S.O.S. Save Our Sirius

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The National Trust has proposed listing the Sirius apartments on the State Heritage Register, and this proposal is currently being considered. The proposal includes the heritage significance of the residents as well as the building.

Regarding the importance of the people in Sirius, the proposal states:

“The Sirius Apartment Building is likely to have state level heritage significance for its long and strong association with past and present residents of the Millers Point and The Rocks community. Many of The Rocks and Millers Point residents were the descendants of maritime workers who lived and worked in the area for generations. Sirius may also be of social significance to others in NSW who consider it an important achievement that the unique makeup of the Millers Point and The Rocks community has been preserved for so many generations.”

Here are links to other stories about Sirius on this site and elsewhere:

The S.O.S. Save Our Sirius exhibition was open for a single day in the Phillip Room in Sirius itself. It coincided with Open Sydney 2014 and hundreds of people accepted the first open invitation to Sirius in 35 years. Below are a few of the panels from that exhibition.

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17 Responses to S.O.S. Save Our Sirius

  1. peter 3 August 2015 at 10:52 am #

    I think it would be an idea to actually finish the exterior of sirius and improve it for the continued use as social housing in the city it’s sad to see so many homes being left empty for so long at lest use them effectively for affordable housing as they were intended . like they are not needed any for in sydney any more

    • JohnD 18 August 2015 at 9:41 pm #

      Sirius has units that have been empty for almost a decade. Their courtyards are full of rubbish and weeds, and other tenants are not allowed into the empty unit courtyards to clean them up. The government appears to want Sirius to look like an abandoned wasteland.

      • peter muller 31 August 2015 at 7:33 am #

        I think it’s time to force housing Nsw to allow the residents to clean up Sirius if they won’t at least these are still public property I hate the thought of all our empty homes being neglected as they are Now by Housing.

        • JohnD 31 August 2015 at 10:03 am #

          Peter, you and Wendy did a fabulous job repainting the front verandahs for Flo and Bev in Argyle Place. Looking at the rest of this street, all the empty and neglected houses look appalling, especially as it would take so little to maintain some of them. Where some of the houses in Argyle Place were boarded up, we began painting people and curtains on the boards so the street did not appear so derelict, but we were soon warned off by Housing’s security.

          It is a strange state of affairs when a community says it should demand the state government allow it to do emergency repairs on the properties they are neglecting. If we did do something, the heritage architects from the Australian Institute of Architects said they would join us to do some Guerrilla Maintenance, but the problem would be that Housing’s security would quickly close us down. Maybe we should approach the “Independent Facilitator” for the Great Relocation, although moving people out seems to be the only facilitation he he is interested in.

    • Josephine Wadlow-Evans 20 September 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      The sad thing about this Peter is factually that ‘affordable housing’ is not seen as in keeping with this Government’s plan for the area, which brings into light the reality that neither Baird nor his corporate friends want to have to mingle with those who are living in ‘social housing’ – or who they see as ‘lower class’ financially that is – one can only imagine the conversation between Baird and Packer – oh my gosh if walls only had ears – and what a shame there weren’t as many Government leaks that escaped into the media by the former Prime Minister’s office…

      It is a snobbishness that is frankly appalling, and denies this city’s heritage which comes from the hard working workers themselves – the backbone of any country and the one’s that are the cohesion of each and every community, whether wealthy or otherwise…

      It is a question of ‘they should neither be seen nor heard’ syndrome…from a party of society that believes it is superior, but of course you cannot ‘make a sow’s ear into a silk purse’ –

      Josephine Wadlow-Evans

      • JohnD 20 September 2015 at 5:43 pm #

        Sirius is a monument to the Green Bans and the survival of a community. If the community is destroyed, Sirius sold off and the site redeveloped, there will be a new tower that will forever stand for Mike Baird’s vision of the centre of Sydney as a place only for the rich. In years to come when people ask what Mike Baird’s contribution to Sydney was, the answer will be, ‘Remember Sirius?’

