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1870

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About CR Gibson

Manufacturer and marketer of paper gifts and stationery products under the C.R. Gibson, Creative Papers, and Stepping Stones brand names. Products include photo albums and social books, baby and wedding memory books, stationery, gift wrap, greeting cards and paper tableware.

CR Gibson Headquarter Location

32 Knight Street

Norwalk, Connecticut, 06856,

United States

(203)847-4543

Latest CR Gibson News

‘Falling to pieces’: The fight to save an iconic North Sydney building

May 10, 2021

Advertisement A Sydney mayor says a 1950s modernist office block that heritage advocates are fighting to save from demolition is falling apart and should be replaced by a new building to attract workers to the north shore’s business district. North Sydney mayor Jilly Gibson made a staunch defence of redeveloping the MLC Building at a meeting called by the NSW Independent Planning Commission to help decide whether the block should be state heritage-listed. The MLC building was the largest office block in NSW when it was built in 1957. Credit:Renee Nowytarger Cr Gibson said the prominent Miller Street building - which is listed as a local heritage item - was outdated and premium-grade office buildings were needed to attract workers back to the business district after the pandemic. “I think our council considers itself to be a visionary, forward-looking council, and I think we should be aiming for all of our workers to work in the absolute best office space that can be provided for them,” Cr Gibson said. Investa Property Group submitted plans to the council to redevelop the site with a 27-storey office complex, designed by architecture firm Bates Smart, triggering opposition from some architects and heritage advocates. The 14-storey building - notable for its early use of a glass-curtain wall - was the first high-rise office block in North Sydney when it was completed in 1957. The 27-storey, sloped structure proposed to replace the MLC Building. The Heritage Council of NSW recommended the building be placed on the state heritage register, prompting Special Minister of State Don Harwin to request advice on that proposal from the commission. North Sydney councillors have not reached a formal resolution on whether the building should be protected. Advertisement The council’s development services manager Stephen Beattie told the meeting with the commission last month the building could likely be repaired and upgraded without compromising its heritage significance. North Sydney mayor Jilly Gibson says the building should be replaced. Credit:Janie Barrett His remarks prompted Cr Gibson to interject: “With all due respect, I have a totally different perspective. “I walk past this building most days of the week and you can see the building falling to pieces. “If you got it up to standard, you wouldn’t be able to retain anything of the original building, so it makes no sense to me to try to retrofit a building that doesn’t work now. “Much better to have a new building in that area,” Cr Gibson said. When asked whether the older premises would struggle to attract tenants when compared to a new development, Mr Beattie said there was market demand for all types of buildings in the CBD. Bates Smart architecture firm says the MLC building (left) is in need of major refurbishment. “The building could quite easily be re-let,” Mr Beattie said. Investa’s chief executive Jonathan Callaghan said the building no longer met the requirements expected from commercial tenants. Loading “The office market is evolving ... The B-grade space that [the MLC Building] offers in North Sydney is no longer relevant for that market.” Independent councillor Zoe Baker urged the commission to heed the advice of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Institute of Architects recommending the block be placed on the state heritage register. “The MLC Building is very special ... It’s not a popularity contest about heritage listing: it’s whether it has merit and significance or not.” Cr Gibson said the planners, architects and historians who were fighting to retain the building did not represent the views of the community. “As mayor, I’m pretty well-known. I’m a popularly elected mayor and I get elected each time because I know what my community thinks. “I’ve talked to lots of people about the MLC Building. I’ve heard descriptions [of] ‘Well, it’s ugly. It’s nothing. It should go. I don’t even know where it is. It means nothing to me’. “I don’t think this is a building that inspires or that residents or visitors to our CBD or school children have any great affection for.” The commission is due to finalise its advice this month. Save

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