Corruption City

“Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.”
Joseph P. Kennedy

Haven’t had much architecture lately. A building involved in the jailing of a Premier that surprisingly wasn’t Brian Burke for a change. Liberal Ray O’Connor was found to have accepted a cheque for $25 000 from Bond corpration in the 1980’s to bribe councillors to approve this pile of shit on the beach at Scarborough, Perth’s worst beach. Despite apparently keeping the money himself, the council still approved said shitpile.

The lazy Aussie in his experience of italian wedding videos often had to work here where the cheap bastards would never feed us photographers or the band, leading to even shoddier video work than usual from me, and surly renditions of Unchained Melody from the bands. Revolting inside and out, with a history even uglier, the building is soon to be a vanished worst as plans for demolition and a new erection are finalised. The section in the foreground is like a Dr Who set, and is also possibly made from polystyrene.


About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in worst architecture, worst beach, worst people, worst politician, worst pub/hotel/design, worst venue design and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Corruption City

  1. skink says:

    blow it up

    blow it up


  2. Johnny B. Goode says:

    As bad as it is, I think I’ll be a little bit sad when it’s gone. Like a bad haircut. You know it sucks, but it defines you.


  3. B.T. says:

    The tower isn’t so bad, there are millions like it worldwide. It just seems rather odd to be there all by itself in Scarborough.

    Is it just me, or does any one else think the low building looks like some sort of anthropomorphic space ship from this angle?


  4. BrownBook says:

    Didn’t someone try and blow it up once? At least one of the cranes during construction…

    Despite driving past it a million times I now see that the front bit looks like a mixture of 80s Louvre-inspired pyramid and chicken’s head, beak and all. And those concrete seat ads are always a classy addition to any streetscape.


  5. Rolly says:

    I was living in Scarborough at the time and a member of the Residents and Ratepayers Association that did its damnedest to get the construction of this misplaced monstrosity stopped.
    Many called for a proper enquiry into the shenanigans surrounding the issue but, with both sides of the political scene having their hands smelling of the printing ink used on banknotes, there was never even a glimmer of hope.
    The new proposals don’t seem to be substantially better than the existing pile of shit.


  6. skink says:

    on second thoughts, let it stand, a permanent reminder of what happens when we let developers have their own way without any planning. It is concrete proof that developers haven’t got a clue.

    The philosophy of “build it, and they will come” did not work, Scarboro did not turn into the Gold Coast (thank God)

    It is the same daft delusion that gave us Burswood and the Convention Centre, and is a living monument to why we should not let developers loose on the Perth foreshore.

    this is what you’ll get: cheap, ugly, empty, and having no relationship with its surroundings – lots of nasty Indonesian-quality condos like the ones going up behind the casino


  7. Skink ,The style of the Casino units is Intalian


  8. Levon says:

    I know they used to put up all the Telethon people here, before they moved to the Convention Centre.

    But I’m curious… have any Worst of Perther’s actually stayed here? I’ve never seen the inside of it. Is it equally horrid? Worse? Geometrically-inspired shades of brown carpet? Wallpaper on the minibar fridge? The kind of rooms you never want to see with the aid of a blue CSI light? Room service kebabs?


  9. Adam says:

    The bit in front reminds me of Blake’s 7, or Battlestar Galactica.


  10. Like all hotels it has gone through several refurbs on the inside. It was very 80’s (of course) originally, and I think there were some nautically themed rooms and bars. Was there a year ago for a conference, but didn’t stay. The outside looks tattier than the photo. I think someone fell from one of the balconies at one time. Might have been a court case about it.


  11. #9 Adam. There was a DR Who where there was a big mining machine worked by robots. It looks a bit like that.


  12. rhubarbwhine says:

    Like Rolly, I was a local, and at that time, my teen years had been spent in the snake pit, the various hamburger joints, with friends in the shabby apartments that used to be above the hamburger joints.

    I remember the days of running across a huge empty sand space, from the grassy hill with the wishing well, dowwn to the water, complete with melting drumstick and bag of hot salty chips.

    ‘Observation City’ changed a lot more than the landscape, it changed our lives.


  13. David Cohen says:

    We had the Media Ball & Awards there in 2004 and 2005. It was fine as a venue, although it was disconcerting to see people in beach gear wander past ballgoers in black tie. The thing I remember most about the rooms were how the balcony table and chairs were chained to the concrete, lest some exciteable person threw them over the side. The rooms themselves were adequate.

