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Published December 5th 2013
Update December 5th 2013
The former City Steam Biscuit Factory was demolished by Hines Property on January 16 2013 to make it easier to build a budget hotel next door.
In a recent article about the City Steam Biscuit Factory (the original name for the Jade Monkey live music venue), we saw that the building constructed in 1872 is under threat of demolition, despite being the first Balfours Bakery in SA, and a significant live music venue over a 50 year period.
The building at 29 Twin St Adelaide is scheduled to be demolished to enable the developer of a 17 storey hotel next door to save on the construction costs, not because there is any need otherwise.
Heritage Register Nomination We can now reveal that the building has been nominated for inclusion on the State Heritage Register, which gives the State Heritage Council some additional powers under Section 30 of the Heritage Places Act 1993 to make an order requiring a person to stop any work or activity, or prohibiting a person from starting any work or activity, that may destroy or reduce the heritage significance of that place.
Of course that power will only be exercised by the State Heritage Council if the Council is of the opinion— a) that a place has sufficient heritage significance to justify its preservation, or that a place should be evaluated in order to determine whether its heritage significance justifies its preservation; and b) that an order under this section is necessary to protect the place
We understand that a strong case has been submitted to the Heritage Council * that the Jade Monkey building is of outstanding significance to the South Australian live music community, and has been a base for the culture for nearly 50 years
that the original use of the building for Balfour's first bakery in Adelaide in 1852 establishes a strong connection to the food culture of South Australia, and a large part of the community
Of course it is up to the Heritage Council to determine the extent of this cultural connection as a matter of urgency, given that the Jade Monkey lease ends at the end of September. However strong evidence has been provided which is expected to be sufficient to ensure further investigation.
Part of SA Music Culture Legendary Adelaide music promoter Alex Innocenti owned The Cellar in 1969 in the Jade Monkey building. He is greatly saddened by the threat to the Jade Monkey venue, and has kindly made some images available showing The Cellar in 1969.
Alex recalls that national and international acts such as Peter Paul & Mary used to come to The Cellar after their performances to mix with local musicians.
A sign of the continuing interest in music from The Cellar's era is this CD which is still in demand.
There have been statements of protest on many music related websites all over Australia, but disappointingly neither the Greens nor Senator Xenophon have been willing to become involved in what they say is a State matter.
Food Culture Icon
Two Balfours products have been classified by the National Trust as SA heritage icons, the Frog Cake and the Pie Floater. This underlines the strong association with South Australian food culture that the Balfours name has carried over the last 100 years, and it would be very sad indeed to see their first bakery demolished for no good reason.
Indeed this amusing and popular 1970's Holden advertisement capitalises on the food connection with its reference to meat pies - at that time synonymous with the Balfours name in South Australia
Surprisingly the South Australian owned San Remo company which owns the Balfours name has made no comment about the impending demolition of their first bakery.
A 1970 Poster Advertising a Concert at Glenelg Town Hall
Other concerned parties
The Jade Monkey building was the place in 1928 where the first meeting of the South Australian Aviculture Society was held, making it the first group of its kind in Australia and only the third in the English speaking world.
While recent government funding cuts have prevented the National Trust from actively taking a part in the campaign to save the Jade Monkey, it is understood that they are very concerned.
There continues to be strong concern from individuals in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and there will be much interest in the outcome of this application to the State Heritage Council.
Have you spoken to your local MP about this issue yet?
Honestly, I am not optimistic on the impending outcome for this building. Petitions are a good idea but they often do not achieve much. Being heritage listed is its best hope but it is only being considered for listing now. There is not much time left before demolition. So, it is a matter of urgency. How fast can a consideration for heritage listing be passed through?
You are going to great lengths to preserve our history. And the fact that you have made me and others aware of the significance of this building is a really great thing. Otherwise me and many others included could have dismissed this place as just another building.
Somethings are worth fighting for but do not lose too much sleep over it.
... before alex innocente "The Cellar" was a jazz venue in the early 60's; with large blown up b&w posters of Miles, Coltrane up on the walls; black coffee and smokey; people like roger Frampton, bobby gebert and ted nettlebeck played... I was very early teens and dug the music... my peers at the time thought I was so weird. cheers, Andrew
Anything is possible. My Son and his band have performed there a number of times. It is a viable venue in a good location. At some point, rather than whining about foreign investors buying up and developing our inner city areas for MORE international student accommodation and big profits, we need to send a strong messsage about the importance of providing venues to showcase the incredible talent in this state. The way things are going, new legislation on noise restrictions in residential inner city areas will kill the live entertainment industry. One petition going around is located here:http://www.change.org/petitions/lord-mayor-save-the-jade-monkey-and-live-music-in-adelaide and there is considerable support from Adelaide Council members who recognise the importance of not only preserving the heritage and atmosphere of the place, but also the need to maintain venues for the public and artists' benefit. It's not over yet! Please consider supporting this cause in any way you can. Thanks! Poppy