Tower demolition call exposes mixed views LANDMARK OR EYESORE: An aerial photograph from 1991 showing Queen’s Wharf, which won an architectural award three years earlier. The wharf’s observation tower will be dismantled in the middle of next year.
FADING: Mist shrouds the tower as a kayaker paddles by on Newcastle harbour.
FIRST DRAFT: An early model of the Queen’s Wharf design by Newcastle architect Kevin Snell.
MOVING FORWARD: A race car drives past the Queen’s Wharf Tower on Saturday during the Newcastle 500. Picture: Simone De Peak
CLEARING THE AIR: An artist’s rendering of how the wharf would look without the tower. Picture: Newcastle City Council
Before and after images of Queen’s Wharf with and without the tower. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council
An artist’s rendering of how the tower-less wharf could look. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council
TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that the 40-metre observation tower would come down in the middle of next year after the council received a forecast maintenance bill of $1.6 million for the next four years, including $1.2 million to repaint it.
The news prompted a flood of memes, ribald jokes, poetry and even a rap song on social media as the city celebrated and mourned the loss of the phallus-shaped structure.
One Facebook follower suggested the city could celebrate the same-sex marriage “yes” vote by retaining the tower and erecting another one next to it.
A Herald online poll suggested the community was divided over the issue as 54per cent called for the tower to be retained and 46 per cent wanted it gone.
But lawmakers on different sides of politics said the time was right for the tower to be levelled.
Cr John MackenzieHerald readerscommented online that the tower was an “eyesore”, smelled like a toilet and was rarely used.
Others argued it was part of Newcastle’s culture and offered excellent views of the city and water.
Another suggested removing the building’s bulbous top to make it less evocative.