Tall order

• The Gleddon Building was Perth’s tallest for nearly 20 years. Photo by Dingo Dude

FIVE Voiceland buildings will get some TLC after the state’s heritage grants were finalised recently.

The University of WA’s Gleddon Building on the corner of Hay and William Streets, and the Atlas Building on The Esplanade (now home of the Museum of Perth) were the big local winners, each scoring $50,000.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist on St George’s Terrace also received $10,555, St Alban’s Church in Highgate received $13,182 and St John’s Lutheran Church in Aberdeen Street received $14,340.

Museum of Perth co-founder Reece Harley says the money will go towards upgrading the Atlas Building’s gorgeous renaissance lifts (think The Titanic’s elevator scene).

The Gledden Building was influential architect Harold Boas’s attempt to emulate the soaring high rise towers of New York, and from its opening in 1938 until the mid-50s it was Perth’s tallest building; primarily because the Second World War disrupted city building development completely.

It was almost built earlier, but the Great Depression put the mockers on any construction and Boas was beaten to the punch with his concept of high rise with retail at the base by the Colonial Mutual Insurance Building in 1936.

Another important feature of the building is a series of friezes incorporating local flora and fauna, which were chosen via competition. George Benson won the competition, but second and third place getters, Clem Kennedy and William G Bennett also got to see their works attached to the building, where they remain today.

by STEVE GRANT

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