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To the Editor

I have been much interested in your article dealing with the p ro . posed Civic Centre. In regard to the choice 'of site and the treatment thereof it seems to me that the adviw of competent town-planners might well be sought. It is alleged that some town-planners do not favour the inclusion of an auditorium and an art gallery in the civic centra While the heart of the city is th» place for a civic centre, a cultural centre demands more reposeful environment For instance, Lower Symonds Street might be an ideal site for a cultural centre and bad for a civic centre. Contrarywise anv part of Queen Street would not be suitable for a cultural centre. Con sidering Auckland's great future it is of the utmost importance that ik new civic centre should be well situated and well designed. I remem. ber that, some years ago, when it was first decided to have a zoo the City Council seemed determined to locate it on One Tree Hill, in com pliance with the provisions of Sir John Logan Campbell's will. Never theless, as the curator of the Sydnev Zoo was passing through Auckland his advice was sought and followed' One Tree Hill was abandoned and the present site chosen. Similarly when the War Memorial was decided upon the council at first instructed the city engineer, Mr. Bush, to pre pare the plans; later the council thought better of it and called for competitive designs, leaving the award in the hands of competent architects. Why shouldn't this example be followed? Why not open a competition for the best choice of site and the best treatment of the proposed civic centre? Who knows that' the winner of this much-coveted honour might not be one of our returned soldiers who, having enjoyed the privileges of visiting some of Europe's great cities, had acquired a lofty conception of the planning of a town? I hope his Worship the Mayor will not deem this to be "mere obstruction." it is not even meant as criticism, for the proposed site has not been divulged. It is meant as a reminder that the more ambitious the scheme the greater should be the participation of the general public in its conception and realisation. M. IRWIN.

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Bibliographic details

CORRESPONDENTS' VIEWS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 187, 9 August 1945

Word Count

CORRESPONDENTS' VIEWS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 187, 9 August 1945

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