Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Town Hall Tuesday - Melbourne

An occasional series where I will feature all of Melbourne's inner to middle suburb historic town halls. Most are Victorian era but some a bit later I think. I say occasional as I might not always get out weekly to take the photos. At a guess there maybe twenty or more of them. I will certainly find out in time. There will be trams, trains and buses to get me to them.

Where better to begin than Melbourne Town Hall. It is on the premier corner of Collins Street and Swanston Street. Wikipedia assists.

Construction began in 1867 with the foundation stone lain by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. Around 1887 the portico was added, which in 1964 hosted The Beatles appearance to 20,000 hysterical fans.

In 1925 a fire damaged much of the town hall and it was rebuilt with some land and or buildings  along Collins Street added.

Of course it is Victorian as it was built during the reign of Queen Victoria but I read that its style is Second Empire and was designed by Joseph Reed, born a Cornishman, and someone called Barnes.

Extras: You can take a free tour of the town hall with terrific guides and even hear the the magnificent 10,000 pipe organ auto played. I can't confirm it but there was also a turntable within the town hall to turn the Lord Mayor's car around in a confined space. The clock was built by Smith and Sons of London.



Slip in a statue of Queen Vic at what was once Her Majesty's Hotel in South Yarra, or in gay old days, Macy's.

30 comments:

  1. Thank you.
    I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the rest of the series (when time is on your side).

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    1. EC, I made a list today and I was pretty spot on with twenty.

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  2. Awesome post!!! Your buildings are so majestic!

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  3. The middle picture building frontage is rather grand. It looks like so many other buildings that I'm always visiting around London.

    But will you be going inside any of those buildings as I always do, on your new discovery tour?

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    1. Dee, I might enter the foyers, but generally the interiors are not so grand and quite functional, and not great blog photo material. I will think about this a bit.

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  4. Such beautiful architecture in the heart of the city.

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    1. Cheryl, we have but we have lost so much too.

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  5. I love Queen Vic in the cubby. Was Macy's a dept store a la New York?

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, been to Macy's in NYC, where there almost pay you to buy their goods. This one was just a pub, probably in the early days with accommodation. It became a bit of place for gay guys in the 70s. R remembers going there.

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  6. I love late Victorian town halls - the height of organisation and dignity. Every year my school had its speech night in the Melbourne Town Hall, so I have inspected the inside spaces many times.

    Some town halls have changed names. Caulfield City Hall, the closest to our house, is now called Glen Eira Town Hall. I have no idea why.

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    1. Hels, they should keep their original name. I am surprise Caulfield Town Hall is not embedded somewhere.

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  7. When I saw the coverage of this on yesterday's news bulletins I was angered...very angry...at the senseless behaviour of the perpetrators!

    They probably don't have a brain between them!

    https://7news.com.au/travel/tourism/hosier-lane-targeted-by-idiot-masked-vandals-brandishing-fire-extinguishers-c-689547

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    1. Lee, I think on the same day where we brunched, taggers were at work unchallenged. Carrying fire extinguishers full of paint along the street unchallenged? The spraying of the walls doesn't matter so much. The walls will soon be covered with new art, but the bluestone paving was sprayed too, leading to costly removal. Those who tagged where we lunched were clearly not the brightest, but enviously very nimble and agile.

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  8. Beautiful building Andrew. Have been up to it many years ago.
    Look forward to the remainder of the photos when you put them up.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. It is a fine building.

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  9. This one I really like - you drive past some and wonder what they are like inside. Went to a fabulous concert in the Melbourne town hall a couple of years ago. The RAAF band sounded great there.

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    1. Cathy, that must have been great to hear. I think the acoustics are quite good.

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  10. Again I am surprised that it looks so European I mean such old buildings just like here ! In fact the English took the land, sent criminals and had beautiful buildings built just like at home, lol (history in short)

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    1. Gattina, our best buildings of the era were built with gold rush money.

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  11. I think that's the biggest Town Hall I've ever seen. And very nice to look at too.

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    1. River, I think I may come up with one larger one.

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  12. Nice building, lots of detail. Our president, he who must not be named, is trying to create a rule that all new federal office buildings need to be in greek revival style, a rule that could quickly be done the moment he leaves office. I guess a wall is not enough to leave his mark on the country.

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    1. Travel, architectural style #45.

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  13. I'm looking forward very much to this occasional series Andrew, would you consider taking one of the tours inside? Good old Queen Victoria, for someone who didn't travel long distances her likeness is everywhere 😊 The Melbourne Town Hall is a splendid piece of architecture.

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    1. Grace, I've twice toured the Melbourne Town Hall. My next might be our just renovated State Library. Yes, a little ironic about Queen Vic.

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  14. Very interesting architecture. I probably will never visit Melbourne, so I appreciate your photos.

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  15. The town hall is quite lovely. Ours would make you laugh! In any case, the pictures are great! Although I am still astonished at the city being covered in mud!

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    1. Maribeth, you are in a much more rural area and in the 1800s did not have an excess of money from gold mining to spend on architectural extravences.

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