  2. Jacques 25 November 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Hello

    I am an independant filmmaker based in Melbourne.
    My projects generally focus on issues of built heritage. I am an avid fan of post-war Modernism and am particularly fond of Brutalism. As such I am concerned as to the fate of the Sirius apartment complex.
    What is the current situation?

    regards
    Jacques
    modernfilms

    • JohnD 26 November 2015 at 10:08 am #

      The National Trust has proposed the listing of the Sirius apartments on the State Heritage Register, and this proposal is currently being considered. This news story – http://millerspointcommunity.com.au/1759-2/ – has some information about this, and there will be further news stories about Sirius in the coming weeks. Contact john(at)piperpress.com.au for more information.

  3. James B Gardiner 22 February 2016 at 9:58 am #

    A bit late to the discussion perhaps.

    This building has always been one of my all time favourites in Sydney and a great example of ‘Brutalism’ done right. I loved it before I studied Architecture and love it even more now. I have looked admiringly at this building every time I have crossed the bridge for as long as I can remember – this is part of my journey.

    This building must be protected, too many great building from this era have been demolished around the world – whether you love or hate the building it stands as a testement to an era where Architects believed they could help affect social change and opened themselves up to experimentation to achieve this end.

  4. Kiwi 9 August 2016 at 10:31 am #

    I visit Sydney most years from New Zealand and always come and have a look at the Sirius Social Housing complex as I find this most interesting and I can imagine the views are just out of this world. I think that this beautiful building must be protected and could be used for apartments as the location is amazing. There is a lot of history in this building and it must be kept. I would hate to see it be pulled down for the sake of some new apartment building when there is a building already needing some work and maintenance. I would love to live in this building if I was living in Sydney! A most majestic building with mystery.

  5. Frank Thorn 5 October 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    List the “Sirius” on the State Register.
    Restore the Building to its original beauty and continue the use as fully occupied Social Housing.
    The Building must be protected.
    The Premier must show pride and support our wonderful Architecture.

    • Nanette Hall 8 March 2017 at 1:00 pm #

      I`ve come late to this discussion-but as a Sydneyite from the 1930`s I can identify with the older parts of Sydney and the need for all types of accommodation to continue far into our future. Why do we need to destroy the very character of place. I grew up in Willoughby and Mosman but through acute housing shortages in the mid 5o`s, we were forced to spend our early marriage in so many locations including sleeping in a car outside Toronga Park Zoo, People`s Palace-Oxford St, and 2+ years in the Qanset huts used as emergency housing in Padstow. During this time we and our three children learnt how to get on with all walks of life and respect the dignity of many in-spite of cultural and educational differences. This can only happen when all society walks in each others shoes. Diversity at every level is important to reach understanding of each other. I hope my comments haven`t come too late.

  6. Jo R 8 March 2017 at 1:35 pm #

    Absolutely fascinated by this building after hearing the background to it on my recent visit to Sydney. This historical building, a great example of Brutalist architechture, must be protected, kept and restored. It really would be sacrilege for this wonderful building to be destroyed and then replaced by developers wanting to make a quick $! SOS!

  7. Derek F. Wrigley, OAM 28 March 2017 at 10:01 am #

    This is a wonderful historic example of the practical art of architecture and is as iconic to Sydney’s history as the Opera House. It appears to be another example of an ignorant government allowing it to fall into disrepair to suit their political ends.

    Demolition would be a shameful act, inhumane to its occupants and an example of a government’s ignorance of the useful arts.

    What a feather in Sydney’s cap if it were to be sensitively restored for the current occupants and others.

    Please, do the right thing.

    • John Dunn 28 March 2017 at 12:57 pm #

      Yes, Sirius is important if we want our built environment to tell the story of Sydney, showing us who we were and how we got to where we are now. Covering it in plastic suggests the government now can see what an important building it is and wants to hide it before anyone notices. Unfortunately that cat is already out of the bag.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sirius residents need their community - MILLERS POINT - 9 August 2015

    […] The government has proposed listing Sirius as a heritage item of state significance, but currently the government has also indicated it will oppose its own proposal. Write in support of this listing. Let the Heritage Council and the government know you support Sirius or some part being kept as a sanctuary for this community, and that you think its history and theirs should be valued. Find more information about Sirius here. […]

  2. Sirius puts NSW Government on Spin Cycle - 21 September 2015

    […] from Demolition – read about Sirius and sign the petition to send a message to the government. More about Sirius – read about the proposed Heritage Listing and the S.O.S. Save Our Sirius exhibition. Still More […]

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