I’m not a big fan of the Gold Coast’s never ending development and these new building’s are no exception. The Jewel, comprising 3 towers, tower over surrounding buildings making them appear minute in comparison while blocking out sunshine and beach views. I found them to be an intrusive phallic structure that can’t be ignored and constantly in your face so to speak but that’s progress in a popular tourist town I guess. I must admit that the architecture is quite impressive and it is sure be another Australian landmark.
Stretched across 130m of absolute beach frontage, the site sits over 2.8 acres and includes luxury residential apartments, an internationally rated 5-star hotel including a Michelin Star restaurant and a grand ballroom. The Jewel is due for completion in mid 2020.
Sydney is one of my favourite cities. So much to see and some great architecture with the Sydney Opera House right up on the top of my list. I spent a couple of days there recently and here are some shots I took. The history is fascinating so you can read about it here if you are interested.
“[Jørn] Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology… a building that changed the image of an entire country.”
The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom in Brisbane right now. It is Spring here and the city is bursting in purple blooms in tree-lined streets and dottings in and around the city. It is a magical time of year and the quintessential image of Brisbane. Adding to that magic is a lovely purple blanket of fallen blossoms. Traditionally signalling the beginning of the exam season, it is said that if you haven’t started studying by the time the trees are bursting then you are doomed.
The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens is the site of Australia’s first grown Jacaranda tree and was depicted in the 1903 painting by Richard Godfrey Rivers titled “Under the Jacaranda Tree”. The painting is of the artist and his wife Selina taking tea under the tree. That tree was a Brisbane landmark until it was knocked over by a cyclone in 1980.
I am grateful to Walter Hill who planted the first tree here in 1864. He was at the time the superintendent of Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens and obtained the Jacaranda seed from Brazil via the Australian wheat ships that traded with South America. It has brought so much beauty to our city.
When I was a young 16 yo girl, my very first office job entailed picking up the company’s mail from the General Post Office at the bottom end of Queen Street and then walking back to the top end to start my work day as a Junior Clerk Typist slogging away at those big old typewriters. On cold days the Westerly wind stung as it whipped in and out of the tall buildings and walking that distance in heels was torture.
Every day I walked past MacArthur Chambers and it fascinated me. I knew a little about its history and in time I learnt its significance. (Learning back then was a slower process because we actually had to go to the library to read books or ask those who were older and wiser.) I don’t know why it fascinated me so; I wasn’t consciously interested in the war but it was the 70’s and the war hadn’t long been over, or maybe it was because I was young and in awe of Americans back then.
I learnt that General Douglas MacArthur occupied the offices on the eighth floor in Brisbane from July 1942 to November 1944 and lived at the Lennon’s Hotel. This is now a museum dedicated to his occupation.
On the weekend I visited the MacArthur Museum and still found it fascinating. I managed to take some photos of his office as it would have been set up when occupied and to my surprise the attendant offered to let me sit in the chair behind that big desk. Powerful!!
There is so much to see and learn, lots of reading and well worth the visit. It is certainly a great tribute to a great man. I don’t believe in warfare but do I believe that we can learn from history, and in a perfect world, never repeat mistakes of the past.
Learn more about General MacArthur’s Brisbane occupation here