If you’ve been into Central Hobart lately, you’re probably aware of the saga of the red awnings.
The owners of the building that was formerly the Hobart Savings Bank at 26 Murray Street recently erected the awnings, but didn’t get permission from the local Council or the Tasmanian Heritage Council to do so.
The building, built in 1845, is on the Tasmanian Heritage Register and the Register of the National Estate.
There is currently something of a debate going on as to whether the awning should be allowed to stay, with the Heritage Council and the Hobart City Council both opposed to the retrospective application by the owners for approval, and what seems to be a large majority of the public in favour of keeping them.
According to The Mercury on 7 May:
The Tasmanian Heritage Council has decided to ban the awnings as they "intrude upon the heritage character" and "impact on the ability to appreciate this and adjacent heritage-listed places".
There’s also a Save the Red Awnings Facebook page campaigning to keep the awnings.
I think the awnings look great, and liven up the building and the streetscape in general. The certainly stand out on a bleak, grey winter’s day. I’m not particularly fussed by whether they are consistent with the architectural style of the building and its surrounds.
It seems a bit crazy to me that someone can’t enhance the appearance of their own property in such a simple, non-intrusive way without having to get layer upon layer of approval. It’s not like they want to demolish the building or anything.
But it’s not up to me. So I took today's photos, in case they do have to be removed, to remind me of what the building looked like right now.