Gone, but never forgotten: Mark Baljak

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Gone, but never forgotten: Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a business partner, a mentor but above all else, a best mate.  He passed away on Thursday 8th of November after a battle with cancer.  He was 37.

Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. 

One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades.  In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

He has shared much of this passion firstly through SkyscraperCity and more recently, for the past 5 years here on Urban Melbourne / Urban.com.au.

Mark's biggest legacy is this website itself. 

What started as a hobby - researching new planning applications in the early 2000s - over time developed into an unmatched publicly accessible project database that both the community and industry enjoy access to.  

It was Mark who manually researched each and every project, and then added them to the database. It was Mark who developed the journalistic nous that shined a spotlight on development projects that represented the massive change to metropolitan Melbourne over the past two decades. 

It's Mark who I will sorely miss - from his philosophical views on beer, to the many arguments about the state of politics and its relationship to how we grow and transport ourselves around our cities. 

But most of all I'll miss his friendship and his counsel - he had a superb knack for delivering a swift kick up the backside when one tended to be aloof, but he was always there when you needed him most.

Rest in peace Big Chief.


A rosary and funeral mass for Mark will be offered at St John Bosco Church, 22 Muriel Street Niddrie, on Thursday 15th of November at 10am.

In lieu of flowers, the Baljak family request a donation be made to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation here.

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Discussion (27 comments)

Adrian's picture
Very shocked and saddened to hear this. A great guy I had the pleasure of knowing over the past 15 years. His presence and contributions on this forum are going to be sorely missed. Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. RIP MB xoxo
Marc Pallisco's picture
Shocking news. His passion for property and Melbourne was evident. He will be missed.
Michael Bird's picture
It was an honour to know Mark for the past 18 months. He was a great guy and will be missed by us all. RIP Baljak, a true legend
CityZen's picture
Sorry to hear it. Never knew Mark but he was obviously very passionate about this city being the best it can be. His contributions to this forum have been an insightful and entertaining source of info on urban planning and are a great legacy. He also just looks like a great bloke in that photo. Vale
de Valois's picture
What sad news. A tragic loss. It is a sobering reminder to us all of our fragility in this world. Mark has left us with a wonderful legacy of reflections on current urban development, particularly in the Melbourne context. Let's hope others will be able to continue his work by posting on this site. Sincere condolences to Mark's friends and family.
Glenn's picture
What sad news. What a legacy he has left for us Skyscraper and urban planning geeks. May he RIP in the knowledge of what he has achieved and left for all of us.
Dean's picture
Very sad news. A good guy who I'd met with Tays about 15 years ago through our meet ups at SSC. Enjoyed a number of laughs and a beer or 3 as well. Vale
Ugo Fanizza's picture
What a champion of a bloke. I am going to miss my mate. Loved this bloke so much. Nothing fazed him. Loyal, considerate, always there and always keen to offer his services. A life cut too short - totally unfair - at a time when his career and life journey had taken on some positive and exciting changes.

I am convinced the really good do die young my friend - our loss and God's gain.

RIP CBF Roofing.
zenith's picture
Terrible news.
melbourne's picture
I'm shocked, this is such sad news. Mark was a great guy, his passion and hard work towards this site will be sorely missed.Thinking of you guys during this time.
Martin Mankowski's picture
Can't believe it. I still remember they day I first met him, and how great it was to meet someone who shared my passion for dark beers! I hope they have lots of stouts on tap for you mate in Heaven!
Just Me's picture
Always enjoyed reading Mark's articles over the years - may his legacy live on through urban.com.au.
John Armsby's picture
I'm in shock. Mark told me back in Feb that he was in hospital but never let on how serious. He was a truly good guy and I loved corresponding and catching up with him. He has left a great legacy in Urban/Urban Melbourne and had a great passion for this city and its future.
Rest in Peace buddy and thank you for your contribution to architecture in this great city
I will blow the froth off one for you tonight
John Armsby
cathcath's picture
Such sad news, RIP Mark.
Mena Mikhail's picture
May he rest in peace. Through his website, I felt like I knew him even though I never met him.
Craig Barkla's picture
A tragic loss for our industry.
Peter Maltezos's picture
I didn't know he was ill, a real shock!
A real loss to the Urban Melbourne and SkyscraperCity community.
A larrikin and gentleman to boot, he will be missed.
Vale Mark.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

Lozza's picture
Absolutely shocked and saddened by this News.. : (

I met Mark along with many other great guys who shared the same passions when the Skyscrapercity Forum started up years back and he was a fun loving, and very lovely and kind bloke..

His passion for Skyscrapers and love for Melbourne was always evident across the forums

Rest In Peace mate and you will be in my Thoughts and Prayers tonight


pdoff's picture
A tragedy for someone so young and with so much passion for what they do. My heart goes out to his family.
db2's picture
A very young man.
Much ahead of him still.
Gone way too soon.

I can not believe it.
Much respect to Mark Baljak.
Chris Seals's picture
Shocked at this tragic news, only heard of his passing yesterday. A true gentleman and scholar. RIP Mark, always remembered
Nicholas Harrison's picture
Such a sad loss.Mark was such a great guy and will be fondly remembered.
Andrew Dun's picture
Amazing contribution, tragic loss.
RadSB's picture
What a fantastic contribution Mark has had to the daily lives of urban Melbournians. This site has become a treasured read for many of us interested in architecture and design.RIP
lindy hayter's picture
What a legend!
lindy hayter's picture
I guess you could say he's an.... Urban Legend.
uewepuep's picture
Sorry, I'm pretty out of the loop these days. I don't check up on the old skyscraper gang all that often :(

Heartbreaking news. Mark was a top bloke.
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