The bad news is that the kiosk, a St Kilda landmark, burnt down last year. The good news is that Parks Victoria has decided to rebuild it following its original exterior design (but with a modernised interior).
A simple decision? Not according to the Melbourne architectural profession. In an article in yesterday's Age, one "urban design consultant" labelled the decision as "pathetic and tragic" and unsuitable for a "socially progressive" community.
An architectural academic went further and said the decision was a "retreat from the real world" which showed "some sort of serious psychological problem on the part of the people who want to have irrelevant styles".
A letter writer in today's Age has eloquently replied to these architectural modernists. He writes:
How fascinating that a public requiring beauty, simplicity, charm and a sense of history from their city's buildings and structures should be accused of having "some sort of serious psychological problem.
Professor Miles Lewis - no doubt an expert in mental health - should perhaps consider that the right of his profession to use our city as a billboard upon which to promote abstract theories of geometric design to one another does not outweigh the the general population's right to go about their daily existence in a landscape that sustains a sense of local identity, tradition and pride of place.
Well put, and congratulations also to Parks Victoria for standing by local residents and preserving a much loved piece of St Kilda's heritage.
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