    What do TWOPers think of ??


  14. Paracleet says:

    Ahh 6pr..

    Can I have Barra as my avatar?


  15. skink says:

    re WAToday:

    glad you told us of this – it seems to have arrived without fanfare, and will no doubt offer excellent content for TWOP.

    do we need a local news website? sorry, do we need another local news website slightly less shite than the rest?

    most of the content is fed from other Fairfax oulets, plus some local “colour” up the front to make it look as if they wrote it in Perth:

    “isn’t Northbridge a dump?”
    “storm hits Perth”
    “local man dies in car crash”
    “isn’t Troy Barbagallo a twat?”
    “Heath Ledger – what do we do now the only famous person from Perth has croaked? are we back to putting Megan Gale on everything?”

    seems like they blew all the best ideas on the first day

    Howard Sattler and Patti Chong? is that the best they could come up with? I thought Sattler was still in Coventry

    I immediately propose a tagteam deathmatch to find the King and Queen of banality:

    Howard Sattler and Patti Chong vs Paul Nurry and Pam Casellas.

    my money is on Patti ‘cos I hear that bitch fights dirty


  16. CK says:

    We’ll see how WAToday develops, but I’m still banging my head against the keyboard over last weekend’s wraparound on the Waste advertising their relaunched website (which apparently contains “fantastic new features” such as horoscopes).

    Seriously, WTF was that washed-out grey cover, stupid logo masquerading as an ampersand, and web address dumped at random on the page meant to promote? Can these Fwits do anything right?

    BTW, 1985 rang me and it wants its newspaper back.


  17. #15 Para. Yes you can. Find a pic and go to It does work well now.


  18. skink says:

    oh Lordy,

    I just read the “Pep Talk” blog on WAToday, with some daft tart who is going to give us “all the must-have knowledge for breathing in this modern world.” I’m excited to know what new methods she has invented: thorough her arse, perhaps.

    couldn’t they have called it The Western Australia Today website, which would have given us a better acronym.

    I think it needs its own TWOP entry on which can try to strangle this deformed runt at birth. I note they have got some shill comments on their blogs telling them how wonderful and insightful their op-ed pieces are. I have tried leaving some sarcastic counterpoint, but they don’t seem to get past the moderator.

    Opinion features on Bill Henson and female binge drinking? that’s last week’s news. They are one day old and already obsolete.

    there is some spotty oik called Liam Phillips promising to do alt pieces about the ‘sublime and ridiculous’, so no doubt he will be pinching your material. ‘No topic off limits”, and no blog safe from plagiarism, I’ll bet. He has already got the knack of raising one eyebrow in an ironic manner.


  19. skink says:

    ooh, after you lodge your first posting on TWAToday your following posts seem to get through unmoderated. there is little traffic on the site, so I recommed all TWOP regulars log in to TWAToday at once and monster their blogs.

    come on, let’s keep ’em honest


  20. Frank Calabrese says:

    Well 6PR and 96FM are owned by Fairfax media, so it is to be expected – I wonder if Perth Now will continue to use 6PR audio ?

    The West chucked a Tanty in the dead tree version because Carps was going to launch it.

    Maybe this will scare the living shit out of Limpwrist and “maybe” they’ll clean up their act.


  21. That’s like here. if you have been approved once it is automatic, unless you have links in your post.


  22. Rage says:

    Opposition to and perth now? It can only be good news. Slightly less shit still means competition, which could possibly maybe perhaps lead to a higher quality online news. Maybe.


  23. Now you’re here Frank, can you remember someone falling from the balcony of Obstetrician City? I seem to remember an attempted prosecution of a staff member..?


  24. Mazarina says:

    I have a personal vendetta against this building and am absolutely thrilled about its upcoming demise! Ever since I went to a college ball here and tripped on the gaudy carpeted stairs, chipping my front teeth on the concrete ledge of a planter as I returned to earth. Highly unpleasant for all concerned.


  25. Frank Calabrese says:

    [Now you’re here Frank, can you remember someone falling from the balcony of Obstetrician City? I seem to remember an attempted prosecution of a staff member..?]

    Yep, it happened a couple of years ago .

    The staff were cleared of all charges.,10117,19417271-29277,00.html


  26. The Intellectual Bogan says:

    From memory, the rooms in Observation City are the standard, bland, international hotel variety. Nothing to get excited about at all.

