeley Flats in Perth and Swanbourne Hotel.

Some of these were recommended for State heritage listing, as has been the 1937 household name Raffles Hotel in Applecross, whose fate remains uncertain two years after the Heritage Council of WA’s recommendation to the government and no decision announced.

We are now to have a convention centre and the State Government has further shown lack of recognition of “icon” buildings by oversight of the innovative and fantastic design presented by Leighton Contractors.

I believe this design indicates – potentially – a building notable at a worldwide level and an “icon” building in WA and Australia.

However, Leighton Contractors did not have the opportunity to resubmit and renegotiate a proposal and the possibility of having a unique, intriguing and splendid addition to Perth’s cityscape has been lost.

For our Perth – conserve the best; create the best.

Tina Spadaccini


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