View Full Version : A hidden secret at Myer Melbourne
July 5th, 2005, 02:26 PM
I made a recent discovery about the famous Myer Melbourne store. Many of you had probably heard of it, but it was new to me....
If you travel up the lift to the sixth floor, and head down the hall for a little way, you will discover a ballroom! It is called the Myer Mural Hall, and features pictures of women throughout history on the walls. It is very well preserved.
For those who thought the department store ceased on Level 4, here are some pics!
For starters, here is the Lonsdale Street facade. (It is in the Bourke Street building, but I haven't got a pic of that, and they look similar anyway).
The Myer Mural Hall....
And to finish... the view from the window!
July 5th, 2005, 03:07 PM
are they your pictures?
July 5th, 2005, 03:17 PM
I remember going there in Christmas 1990 (date above Santa in the pics), for a Santa photo. It was all decked out as Myers Christmas kingdom.
I dont think its been held there since.
They should do something more substantial with it.,
July 5th, 2005, 11:27 PM
I remember discovering it too several years ago by surprise. I'd love to see it used more, maybe even incorporated into the shopping part of Myer proper. Actually it'd be good to see Myer itself returned to it's former glory. Lose the awnings on Bourke and Lonsdale, restore the old lamps that originally lined the Bourke St entrance, basically just treat the buildings deco-ness with a little more respect.
Btw, have you seen the amazing art deco interior at Heidelburg town hall? Now that is flash.
July 6th, 2005, 12:02 AM
They use the room during the fashion festival. I have been there for a number of events associated witht he festival in recent years. Its a great venue.
July 6th, 2005, 05:57 AM
are they your pictures?
Of course they are!
If they were not mine, I would provide the source somewhere. I took them last weekend, except the facade which I took about 3 weeks ago.
Why do you ask?
July 6th, 2005, 05:57 AM
Pictures of Myer Melbourne over the years.
A Bourke St display window in 1941 would you believe.
A glimpse of Myer's original lights.
Olympic celebration. Shame about the awning.
July 6th, 2005, 06:07 AM
Just found the following Age article on the net:
Nominations of a heritage facade
The landmark Myer Emporium in the city centre has been nominated for state heritage protection, posing a potential obstacle to any long-term refurbishment plans for Australia's retail giant.
According to the Art Deco Society, which nominated the department store, Myer has made a more significant contribution to the retail and social history of Melbourne and Victoria than any other shop. The society wants to see the Bourke Street and Lonsdale Street facades and the Mural Hall on the sixth floor, which features Napier Waller murals, protected under the Heritage Victoria Act.
It said the Bourke Street facade of the store, which was built in 1933, was "a striking example of the inter-war skyscraper or commercial gothic style".
But it is believed the heritage listing could be opposed by Myer, following speculation in retail circles that the company is considering a major overhaul of the Bourke Street store.
Myer spokesman John Gillman was surprised - and not exactly thrilled - to hear of the nomination when contacted by The Age. In a prepared statement he would only say: "Myer Melbourne is our flagship department store and is an important landmark in Melbourne. The group (Art Deco Society) has not contacted us and we are seeking further details of the application before we can comment further."
Any building listed on the heritage register cannot be demolished or altered without a permit from Heritage Victoria.
National Trust architectural historian Rohan Storey said the trust would back the nomination.
"Myer is intimately associated with retailing in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia. At its peak in the mid-1930s it was also the biggest department store in the country."
Lisa Hurley, from Heritage Victoria, said any interested party would have the right to comment on the nomination.
The latest addition to the Victorian Heritage Register is the Art Deco Rivoli Theatre in Camberwell. The Rivoli was last year listed by film magazine Screen International as one of the world's top 10 picture palaces.
The 65-year-old cinema features a dramatic sweeping stairway, a roof garden, a facade with two-toned brickwork in pink and orange and a stark vertical fin with Rivoli in silhouette letters.
Heritage Council chairwoman Chris Gallagher said the Rivoli, along with the Astor in Windsor and the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, were rare examples of an important era in cinema design.
Art Deco Society president Robin Grow applauded the inclusion of 20th-century buildings on the register.
"We've done a lot of work in the last 10 years to raise the level of understanding and consciousness about Art Deco," Mr Grow said.
"For a long time there was a view that anything built after 1900 was just not old enough to be listed as a heritage building. People get an understanding, if they see there are a lot of (Art Deco buildings) listed, that they may not be able to tear them down as they could in the past."
Ms Gallagher said the owner of the Rivoli had nominated the theatre for heritage listing.
"We have moved past the era where people found heritage listing an encumbrance," Ms Gallagher said.
But it seems that Myer may not share that view.
July 6th, 2005, 06:09 AM
It would be inconceivable surely that Myer would touch the Bourke St facade let alone actually destroy it. That would be like knocking down Flinders St Station.
July 6th, 2005, 07:23 AM
I think most melburnians would find it very dissapointing that both Myer buildings are not already on the state heritage register. The only reason they probably aren't on the register are the years of neglect and unsympathetic changes that Myer have subjected the buildings to over the past couple of decades.
They annouce that they are planning to redevelop the store every few years but they never do. Myer Melbourne is such a joke it would almost be better if they sold both buildings and let somebody else do a proper restoration.
July 6th, 2005, 07:39 AM
How much better did Bourke Street look back in the day:
July 6th, 2005, 08:34 AM
there is something about that ball room that reminds me of 'The Shining' the old Kubrick movie.
July 6th, 2005, 10:08 AM
The image above looks good for two reasons;
I say get rid of both. :down:
The Bourke Street facade.
July 6th, 2005, 10:35 AM
It's hard to see in this photo but underneath the row of lamps on the Myer building (where the awning now is) are horizontal metal stips (for want of a better way of describing them) which used to light up at night. Kind of similar to the neon green lighting below the clocks on Flnders St Station. I saw a photo of this lighting all switched on once and it looked really great. I wonder if it's still under the awning. If they ditched the awning, they could restore the cool deco lighting effect.