Queen Victoria would not be amused.
The City of Sydney has dropped its opposition to the addition of large modern escalators to one of its major assets, the iconic Queen Victoria Building. Approval for the escalators followed a tied 5-5 vote with the Lord Mayor using her casting vote to decide the issue.
‘This is heritage vandalism, and I cannot understand why Clover Moore (again) used her casting vote in council to overrule the two heritage experts on her own team,’ said Chris Harris.
He was referring to an amendment, put by Cr John McInerney and supported by Cr Phillip Black, requesting that approval be deferred until alternatives had been more fully explored.
‘I have seen reports about the retail performance of the QVB, and I find the evidence put forward to justify these escalators very unconvincing,’ said Cr Harris.
‘I am also not convinced by a heritage report which claims that these major blockages to the magnificent views in the building will have no adverse impact.
‘They will cut through the beautiful balustrades around the atrium spaces, up through several floors.
‘Not only will the longitudinal views be affected, but the vertical views between floors will also be partially blocked, and lose their striking symmetry, surely a significant feature of the original design.
‘In addition they will have a modernist look, clashing in my view with the Victorian interior decoration.
‘Cr McInerney’s amendment would have given us a chance to find a better solution but Clover Moore has used her casting vote to blandify Sydney’s grand dame of beautiful Buildings,’ said Cr Harris.