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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
probably one of the finest skyscrapers built in Australia?
definalty one of the greatest pre1900.
The monumental EQUITABLE LIFE ASSURANCE OF USA (later Colonial mutual Life)
Located on cnr Collins & Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne, the b00m scraper was designed by American Edward Raht.It rose to 42m or 138ft which was 10ft higher then height limit. It was built 1892-96 and was the LAST BOOM SCRAPER!!!
It was the lavishness at the expense of storeys that eventually spelled doom of the building ,as its 7 storeys could have been 12 storeys.




checkout this scan of entrance!!!
description>>
heres some excerpts from my book

The Collins Street entrance was formed by the commanding archway, 13m across & 18m high.It was made of granite blocks with the keystone weighing 15 tons. The blocks measured 1.8m long x 63cm high & 37cm thick. The blocks at the base measured 2.4m long x1.2m high. Beyond the archway was a portico of red granite opening into a vestibule of polished white Carrara marble. The archway itself was supported by 2 circular tapered columns of 1.2m in diametre , each column a single stone.



on its construction>

Raht’s plans were on a grandiose scale not contemplated in Australia before or since. He called for traditional materials in huge quantities & methods of building likely to defy the centuries. The great quantities of grey Harcourt granite (for most of bldg) & red Woolamai granite for the base. The massive blocks were transported from various quarries & placing them in position with limited mechanical devices of the time presented extraordinary problems. Its not surprising that 7 men were killed during construction, (this was accepted as an inevitable part of the process for such a monumental undertaking. It is worth noting that with the modern plant wreckers of 1960 who demolished the building found it was as difficult job as putting together. The building was “put together” like blocks held together by gravity. The frame was wrought iron girders. The cement grouting was substituted for hot lead antimony (an expensive material) & floor boards of tallowwood were rested on a coat of concrete laid on a floor of terra cotta blocks. No nails were used instead a thin coat of bitumen fixed the boards to the flooring. Raht was a perfectionist, even the doors were made up of the best cedar.
 

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Anybody have any interior pics of this one, it must have had some pretty spectacular interiors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^ yeah what a replacement! its a damn shame.
these shots were taken in 1958, only a year away from demolishment. the 70 year old building still looks immaculate!

/ luv the cedar
(wheres the pc?)


lift lobby


pic of ornate fireplace




heres one from behind the statue in 58.



seriously, how could they demolish something like this??



looks like the entrance to a 70storey NYC bldg



when demolishers finally got to the ground they came across a time capsule which had lots of interesting stuff from 1896.
rip
 

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Great thread guys!

At least they replaced it with something with more office space. I mean its really stupid they did, but its less of a waste compared to the australia building or fishmarkets. Which they basically replaced with nothing.
 

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uewepuep said:
Great thread guys!

At least they replaced it with something with more office space. I mean its really stupid they did, but its less of a waste compared to the australia building or fishmarkets. Which they basically replaced with nothing.
Yeah, and at least they replaced it themselves with a larger office building - it's not as though some developer came in, bought it and demolished it! I mean it was their own masterpiece to destroy if they wanted to!
 

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I knew someone would be a smartarse :p
You knew what I meant. It was replaced with *something* not just an empty lot for 50 years.
 

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I think you may overestimate how nice these buildings actually were on the inside. Did they have reconfigureable interior walls? Did they even have air conditioning?
 

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And here is what is left! What a sad and pathetic "monument". To be honest, I don't know why they bother scattering remnant pieces of the building over the lawn like debris....



Here's what the Museum of Victoria says of the sculpture...
The blocks give an indication of the scale of the construction and the superb workmanship that went into the stonemasonry
Oh, yes? I don't think so, guys....

As for the interior Fandango, well I am guessing that the visual comfort of the building made up for the lack of aircon! :) But I reckon it would not get too hot in there anyway - look how thick the walls are!

That statue on the entranceway now sits opposite the Baillieu Library at the University of Melbourne, with much of its impact and context lost....

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks olderfleet. amazing what they did with reminants .
the first air conditioned office bldg in Sydney was the CML bldg in 1936. not sure when first one was in Melb? so before that it was heaters at typists feet or hallways. The Equaitable life bldg had 5m/15ft high floors!! so would of been cool in summer.
 

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I like threads like this ..... but then I get so pissed off at what had been lost ..... and usually for something so mundane .... :mad:
 
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