Novocastrians Mourn the Demolition of Newcastle’s Most Infamous Landmark, by Meghan Richardson / by Newcastle Discovered

Novocastrians Mourn the Demolition of Newcastle’s Most Infamous Landmark.


On the 17th of September the demolition of the Queen’s Wharf tower in Newcastle began.

After three decades of collectively mocking one of Newcastle’s most iconic landmarks Novocastrians have come together to express their grief over the removal of Queen’s Wharf Tower. 

For reasons completely unclear to us now, in 1988 the council of Newcastle decided to honour the Queen’s bicentenary visit to the area by constructing a forty-meter-high building with an extremely questionable design. The architect, Kevin Snell swears that the towers suggestive shape never rang any alarm bells for him.  Which everyone totally believes…The infamous ‘penis’ tower boasted some of the best views in Newcastle and was a prominent landmark that remained memorable for many locals and visitors.

Tarni Lee was one of the many locals who expressed her sadness about the demolition of an icon that was an important part of Newcastle’s history to her.

“We moved to Newcastle in July 2017 and the first thing we did, literally the first day, was climb up to that tower. My dear god was it a trek up those stairs,” Tarni said. “When I look at it (the tower) I just see my family walking up those stairs and staring out at the top with burning lungs.”

The observation deck officially closed to the public forever last Sunday. The decision to demolish Newcastle’s giant steel genital came after council predicted it would cost $1.6 million dollars over the next four years to attempt a renovation.

Many people have flocked to social media over the past few weeks to share their favourite memories of the tower.

“I remember there was a radio competition for money and you had to come up with a unique idea,” shared Jacquie Collin. “I won, and I cleaned the stairs of the tower with a toothbrush. This was over 20 years ago.”

One Novocastrian who isn’t sad about the tumbling tower is council's chief executive officer, Jeremy Bath, who has previously described the tower as an embarrassment.

 “The tower is often the subject of lewd jokes and negative reports from visitors, and it's certainly not a positive reflection on Newcastle as a modern city and a host city for major events," Mr Bath said.

Other locals, however, have very different opinions about the demolition of Queen’s Wharf tower.

“I’m a bit sad,” expressed Thomas Liveck. “I feel like the tower was a significant component in the overall picture of Newcastle. Despite the common phallic association, its architectural style seemed to be in harmony with the Novocastrian cityscape.”

Over the years the wear and tear on the tower have continued to deteriorate it. The building was often subject to vandalism, and the breath taking 180 steps to the top without any kind of disability access has led to the decreasing popularity of the Queens Wharf tower. With a heavy heart Newcastle’s favourite phallic building will begin deconstruction on September 17th, although council warns it may take a few days to completely demolish the tower.