A redevelopment scheme involving an all-weather "bubble" roof over Garema Place designed to help boost Civic as a retailing area was reported in The Canberra Times on this day 41 years ago.
Garema Place bookshop proprietor Teki Dalton, architect Bryan Dowling and developer Alan Marr joined forces to draw up the scheme, an idea of Mr Dalton's. Mr Marr and Mr Dowling followed up on the idea during an extended tour of modern covered "megastructure" shopping centres in North America's snow belt.
The initial design for their scheme involved a first-floor balcony walkway circling Garema Place, allowing pedestrians to shop on two levels of the square. Mr Marr believed a glassed roof, carried by a simple "three-dimensional truss frame" of the type used in industrial architecture, would provide all-weather protection for the square comparatively cheaply, creating a green, attractive "microenvironment" inside allowing shoppers to stroll comfortably or stop to drink coffee in the sun.
"Civic can be a magnet. But it would take a project of this size, in the very near future, to make it work," he said.