A “broad church” of over 200 people will be at City Hall today for the Property Council’s monthly Hunter Lunch to hear from an expert panel on what’s required to save Newcastle Post Office.
Hunter Director, Andrew Fletcher, said members of the indigenous community would be joined by State MP Tim Crakanthorp, independent Newcastle Councilor Andrea Rufo, senior representatives of various NSW Government agencies, local developers and potential investors. He said it was unsurprising the event had generated such wide-spread interest.
“The Post Office holds cultural significance not only for Newcastle, but for the nation”
“It should be alive with activity and shining brightly as one of Australia’s finest examples of 19th century architecture”
Mr. Fletcher said the brief given to the Technical Advisory Panel was simple.
“We asked them to design site solutions that would maintain strong links with the aboriginal owners and deliver sufficient revenue to preserve the building’s heritage values.”
Two development concepts are being unveiled today. One is for an Indigenous Art Hotel and the other for an Indigenous Medical Institute. Both designs make striking architectural statements, adding up to ten floors to the existing building.
Mr. Fletcher explained that extra height on the site and the income it generated through commercial uses was the only way to pay for repairs and ongoing maintenance of the heritage façade.
“The adaptive reuse of both the Queen Victoria Building and the GPO at No. 1 Martin Place in Sydney are perfect examples of how to conserve our heritage for future generations.”
“Newcastle can have world-class redevelopments of heritage buildings – just like Sydney has done.”
Mr.Fletcher said it would soon be up to local political leaders to support creative solutions which repurpose the iconic building – reinforcing the existing integrity and fabric of the historic East End.
“Where heritage conservation is concerned, City Councillors have ultimate discretion and are not constrained by things like building heights or car parking requirements.”
“Either our civic leaders have the conviction to deliver salvation or they must accept responsibility for our cultural heritage being lost forever.”
Media contact: Andrew Fletcher | M 0407 410 017| E firstname.lastname@example.org