PRESERVING HISTORY: Architect Roger Todd, pictured at Caloundra Lighthouse, is an advocate for saving the region's post-war
PRESERVING HISTORY: Architect Roger Todd, pictured at Caloundra Lighthouse, is an advocate for saving the region's post-war Barry ALSOP

Meet the man who fights to save our history

CALOUNDRA architect Roger Todd has spent years lobbying to save the region's rich post-war building heritage.

Some, like the one in Wilson Ave in Dicky Beach, he has managed to restore.

Others, including Ma and Pa Bendall's house in Caloundra, have been demolished and replaced by new buildings.

Mr Todd is also the architect who helped restore the Caloundra Lighthouse to its original condition.

He has completed a study on Sunshine Coast places worth preserving and hopes more will be done to save the region's beach shacks.

Once these homes, such as those at Coolum Beach, are demolished, it will be virtually impossible to get this vital piece of Sunshine Coast history back

"The post-war period is interesting in our history," Mr Todd said. "With war coming to an end, there was a real optimism reflected in the post-war baby boom.

"People flocked to the beach and went camping.

"Beach houses came as the next step up from camping and they are quite distinctive. Homes in the city were primary residences, with their marble columns to show a person's place in the world.

"At the beach, it was much more relaxed and the territorial side of things was not so pronounced. They didn't need fences, and (kept) the natural vegetation."

He said these kinds of homes, of which a number remained across the Coast, were "quite important in our culture". But the chances of saving these homes in built-up areas including Mooloolaba, Alex or even the Coolum beachfront were less than in an area such as Moffat Beach.

"It is a difficult area of conservation," Mr Todd said.

"It is probably going to be easier in suburbs like Moffat Beach where the blocks are smaller."

He said anything to preserve this part of our heritage was valuable.

"This doesn't mean we have to mothball places," he said. "There is development potential. We can always have a Plan A and a Plan B."

Coolum architect Dragan Majstorovic said many people were saddened by the demise of beach shacks.

"Perhaps we need some kind of development control plan, where you keep what you can and prove what you can't before knocking it down," he said.

"We can also salvage what there is by keeping the worker's cottage out front and recladding out back and extend with a more contemporary character.

"We won't see an increase in this type of activity until we value what is there."

Mr Majstorovic said what people were knocking down was "a different way of living".

"It's not just sticks and stones, it's far more ephemeral than that."


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