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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

famous landmark Albion Flour Mill at Brisbane - is pulled down

There are some heritage structures in Chennai too – and many of them are not properly maintained and look to be on the verge of collapse.  Many want the Govt to lay strict rules for preservation of heritage sites. Miles away one such heritage structure stood at 60 Hudson Road, Albion – though relatively not too old – it was described as demonstrative of  rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the City's cultural heritage.  It was considered tobe a rare, surviving example of a Depression-era industrial building constructed in Brisbane, demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural place – it housed a flour mill designed by prominent architect Francis Richard Hall.

Albion is an inner north-eastern suburb of the City of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia.  Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland.  Brisbane is named after the Brisbane River on which it is located, which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur.

The building in  news - Albion flour mill was constructed by Scottish migrants, the Gillespie Brothers, during the economic depression of the 1930s.  It was constructed after the pioneer era and was important for a number of reasons, not least for the employment it provided. Tenders were called for an architect and builders in 1930 during the Depression. The mill was completed in 1931 and so contributed to the area by providing much needed jobs for a range of workers from millwrights, carpenters, and carriers to stenographers. It continued production for 72 years and remained Brisbane’s sole working mill until operations ceased in 2004.
In Nov 2013, the landmark brick building sustained significant structural damage during a  blaze, with a large crack opening up in the city-facing wall. Soon the landmark would be no more making way for a major urban development.  The towering flour mill silo at Albion is being torn down and will be replaced by new apartment blocks and a commercial precinct.

The fire that destroyed was reported to have been lit deliberately. A 33-year-old New Farm man was charged with arson and wilful damage over the blaze. The old mill building was subsequently demolished. At the time Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said it was a sentimental loss for the city.

In a couple years, visitors would see the $330 million Albion Mill Village in its place, which will include a 14-story, 140 apartment building. The village would feature apartments, up-market cafes, restaurants and boutiques.

Woolloongabba is a suburb of Brisbane,  is  particularly famous for being the site of the Brisbane Cricket Ground, known as "The Gabba".  The first Test match at The Gabba was played between Australia and South Africa  in Nov – Dec 1931. Over the years, besides Cricket, the Gabba has hosted athletics, Australian rules football, baseball, concerts, cycling, rugby, and pony and greyhound races.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Oct 2014.

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