Sunday, January 17, 2016

A'Beckett Street for Sunday Selections

Join in with River and others for Sunday Selections.

Aside from the first photo of a very nice building perhaps in Collins Street, the other shots were all taken in A'Beckett Street in the city. It was never a street of high style and so was pretty well left alone while many other city streets were 'modernised'. The photos kind of speak for themselves, nice human scale buildings without being too flash.


A small part of what is the Victorian Historical Society building, once the Australian Army Medical Corps Drill Hall.


This seems to be  apartments now but began life as a box factory. It went on to become the Salvation Army Gill Memorial Home for Men, in other words charity accommodation for homeless men.





An unlikely looking building for childcare, but beside the building is a courtyard with the ubiquitous sails to protect the children from the sun while they play outdoors.


A quite sympathetic upper extension.


I believe the Spiritualists Union has sold this building. Developers are all over the street but an owner occupier has paid $3.24 million for the building. It seems, unusually for Melbourne, to be made of sandstone.


Once a printing works and previously owned by the Catholic Church and has now it seems been bought by a Singapore developer for????. Yep, a highrise tower. Just what Melbourne needs. I hope this building can stay, even if a tower is built behind it.


Construction workers taking a lunch break at the Oxford Scholar Hotel at the Swanston Street end of A'Beckett Street. I too am thirsty but I would have to unpleasantly squash in besides two hot and sweaty tradesmen.



26 comments:

  1. Andrew as I can see nice buildings. But I have a question Are motorbikes poular at your place? In Poland are not popular in big cities.

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    1. Gosia, it is a simple question, but hard to answer. I would not say popular but they are not unusual. In my workplace of about 300 people, maybe four people ride motorcycles. Most people don't think they are safe on a motorbike, and they are correct.

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  2. Well my dear chap I hardly know what to say but in times past you may have happened upon my account* of being sent to Pentridge for being broke at Seventeen and upon release spending a few nights at the Gill. And so, what a disaster to see the joint pictured here.
    Oh my goodness, Salvation Army!- men not looking the full two bob and women in silly hats. Yes, I went there, the Gill, shown into a dorm of forty snoring men, some with wet towels over their heads. Then in the morning to wake these dogs up beautiful sweet music came from speakers on the wall....And then the coughing started. And what coughing!- HACK! HACK! HACK! HEEEAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!! On it went. You could barely hear the music anymore but it was still there, kept going.
    The Salvation Army. Dear Old Salvos. They raised bastards in orphanages. Got them a factory job the minute they turned fourteen.
    Yes indeed, they're a pragmatic crowd, the salvos. Maybe that's why their op shops are so expensive.

    *Copperwitch.

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    1. RH, the Salvos did not treat all children so well, as we have heard over the past few years. Good local colour added to A'Beckett Street.

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  3. A street with charm. Which I hope it can retain.

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    1. EC, it is at risk but many old buildings seem to being kept. It is quite a mix of modern and old.

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  4. Always enjoy looking at buildings in Melbourne.
    Merle............

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  5. Oh go on! Squash in there, start a conversation, then tell us all about it.
    I do like all the untouched old places, but I'm stunned at the $3.24 million for that little sandstone place. So much for so little.

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    1. River, it wasn't conversation I had in mind. Maybe the sandstone place is deep to the back of the block.

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  6. So you have Harley shops there too, eh? Here, they're for the elite motorcycle riders but highly prized as a status symbol. I rode a motor bike growing up, and first year in college, could not afford otherwise. 60 mph tops with severe vibration. Had several wrecks, so yes, even worse now with more cars on the road and people on cells talking and texting all the while.

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    1. Strayer, yes we do and most of the Harley riders are a law unto themselves. So , you would agree that motorbikes are quite dangerous. Tens of thousands get fined and lose demerit points for using their mobile phones, but it doesn't seem to stop them.

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  7. Like Strayer, I had a motor bike when younger... wouldn't catch me riding one on the road now. I do miss it, however. All that lovely leather gear. ;-)

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    1. Yes Mistress Jac, I remember that you were a leather wearer.

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  8. When Issigonis designed the Mini he wouldn't allow radios to be installed in them. Too distracting, he said. And now cars have lounge room stereos. I don't ride motorbikes anymore; too many cars, too many drivers on phones, and on drugs. A lot of blokes riding now do it for the thrill of possibly getting killed. I see them on the Western Freeway.

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    1. No radios in early Minis RH. Interesting. The current Mini dash design had to be modified for Australia because the speedo was to far to the left of the driver.

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  9. ahhh now you are talking my language: architecture and its preservation.

    The Salvation Army did a great job making the old factory into The Gill Memorial Home for Homeless Men. As ever, people have become less caring about our down-and-outs over the decades - it used to be large, then it was smaller, then it closed altogether. Shame on our community.

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    1. Hels, and with the Gatwick closing, where will they all live?

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  10. I like the building with the modern upper extension. They did a really good job combining the old and the new.

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    1. I thought so Ad Rad. It is a major street intersection, and so should have been done right.

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  11. Enjoyed the tour. Some lovely looking buildings there.

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    1. Margaret, yes, and rather a mix of styles.

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  12. The Gill charged a nightly rate for a bed, I don’t remember how much, but it was at least the cost of a cheap bottle of plonk, which is why so many wine dogs chose to sleep outdoors instead.
    The Salvation Army hate booze even more than the Methodists ever did, but it’s never stopped them cadging money in pubs. Cadging money (“please remember the salvos in your will”) is their greatest activity.
    Right now is a great time to be down-and –out. In my day as a teenage bum there were no free feed places at all, and begging got you jailed immediately. I got jailed for vagrancy, i.e: having no money and nowhere to live. The official charge was being a “Rogue and a vagabond”. This was under the Vagrancy Act, which included prostitution and begging.
    It’s a laugh nowadays that beggars and the homeless are smiled upon; part of the landscape. How has this happened? Is it because society is more caring now? Is it because there’s such an overwhelming number of destitutes now it’s had to be decriminalised? Or is it just a copied trend from California? That’s where I first saw it, in the late 1990s, cardboard signs and all. It didn’t exist here then.
    Is it in fact a warning, “keep your hooter to the grindstone or this could be you”. I think it is. Seeing poverty makes you feel better too, well-off . Plus these unfortunates are lovely to look at, a sort of street art. And anyway, how could this be a World’s Greatest City without bums lying on footpaths?

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  13. Andrew I've got a 2010 Mini Cooper. I don't know about the current model but mine has a large speedo in the centre of the dashboard and a small tacho behind the steering wheel. The speedo position means having to constantly turn my head to check it and it's a major problem. Also there are symbols instead of proper gauges (fuel, temp) and I hate it. In the shed I've got a year 2000 Daihatsu GTVI. Later this year I'll be selling the Mini and resurrecting the Daihatsu. Computer cars are shit. Really.

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  14. I always love your building pics. :) Happy moments!

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  15. As you say Andrew a diverse style of buildings on A'Beckitt St. Might have to Google and see what the Spiritualist Union gets up to :) Two sweaty workmen doesn't sound all that appealing, well unless one looks like Ewan McGregor and the other his twin brother :)

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