Sunday, April 04, 2010

City Square

Do we all love Melbourne's City Square? No? Half the time it has some commercial enterprise set up in its space. This time it was something to do with food with a sad and wilted display of plants which I suppose were edible, but don't you take any leaves, the sign warned.

How many incarnations of the City Square have I seen? Maybe four and none were loved and I don't ever expect anywhere covered in gravel will be loved. At the southern end there are some raised areas with grass and you should see the people swarm to that section, as they do the grassed area are outside the State Library. People are so easily satisfied. Grass, deciduous trees for shade and sun in the winter and some seats. Instead we must endure the exact opposite when designers and whoever briefs them get to work.

I think this was just an area on the City Square site before any City Square was envisaged. We have come a long way, not!


  1. Anonymous1:25 am

    I really like the way it looked in that last pic! I never saw it like that. Shame.

  2. I like the last picture as well when was that? The cars look about early 1970's or earlier... do you know?

  3. Have you been haunting my footsteps again and buying old postcards, too? lol
    Much prefer the last pic, let's petition Bobby Doyle to get jiggy wit teh turf and petunias.

  4. I remember seeing the plans for the new square and then the reality, horrible just horrible.
    The trouble was looking down on the model, it was passable but went it was built it was a dark hole that one disappeared into. The water feature on a cold day was enough to freeze blood.
    It's pity we can't shrink architects and stuff them into their own models to give them a more realistic view.

  5. I do like seeing pictures of the 'old' Melbourne :)

    My earliest memories of the City Square was the early 80s development with the concrete waterworks, the yellow peril, and the giant TV screen in glorious black and white but at that time was probably a marvel of technology. And 30 years later the City Square is still a poor landmark for Melbourne.

  6. I wish they'd green it up too, I've spent many a wasteful hour lounging outside the state library on the grass. Our city square is usually just plain ugly.

  7. Me either Scott, that I can recall. Melbourne was very different then.

    MC, the picture title says 1967.

    I just filched this one off the net Jayne. Petunias like at Mordy, great idea.

    TVAU, that is the main one I recall. Was the big screen only black and white? It was upgraded not long before it was removed. The bluestone seating had heating, but after the first electric bill arrived, City of Melb turned it off.

    Fen, outside the library clearly indicates what people like. It took a decent knock though when the sprinklers were shut off before it was hand watered.

  8. Architect models are like that Jahteh. They don't look bad, but when whatever is built... Don't have to tell you.

  9. Don't forget the graffiti wall...*rolls eyes*

  10. Count yourself lucky...we don't have a city square, or even a town square, in Fleetwood. There's a bench outside the library and a hanging basket outside the bakers, but that's the closest we've got.

  11. Oh yes Jayne. The graffiti wall. How could I forget.

    Hmm Brian. It is a bit tight for space.

    Thanks J Bar.

  12. Anonymous9:04 pm

    Remembrances of things past - Proust said it so well. We get nostalgic about how things used to be - is it because we feel increasingly uncomfortable with how things are, where you thought you knew the difference between a Stilson and a Footprint, but were wrong for....twenty, thirty years? - ,maybe its the same with looking back.
    Nov 1972 - I was in the city, buying guitar strings for my Maton CW80-D6 - news came over of Gough (blessed be his name) being sacked. Gravitated towards the city square, sitting in a circle with other Hippy "true believers" passing round bongs, traditional Labor types paying out on us. (Still know the "Internationale", teaching my Granddaughter how to sing it, that will blow her music teacher away) The power of the crowd, the identification with the mob, if someone had said "Sack Parliament" we would have done so.
    But, being the Lucky Country, we didn't. We stayed in our torpor, the sun still shone, the beer was cheap, fuel to run my GTR Torana was cheap......
    I came to Melbourne from Sydney in 1975, loved it, loved the slower pace, the gentler people. All gone now, want to get out. The madness, the madness of it all -
    Got lots more to say, but aware I am starting to wallow. Thanks, Andrew, for the memory hooks.


  13. I just love that you are teaching your granddaughter the Internationale. So subversive. I must teach my niece.


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