I actually typed a similar response last night, but I took too long, was logged out and couldn't be bothered re-typing it.victorious80 wrote:I am torn with this one.
The one thing that bothers me is that there are so many less significant or attractive sites in the CBD that would be preferable to demolish, than these examples of beautiful Victorian architecture. eg 60s/70s/80s solid brick buildings with almost no architectural merit.
I don't mind the proposal, and wholeheartedly agree that increased density in the area is a good thing. But what I like about Hutt St is the large number of Victorian era buildings, that as a whole contribute to a very old-world English town feel. This is what makes Hutt St so appealing - an historic, charming town in the middle (or almost) of a modern CBD. This feel is impossible to recreate with modern architecture, and once destroyed, it is gone forever. Some of our nicest CBD streets are attractive due to the age and style of their architecture (Rundle St, Hutt St, to a lesser extent Hindley St and Melbourne St).
I was walking through Kent Town yesterday, and the original cottages and buildings are in the minority. There are many 70s and 80s buildings in the area that were constructed in place of some beautiful bluestone cottages, as someone at the time would have considered them an improvement to the area. It is only now that you look at the older buildings and wish there were more of them, that you realise this old style of architecture contributes so much to the street and surrounding area and should be retained (if possible).
Even though this stretch of Hutt St is not part of what you might call the nicest part of Hutt St, I hope this doesn't set a precedent for the Council and developers to accept demolition of these sorts of buildings further south.
I guess to summarise my thoughts, the ideal situation would be to see underdeveloped, less attractive sites in the CBD go first. Once these are developed, then if required, we can look at the sites that contribute a little more to the architecture and feel of an area.
One question I would pose for those who support this proposal is do you support Hutt Street becoming a high rise street (say 10+ storeys)? If so, how high would you regulate? As high as August Towers? No limit? Or would you only allow high rises north of, say, Wakefield Street, as SRW and mshagg imply. Not having a go at anyone, just curious.
One may look at this development in isolation, but as victorious says, it could well set a precedent for the area. Developments like this and August Towers could be important in deciding how we want Hutt Street to look in the next ten or twenty years. Once we mess too much with the scale of the street, we could possibly end up with an unattractive hodgepodge of heritage buildings among a scattered sea of high rises.
I get that these buildings aren't spectacular, and they are the only heritage on that particular block of Hutt Street, but I do think that the buildings can be used well through adaptive reuse or integrated into a the design of this development. I also think that having little character cottages in the CBD isn't necessarily a bad thing; it would have to be pretty unique in one of the big 5 Australian cities, but the character cottages don't fit in as well with high rises as a heritage building built for other purposes would.
I'm not necessarily opposed to this development as it looks okay and these cottages aren't in the best location, but I will say that I would certainly be opposed to anything nicer than these cottages being demolished on Hutt Street.
The issue with demolishing these sorts of buildings is that it homogenises the landscape. While the construction of this tower would bring residents, vibrancy and more customers for local business, does the attraction to visit Hutt Street compared to say Rundle Street remain if these character buildings are demolished? I get that a developer can only build on a site that they own, but aren't we better off demolishing some of the crap from the second half of last century on Hutt Street before these two go?
I do get the feeling that as a forum, we're developing a "build high rises at all costs, you're a NIMBY if you disagree" mentality. While it's okay to support high rises, consider that others, such as Patrick, may (quite vocally) oppose developments, considering factors that others may not.