    Unlike the rooms at the Dongara Hotel-Motel, where I stayed a few years ago and where it is, forever, 1973. Employees from the Westrail Centre must stay there for their holidays.


    • rebalehan says:

      I used to work at the Dongara Hotel and I could take offence to that comment, except it’s true. The function room by the pool was even worse decor-wise


  27. squib says:

    It was involved in some sort of orgie scandal not long ago, wasn’t it?


  28. And I suppose you didn’t take any photos IB?


  29. Frank Calabrese says:

    I remember when they opened Observation City, 6WF (now 720) did an outside broadcast with Greg Marston & John Cranfield of Zenith Music fame and they provided the soundtrack to the fireworks display – which was rather pointless as it was in glorious mono.


  30. The Intellectual Bogan says:

    Sadly, no. An unforgiveable oversight on my part. Although I’m not convinced that the wife’s steam powered Pentax would have coped with the combination of brown and olive green carpet, brown tiles and globular orange lampshades, well enough to do the place justice.

    It is (or was, for all I know) well worth a visit if you’re in the area and interested in the history of domestic decor.


  31. squib says:

    I meant orgy not orgie

    Where is the edit function when you need it


  32. Cookster says:

    Good lord, I have a long history with Ob City, much of it very good, but not enough to stop me putting my hand up to be the one to depress the lever on the detonator.

    I actually felt the reverberation of the bomb blast the night they tried to bring down the crane, I spent much of my late teens looking through the bottom of the beer jug at The Lookout and stayed there the night of my wedding… DC, you’ll be pleased to know we pissed off quick smart for Rotto the next morning.

    I was also at the opening of the prestigious Clocktower presided over by Charlie Court in the late 70s… a shame that young Dick had to go one better with his Bell-end tower. Small willy syndrome?

    I do miss the old Minder Binders, Gay Gordon’s etc where one honed their pinball skills with pockets full of 20 cent pieces.

    What’s there today can be best summed up by a trip to the hotel restaurant for the shmorgusboord experience – steer clear of the dripping aircon and never, ever eat the squid.

    Knock it down.


  33. Paracleet says:



  34. tomthrettt says:

    I love observation city! when is it getting demolished/becoming abndoned so we can explore it!
    just as a side note, as i believe he deserves credit, THe architect was Robert Cann and assoc. You should see the original drwaings nad renders, absolutely beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Rolly says:

    Had it been located at the top of the Doubleview rise, maybe, but not right in the middle of everyone’s view of the sunset.
    Gaawd! What a lot of muddled thinking goes on in the corridors of power.


  36. I’m out of the loop – what is going to replace it? Are they bringing back the snake-pit?


  37. Tom, Archie, there are “artist impressions” around somewhere. Lotta glass.


  38. Frank Calabrese says:

    I remember when they opened Observation City, 6WF (now 720) did an outside broadcast with Greg Marston & John Cranfield of Zenith Music fame and they provided the soundtrack to the fireworks display – which was rather pointless as it was in glorious mono.

    And they were playing music and doing requests for the guests they were interviewing of 50’s & 60’s Music (it was the old Golden Years of RocknRoll from CD, which were just started being played at the ABC and they were out of phase on air because of the way stereo recordings were made back then (or recreated stereo from Mono) which had the music and backing vocals in one channel, and the lead vocals in the other.


  39. Vic Demised says:

    No expense was spared for the big opening of Snobservation City, Frank. Even we poor entertainers were treated to crayfish and chardy. Though yours truly was made to submit to a thorough search of his juggling gear, as His Royal Anus Alan Bond was attending and bomb threats had been made. They should have searched the entertainers’ gear on the way out as well -a certain “Krazy” clown/magician took off with his suitcase full of top notch plonk.


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  41. The Legend 101 says:

    Its just a hotel.


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  43. handy andy says:

    2013 and the c*** is still standing :(


  44. Gobsmacked says:

    AND they are refurbishing it!! It’s a mess inside, and the pedestrian bridge to the beach is apparently too dangerous to walk on. Why didn’t they just close it down. I hear it’s going to become apartments now.
    There is no such thing as good news when it comes to Perth “architecture” – it all big, new and glassy, except when it’s the convention centre and there’s a nice view to look at. . . they close it in. Why? Why? Why?


  45. Anonymous says:

    “Scheduled for demoltion soon”

    *Laughs in 2021*


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