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National Archived Memory

Despite living a few suburbs away from the National Archives of Australia site in East Victoria Park, I would drive or ride the bus past a few times a week.

I never realised how much that place had a hold on me.

Until demolition began, which was completed yesterday.

Perhaps it was due to the level of fascination I felt for the place. Or the fear I let overwhelm me when I thought back to the creepy darkness shrouded in deathly silence. Only to be disturbed by an occasional dripping fire hose or a loud motorist on the busy surrounding roads. Hidden forms of life hiding from the light of my torch in both massive archive storage rooms, ready to swallow up my existence.

Visions of creative and extraterrestrial, fantastical or dangerous creatures lurking about in the dark.

Perhaps my fear of certain types of darkness, particularly that of pitch black set in unfamiliar environments, aggravates the phobia.

Plus the mystery of what coulda/woulda/shoulda unfolded in my exploration of the basement areas had I persevered, instead of running up the stairs to exit for fear of my life. Despite no obvious direct threat other than what my imagination was conjuring.

Despite taking a huge amount of photos and videos, which culminated into two YouTube videos and subsequently captured the emotions and feelings I felt at the time, demolition was concrete evidence it was all over.

There was no reason to let my mind continue being captivated. It was gone.

I wasn't the only one to feel like this. The site's most prolific graffiti artist (D5POSe) who spent an extensive amount of time there stated it, 'was a second home to me.'

In May, after a fire broke out in the big front room where the front door was, temporary fencing was installed around the front perimeter. Interestingly, it was only six days after a minor electrical fire at the Canberra National Archives.

Perhaps the fire at the East Victoria Park site hastened the demolition, considering it was well and truly graffitied, vandalised, damaged, salvaged and flooded on multiple occasions.

Especially if it exacerbated the dangerous threat level of asbestos and mould exposure, as well as many other potential health hazards.

Regardless, it was well overdue to be knocked down.

And it has.

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