These Callistemon are known as Bottle Brushes. I love the red ones and have one in my front garden. These ones start off a bright shade of green and really stand out in my parents’ garden.
Old Treasury Building – this is now the Registry Office and Births, Deaths and Marriage. They also hold exhibitions about Melbourne’s history. I didn’t realise this until recently so will go and see some of them.
It was built during the Gold Rush in the 1850’s when Melbourne was the richest city in the world and known world-wide as Marvellous Melbourne. Amazingly, it was designed by a 19 year old architect.
Have a look closely at the building above. Can you see what makes it remarkable? Comment if you can.
We were heading further east of the city during the walking tour. The lower the building number, the more prestigious the address. The lower numbers make up the ‘Paris end’ of Collins St. This is where you go to find the expensive, international retailers such as Prada and Luis Vuitton. Before it became the Paris end it was where the medical practices were. It was a big deal if you were going to a Collins St specialist. And expensive.
We stopped to look at this building which is opposite the T & G building. It’s a beautiful building that was originally built as a medical practice. Jeremy pointed out what makes this building different. When you know what it is you realise how obvious it is.
The building is now dwarfed by the Hyatt Hotel.
When it was built, the T & G Building at 161 Collins St was described as the most beautiful building in Melbourne. T & G stands for Temperance and General as it was built by the Temperance Society. Mum pointed out that it was also known as the Tooth and Gum building because when she was growing up many dental specialists had their clinics in there.
There is a big trend in ‘shadowing’ buildings in Melbourne these days. I read an article about it a few weeks ago and Jeremy mentioned it and pointed out some buildings that had been shadowed. This is where they keep the historical facade and build a modern building behind it. Some architects are saying it is cheating and doesn’t really keep the history of the building so in fact we are still losing so much history.
Looking at the Forum Theatre, it’s hard to believe it was originally built as a home. After that it became what it is known for, a theatre. It had one screen with two levels. The rich people watched from the stalls upstairs and the rest from downstairs. It was eventually converted into two movie screens, one on each level.
The exterior is built in the Moorish style. It was such a grand building, it was noticeable from Flinders St Station. There is a 49 metre clocktower on the corner of Flinders and Russell Sts.
Nowadays the building is looking grand but tired. It’s beauty is fading and is desperately in need of a facelift. Paint is peeling and the roof over the footpath is damaged amongst other things.
You can see some of the peeling paint on the right hand side of this photo.
On the opposite corner of Flinders and Russell Sts is the Duke of Wellington Hotel. Built in the early 1850’s (before the gold rush) and recently reopened after years of renovation, it has the feeling of an old-fashioned pub inside with modern finishes, large-screen tvs and bars. Most of the building has been modernised but there are a couple of original brick walls, one with three arches in it.
We walked in one door and out the other – and didn’t stop for a drink. That would have been nice because we were so cold.
Our http://www.Meltours.com.au East walking tour began at the Melbourne Visitor’s Centre at Federation Square. We were to meet our guide outside the Visitor’s Centre. As soon as he walked towards us I recognised him as an actor I’ve seen a lot of on tv. I remembered his name was Jeremy but couldn’t remember his surname. I quickly googled him and came up with his surname. A few minutes later he introduced himself as Jeremy Kewley and mentioned he was an actor and gave his surname.
Jeremy turned out to be fantastic tour guide. His knowledge and love of Melbourne and it’s history is amazing. He started off by giving us a shortish history of Melbourne. A lot of it I knew but he filled in some gaps and ’embellished’ some of the stories. He would be a great person to sit and listen to. He would go off on different tangents and told us so many stories. I have to say he really made the tour a lot of fun and extremely interesting.
We started off looking at St Paul’s Cathedral. Now, because the cathedral is on the corner of one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections (opposite Flinders St Station and Fed Sq) I’ve walked past hundreds of times but never REALLY looked at the detail in the building. The foundation stone was laid in 1880. The spires weren’t built at that time. Construction of those began in 1926. When you stop to look at them closely, you can see the stone is different and I could see the line where they start. I’d also never really noticed the square tiles either.
Jeremy told us the story of how the building was designed by an English architect who never bothered to come to Australia to oversee the project. As a result, some changes were made to the design which annoyed the architect so much he quit the project.
Our walking tour was to start from the Melbourne Visitors Centre at Federation Square so we decided to have some lunch in the area. I suggested Timeout. I’ve been there several times and really like their food and service. Unfortunately the tables that were in the sun were also in the smoking area so we sat inside.
We both ordered the bruschetta. It was listed on the share plate menu but was a light meal for both of us. It was very tasty with lots of tomato. It would have been nicer with more than just a sprig of basil on top. But then I love basil so nearly always want more.
I love the location. Right in the middle of Federation Square, overlooking the Melbourne Visitor’s Centre where we were to meet our tour guide for the walking tour.