K062 : Cahills Lookout | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

K062 : Cahills Lookout

Item details

Name of item: K062 : Cahills Lookout
Primary address: 258-276, 248A Cliff Drive, Katoomba, NSW 2780
Parish: Megalong
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
258-276, 248A Cliff DriveKatoombaBlue Mountains MegalongCookPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Criterion (a) Historical
Cahills Lookout is an example of the continuing efforts of the local community to develop tourist facilities in the Blue Mountains.

Criterion (c) Aesthetic
Cahills Lookout is an interesting example of post World War II design utilising simple geometry and modern materials in the landscaping of a public lookout. As such it has local significance.

Criterion (g) Representativeness
Cahills Lookout is a representative example of the continuing thrust to create a series of viewing areas along the Katoomba escarpment.
Date significance updated: 15 Feb 05
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1959-1959
Physical description: Cahills Lookout is located along a track at the western end of Cliff Drive, Katoomba. Near the street a pergola constructed with rock-faced sandstone piers and concrete beams marks the beginning of a path that leads to the main lookout.

At the main lookout the ground has been paved in a simple octagonal pattern. At the centre of the octagon is a square pedestal recording the opening of the lookout by J.J. Cahill. The text reads:

‘At the invitation of the Blue Mountains City Council the Honourable J.J. Cahill MLA, Premier of NSW, officially named this lookout on Saturday 6th June 1959.’

A plate at the top of the pedestal, which probably gave topographical information, has been removed. The octagonal viewing area has simple pipe railing infilled with chain wire at the outer edges.

Paths lead from either side of the main lookout to supplementary lookout points below.

Views from the lookout are restricted, since it lies within a fold in the escarpment at the southern end of Peckmans Plateau, but one can look due west over Megalong Valley towards Megalong Head.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:15 Feb 05
Modifications and dates: An additional structure between the main entry and the lookout platform has been removed.
Current use: Lookout
Former use: Lookout

History

Historical notes: The western part of Cliff Drive was opened along the escarpment in Katoomba in 1937 (Woods, Street Whys, 25). This simplified public access to a variety of viewing places and stimulated the creation of lookouts. A rough track was cleared as a result in the 1940s, leading westwards from a point close to the western end of Cliff Drive to a viewing place to the south side of Peckmans Plateau, where another lookout was being cleared at this time as a picnic place. (Fox, Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopaedia, 130; Woods, Yellow Rock to Green Gully, 30).

The track was improved by the Blue Mountains City Council in 1959, an entrance pergola was constructed and a lookout of a conventional sort was completed. The Premier of New South Wales, J.J. Cahill, came to Katoomba and formally opened the lookout on 6 June 1959. (Fox, 35) A plaque was placed on the lookout to commemorate the event. The plaque has survived, although the plate which probably contained the usual information about what could be seen from the spot has been removed.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cahills Lookout is an example of the continuing efforts of the local community to develop tourist facilities in the Blue Mountains.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Cahills Lookout is an interesting example of post World War II design utilising simple geometry and modern materials in the landscaping of a public lookout. As such it has local significance.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Cahills Lookout is a representative example of the continuing thrust to create a series of viewing areas along the Katoomba escarpment.
Integrity/Intactness: Reasonable
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLEP1991K06227 Dec 91 183 
Heritage study K062   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983K062Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992K062Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Review2003K062Jack, Hubert, Lavelle, MorrisIJ; PH; CM Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008K062Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBrian Fox2001Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encylopaedia, 2nd edition
WrittenChristopher J Woods1999Yellow Rock to Green Gully: Place Names in the Blue Mountains
WrittenChristopher J Woods1997Street Whys: The origins of Blue Mountains City Street Names

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1170739


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