Our beloved, yet unusual Queens Wharf Tower will be demolished in September 2018.
Why are we demolishing the tower?
- Built in 1988, the tower is no longer the star attraction it once was and is coming to the end of its useful life
- The estimated cost to maintain the tower is $1.6 million dollars over the next four years
- Your rates can be funding projects that provide better outcomes for our community
- The tower is a safety hazard, and not accessible for everyone in the community and definitely not an appropriate reminder to the city of the Queen’s visit in 1988
- It is the subject of lewd jokes and negative reports, and is certainly not a positive reflection on our city
From The Newcastle Herald 1 December 2017:
The man who designed Queen’s Wharf Tower in the 1980s says it was meant to be a temporary structure and is surprised it has lasted this long. Architect Kevin Snell said the observation tower had served its purpose and he was not surprised Newcastle City Council had decided this week to demolish it.
“It was only designed as a temporary structure, like an expo-type structure,” he told the Newcastle Herald.
“My ego’s not threatened, that’s for sure. I’m very, very surprised that the council has dished out the money to maintain it all this time.
“I applaud the council for 30 years of support for the structure, but I fully understand, and I’m not crestfallen that it is to be demolished because that was always to be the case.”
Mr Snell said the tower, which was built as part of Australia’s bicentennial celebrations and opened by the queen in 1988, was meant to be dismantled after only two to five years.
What is happening?
From Monday 3 September, the public will no longer be able to access the tower and site preparations will be made for the commencement of the demolition work on Monday 17 September*. During the early hours, over four nights, sections of the tower will be lowered to the ground and removed for scrap metal recycling. Night work is required due to the site safety constraints and minimising impacts on the surrounding businesses and traffic movements. (*Dates are subject to weather conditions)
What will replace the tower?
The week following the demolition, synthetic grass, coloured rubberised surfaces and raised tree planters will be installed in place of the tower, with Alexander Palms similar to those along the foreshore to be planted later in the year. This placemaking work is a temporary solution for place activation with an anticipated life-span of up to five years. A permanent solution for the area will be addressed in the Masterplanning for the whole Foreshore.