The battle to preserve a cherished Adelaide CBD landmark has intensified with the unveiling of plans proposing its transformation into a café. The Crown & Anchor, a venerable establishment on Grenfell St, faces complete interior restructuring to accommodate the new vision.Under the proposed scheme, the iconic 171-year-old pub’s front bar will give way to a retail or café space, while the first floor is slated for conversion into a “yoga/dancing” area. Above the current premises, a towering 19-storey building is envisioned to house accommodation for over 700 students.In their submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel, MasterPlan, representing developers Wee Hur, argued that the historical significance of the building lies primarily in its southern and eastern facades, discounting the interior alterations over time as erasing any noteworthy heritage value.Wee Hur, known for projects such as the 17-storey UniLodge high-rise on Gray St and the $90 million Y Suites on Waymouth St, has faced public backlash following the announcement of their plans for the Crown & Anchor site.
Greens MLC Robert Simms has voiced opposition, advocating for the preservation of the Crown & Anchor’s cultural and social significance alongside its physical structure. He has introduced a motion to amend existing planning and heritage laws to reflect these broader considerations, to be debated in Parliament on May 1.
Describing the proposed development as “monstrous,” Simms has garnered support for his motion and is organizing a rally on April 28, culminating in a march to Parliament House. The Save the Cranker Facebook page is spearheading the effort, encouraging supporters to join the protest with musical accompaniment.