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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Part 2





The next three down show the Law Courts, William Street (Lonsdale Street to Little Bourke Street), designed for the Public Works Office by architects Smith and Johnson.
Foundations were built during 1874-5, and the buildings during 1877-84.









Next four, Former Royal Mint, 280 – 318 William Street







 

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Thanks for yet another great survey Collector. I always thought this view coming down the William Street hill was quite imposing.


I wonder what effect Southbank One will have on that.
Hopefully it may make it more so, but somehow I always felt it was the effect of those two dark twin towers from there that was rather impressive.

 

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You're on a roll lately Collector ... I'll add my bit.

All streets are unique, but perhaps in Melbourne William Street is more unique- and yet more undersung- than any other.

William Street perhaps features more often than any other CDB Street on the evening news. There's a simple reason for this: all the court, and all the legal action takes place along this street:



So far as I have observed, it is mandatory to include a half second or two of the dome of the Supreme Court (and Justice, with her eyes blindfolded) in any report of criminal- or civil- cases worthy of note.



William Street, is quite frankly, not a very colorful street, and perhaps a gynophobic thoroughfare:



The walls of this street were built on sheeps' backs. Here, the old Goldsborough-Mort Woolstore:



Several notable companies set up their headquarters in William Street, especially where it crosses Bourke Street.

AMP (Australian Mutual Provident) built this complex on the south-west corner: when they built it in the 1960's, I thought it was the most beautiful building in Melbourne that had gone up in my lifetime , but there is talk of pulling it down now. The tower is on the right.



BHP (now BHP Billiton) built what was then their headquarters on the SE corner 5 or more years later: it emphasized the steel truss structure (which you can see in many later buildings of international renown). Anyway, this photo was taken looking across its forecourt ... you can see the base of their building, on the right, two photos back (it looks metallic and structural).



Other notable institutions that once directed their operations from this street: The ABC (in a little brick building which fronted onto Lonsdale Street); the Peter McCallum Clinic (the first cancer hospital here) and Monash House (which ran the state's electricity system). In the early seventies, the original Customs House (now the Immigration Museum) confronted the functioning Customs Department across William Street.

This is what I really treasure in William Street:





If you can't polish it, carve it! And carve it with delicacy ...

A twentieth century reply ...

 

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A little known fact is that gappa himself worked at the Australia Club on William Street. It smelt like stale cigar smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Text from Walking Melbourne, The National Trust Guide to The Historic and Architectural Landmarks of Central Melbourne.

Former Royal Mint
280 – 318 William Street

Constructed in 1872, and designed by JJ Clark, this is considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival in Australia. Freestanding on its site, the building is finely detailed, and the elegantly proportioned first floor, with its paired ionic columns, is reputedly inspired by Bramante’s Palazzo Caprini (c1505). The complex, with corner guardhouses and perimeter wall, once included a Coining Hall, Melting and Assay Departments to the rear, unfortunately demolished in 1968. It was originally a branch of the Royal Mint, London, and minted only gold sovereigns until 1916, and then all Australian coins from 1927 to 1967. Long the home of the marriage Registry and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, it has been leased to the private sector since 2001.



Above, as it was, and below, several recent photographs I have taken of the old Royal Mint.









Below, we see the coin released to commemorate the mint’s 130th anniversary.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Law Courts (Supreme Court)
192-228 William Street, corner Lonsdale Street

This grand court complex was designed by a collaboration of some of the best architectural talent in Melbourne, involving Smith & Johnson in conjunction with JJ Clark and Peter Kerr of the Public Works Department. The design was chosen in a competition marred by scandal, because co-designer Johnson was working for the PWD, and was one of the assessors! (He then resigned to take up the project privately). The result is a majestic Renaissance Revival design distinguished by fine detailing, occupying half a city block, dominated by a tall dome supported by 24 Ionic columns (reportedly inspired by the similar dome of the ‘Four Courts’ of Dublin, built c1800) over the central Supreme Court Library. Built over a ten year period, between 1874 and 1884, it has been the scene of many important trials, and is the highest court in Victoria. It is remarkably intact and includes the original built-in furniture and decoration of the impressive main court rooms, the library, the special carriage entrance for the accused (a covered receiving dock accessed from the rear lane), and the basement ‘dungeons’ where they were held during trials.



Above, an aerial of the complex and below, the Library of the Supreme Court, the domed building in the centre of the Law Courts, stands within the building’s courtyard.
It was built in 1877.



The next four below are old postcards of the Law Courts.









The following six are recent shots of my own.







Three more from Lonsdale Street.





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Commonwealth Law Courts
289-307 William Street, corner La Trobe Street

This massive building is suitably grand to fit its purpose, but it is also a contemporary design, intended to show that the law is very much a part of contemporary life. The slick modern facades are enlivened by restrained, yet playful and often colourful details, and the interior includes open spaces and large windows in order to express the transparency of the legal process. Designed principally by Paul Katssieris for the firm of Hassell and completed in 2001, the L shape was dictated by the existing entry to the underground station on the corner, allowing the creation of a plaza, and a design that embraces the gardens opposite.

Two recent shots of my own below.



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Text from Walking Melbourne
The National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne

Australian Club
100-110 William Street

The grandest Victorian era clubrooms in the country, the Australian Club was built in two stages, the larger portion in 1879 designed by Lloyd Tayler, extended in 1892/93 to the south by J Charlesworth. The extension added the most spectacular rooms – the grand hall and staircase, enormous dining room (just visible through the windows) and large smoking and billiard rooms – which reflect the exuberance and wealth of the businessmen of the Victorian era, and the social importance of the ‘gentlemen’s club.’

Three of my own. :)





 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Text from Melbourne Architecture

Former BHP House
140 William Street
1967-72 Yuncken Freeman

Intended to promote the use of steel in building construction and to set new national standards for the height of a steel-framed building, the former BHP House was also claimed to be the first office building in Australia to use a ‘total energy concept’ –the generation of its own electricity using BHP natural gas. Yuncken Freeman sought advanced technological advice from structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), Chicago. Khan’s innovative idea of the high-rise tower was the principle of a giant stiff structural tube where the tower became a pure cantilever. Back in Melbourne, under the direction of Barry Patten, the design of the steel structural sheath was refined to a strikingly simple concept comprising four basic elements: a central steel-framed core; a stiff steel and glass façade; steel trusses to link the core to the façade; and a steel deck flooring system. With no interior columns, all structural loads were carried down by an outer skin of steel and a central services core rising the full height of the building. The façade was a 10mm thick skin of welded steel over 50mm of concrete insulation fire protecting and housing the main steel frame. This steel skin was erected before the placement of the concrete and in effect constituted permanent formwork. Yuncken Freeman experimented with tower’s proposed finishes with the construction of their own offices at 411-415 King Street, Melbourne (1970), a black Miesian building that recalled the Bacardi Building, Mexico City (1957-61).

My own photos.







Sculpture at ground level.

 
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