Part of our heritage or just ugly?
By Jamie Brown email@example.com LISMORE developer Barry Robinson doesn't mind sticking his neck out when it comes to civic pride.
"The Lismore City Hall is ugly and our city deserves better," he said when The Northern Star asked for his thoughts.
After recent storm damage the hall is up for some hefty repairs, particularly to the roof on the western end. And since the building will be fixed there is now discussion about extending the Fountain Room, foyer and gallery, and landscaping its surrounds.
So The Northern Star is asking: Would it be better to start afresh and trash the 1960s-era building for something better? Why not sell the block and use funds to build a new town hall in the proposed central cultural precinct?
Our question got a mixed response when we took it to the streets.
Mr Robinson, who served on the Lismore Chamber of Commerce for eight years, as well as on the council's airport committee, safety camera committee and security lighting committee, and was involved in the Molesworth Street upgrade, reckons the existing City Hall is not up to scratch.
"From a personal point of view I think it is butt-ugly. It has 1960s written all over it! Lismore deserves the best and this isn't it."
Manager of performing arts company NORPA, Joe McKay, is of the opposing view.
"There is no problem with the City Hall," she said. "It is a valuable community asset. It is a fabulous venue. Since the hailstorm we have been locked out and we miss it dreadfully. We didn't realise the hall's importance for the community until we lost it."
Ms McKay said the hall's acoustics were 'fabulous' and the hall's design was 'funky'.
"Repairing the hall is a 'must'. The Lismore community needs this venue."