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A City Lost and Found: Whelan the…

A City Lost and Found: Whelan the Wrecker's Melbourne

by Robyn Annear

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The destruction of a city's older buildings is always problematic. No matter how derelict or unattractive a building is, there will always be some who decry its removal. Personally I find the current frequently applied solution of retaining a building's facade while removing and replacing what's behind it with modern structures to be unsatisfactory and defeatist. A pathetic shell stuck on the front of a completely different building is not preservation. That said, its not the fault of the demolishers when historic buildings are destroyed, they are just doing the job they are contracted for, and this very interesting book presents a history of Melbourne's cityscape seen through the eyes of successive generations of those who get paid to knock buildings down. You will lament the loss of some fine buildings, but will come to appreciate the very different perspective it places on how cities are constructed and deconstructed over time. Thoroughly recommended. ( )
  drmaf | Sep 27, 2013 |
A fascinating look at the history of Melbourne and its architecture through a history of the firm Whelan the Wrecker. Very well researched and written, the only surprise is that Annear seemed to have a sympathetic or perhaps non-committal attitude when commenting on the loss of some of Melbourne's great historical buildings. The book makes for depressing reading if you are a lover of historical architecture. ( )
  J.v.d.A. | Nov 25, 2007 |
An incrediblt rich history of Melbourne, viewed through a unique lens.

The history is traced by looking at buildings which were demolished by a long-running demolition company. This leads to an interesting examination of the changing times throughout Melbourne's history. ( )
  notmyrealname | Mar 13, 2006 |
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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