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After the Griffins – stories from the Castlecrag of the thirties, forties and fifties Sunday 10 September 2017

2.00pm to 3.30pm
History House auditorium, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin had a dream of creating an “ideal suburb” in Sydney. They founded Castlecrag in the twenties and created a very different community from any other in Australia with their vision for community, their love of children, music and dance and their passion for the environment. They left in the thirties but their ideals meant the suburb continued to attract a unique group of people.
To celebrate History Week and its 2017 theme of ‘Australian popular culture’, the Walter Burley Griffin Society is organising a panel of former residents to discuss living in Castlecrag in the early years of the Griffin-inspired community, covering aspects such as entertainment, fashion, the motor car and public transport, play and toys. To accompany the discussion there will also be a slide show of photographs taken by Hermann Junge during the 1920s and 30s and further photographs from the 40s and 50s.
When: Sunday 10 September, 2.00pm to 3.30pm
Afternoon tea will be served afterwards in History House’s grand Victorian reception rooms.
Cost: Adults $20; Concession and Members (Walter Burley Griffin Society) $15; Child $0
Limited spaces, bookings essential
Further information:

Inspired voices – the Griffin legacy at Castlecrag Guided walk Saturday 6 May 2017

10.00am to 12.30pm
To celebrate the Australian Heritage Festival and its 2017 theme of ‘Having a Voice’, the Walter Burley Griffin Society is organising a guided walk at Castlecrag.
The internationally renowned suburb of Castlecrag was designed by Walter Burley Griffin in the 1920s as a residential community inspired by the ecological and aesthetic qualities of the landscape of Middle Harbour and its foreshores.
You are invited to take a guided tour past Griffin houses and through some of the reserves and walkways at Castlecrag and hear, in Griffin’s own words, the special qualities and aspects he implemented at Castlecrag.
Please bring hat, walking shoes and water.
Cost: Adult $20; Concession/Student $15; Child $0
Member (Walter Burley Griffin Society and National Trust) $15
Bookings essential at
Further information: phone 02 9958 4516
or email
Meeting place for the walk – nature strip outside 136 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag.

A circus opera The Carnival 17 and 18 February 2017

The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney, Australia
Special performances of The Carnival will raise money for the Haven Amphitheatre reconstruction project.
Described as “circus opera” The Carnival debuted on London’s West End in 2011 and is composed by very talented Castlecrag-born Chloe Charody.
Another of Chloe’s operas is currently on tour in Europe where she is rapidly becoming a leading female composer.
Soprano Valda Wilson will be The Carnival’s leading lady. Valda, also Castlecrag-born, won Opera Foundation Australia’s scholarship to train at the National Opera Studio, London. She has been a principal soprano at the Oldenburg State Theatre, Germany since 2014 and in December 2016 sang the title role in Handel’s Theodora for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney.
The Carnival will be an amazing performance, and you are encouraged to purchase tickets so as not to miss this fabulous and innovative circus opera and to help fundraising for the Haven Amphitheatre reconstruction project.
The performances are being organised by Haven Promotions Inc. Book now:
Box office (02) 8075 8111
Ticketek 1300 795 012

Inside the Ethereal Eye 14, 15,16, 21, 22, 23 October 2016

(see website below for times)
The Arts West Atrium, Professors Walk, University of Melbourne
Immersive projections exploring Newman College Dining Hall and the ceiling of the Capitol Theatre on an ultra-high-resolution 6 metre wide projection dome, by two of the world’s leading new-media artists, Sarah Kenderdine and Jeffrey Shaw in collaboration with the University of Melbourne’s Transformative Technologies Research Unit. FREE exhibition.

Pholiota Unlocked 7 October to 23 October 2016

(see website below for times)
Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne
This amazing project by the Melbourne School of Design’s Master of Architecture students led by Philip Goad at the University of Melbourne, is open until 23 October 2016. The students have manufactured over 2300 full-size Knitlock tiles in plaster of paris for this 1:1 reconstruction of the Griffins’ own tiny Eaglemont home.
View video clip of the students assembling the tiles to build the replica
The Pholiota Unlocked exhibition is on the ground floor (actually down steps to a lower level) of the Melbourne School of Design, located a few buildings away from Newman College. FREE exhibition.

Ethereal Eye 15 and 16 October 2016

(see website below for times)
Newman College Dining Hall, University of Melbourne
Jonathan Mills’ musical homage to the Griffins to be performed in their Newman College Dining Hall along with stunning projections onto the hall’s magnificent domed interior. Projection artist Ian de Gruchy, plus dancing by Leigh Warren and Delia Silvan. Tickets are $28 and can be booked at

Griffin Talks Saturday 17 September 2016 at 4pm

Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, Castlecrag
Following the open houses there will be two illustrated talks in the nearby Marion Mahony Griffin Hall. The first talk The Melson House Revealed: An Owner’s Perspective will detail the history of this highly significant house designed by Griffin and built in Mason City, USA in 1912. The talk will be given by visiting American art historian and author Peggy Bang, from Mason City, who is owner of the Melson house.

This will be followed by a talk about Marion Mahony Griffin by senior journalist Glenda Korporaal author of the recently published book titled Making Magic: the Marion Mahony Griffin Story.
The events will showcase the artistic, architectural and planning achievements of the Griffins.

Where: Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, Glenaeon Infants School
121 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

Cost: Adult $15; Member $10; Student/Concession $10; Family of four $40
Bookings essential
Enquiries: 9958 4516 or
Presented by the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc.
and supported by Willoughby City Council

View the web video

Griffin Houses Open Day Saturday 17 September 2016

From 10am – 3pm
Immerse yourself in the Griffins’ Castlecrag by visiting the interiors of a number of houses designed by Walter Burley Griffin which will be open for viewing with guided walks going between the houses. This is a rare opportunity to see the interior design features of some of the Griffin houses at Castlecrag built in the 1920s and early 30s.
Where: Starting point 140 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag
Cost: Adult $60; Member $45; Student/Concession $45; Family of four $150
Bookings essential
Presented by the Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc.
and supported by Willoughby City Council

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