Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot.
Featured 01/31/11 in Art Deco Heaven http://www.redbubble.com/groups/art-deco-heaven Group
Three contrasting styles of architecture in this Collins Street skyline, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – the Manchester Unity Building flanked by the Town Hall and the Westpac Building.
Designed by architect Marcus Barlow and built for the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, the Manchester Unity Building was completed in 1932. It was built at the height of the great depression, using round-the-clock eight hour shifts.
The Manchester Unity was Melbourne’s tallest building of the time, with its ornamental towers reaching beyond the then height limit of 132 feet. Its distinctive Commercial Gothic Modern style drew freely upon Raymond Hood’s award-winning 1922 design for the Chicago Tribune Tower.
With its American-inspired styling reaching effortlessly skyward, the Manchester Unity represented a new faith in commerce and progress in inter-war Melbourne. Located on the prominent Swanston and Collins Street corner, it remains one of the city’s most impressive buildings. It is classified by the National Trust and is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Melbourne was officially incorporated as a town on December 13, 1842. However, it wasn’t until 1854 that its first Town Hall was completed. The foundation stone of a new, grander Town Hall was laid on November 29, 1867 by the visiting Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, after the demolition of the first. The current Town Hall officially opened on August 9, 1870 with a lavish ball.
The Town Hall was designed by the famous local architect Joseph Reed, in the Second Empire style. Reed’s designs also included the State Library of Victoria, the Royal Exhibition Building, and Melbourne Trades Hall.
The building is topped by Prince Alfred’s Tower, named after the Duke. The Tower includes a 2.44 m diameter clock, which was started on August 31, 1874, after being presented to the council by the Mayor’s son, Vallange Condell. It was built by Smith and Sons of London. The Town Hall is also a heritage listed building.
The Westpac Building, built in 1978 is a modernist building featuring vertical fins which balance the horizontal strip windows.