Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
The station at Flinders street is a wonderful old building serving the train loving people of Melbourne. I have used this station for transport since 1977 and the place has only gotten grubbier since then!! Plenty of trains arrive & leave with lots of platforms for a busy popoulation.
Fondest memory: In the photo you can see a number of clocks (9 in total) just above the entrance - this is apparently a traditional meeting place for locals and visitors!!
Fondest memory: Love it or hate it, Federation Square is a great introduction to Melbourne. It's got all the Melbourne icons around its vicinity. Flinder Street Station, Victoria Museum, South Bank, and St Paul's Cathedral. Federation Square itself has been upgraded into a Picasso architectural wonderland with convoluted buildings and strange forms. Conservatives hate the architecture, but progressives love it. Go to the Transit Bar in the square. It's a great nocturnal haunt.
Located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, Flinders Street Station is at the core of Melbourne's social and cultural identity.
The site has been the central focus of Melbourne's rail system since 1854. By the 1880s, the original buildings were considered inadequate. In 1899, a competition was held for the design of Flinders Street Station buildings and approaches. In 1900 the first prize was awarded to J.W. Fawcett and H.P.C Ashworth.
Work proceeded slowly until the Victorian Railways took over responsibility for the construction from the contractor on 15 August 1908. It was completed in 1910, unveiling a building that has fascinated Melbourne and visitors ever since.
The complex represents an extraordinary example of a public building, offering a range of activities and functions to the general public apart from its main purpose as a railway station.
The facilities are unique within any public building of this period. The dining and refreshment room interiors, and the former Victorian Railway Institute rooms, were more akin to a gentlemen's club than to a railway station.
Facts and figures:
Each week, more than 10,300 passenger-carrying suburban train services operate to and from Flinders Street Station.
On an average weekday, more than 110,000 people pass through the station and its ten platforms.
At 708 metres long, platform 1 is the fourth longest railway platform in the world.
After more than 80 years of serving the community, any building would be in need of a revamp. During the 1990s a $27 million redevelopment of Flinders Street Station began, with an emphasis on improving the accessibility of the station so that it could be easily used by all members of the community, including people with disabilities.
The station's upgrade included installing lifts and escalators to link the main concourse to platforms. Tactile tiles have been installed on platforms and the concourse to help direct people with a vision impairment to lifts and exits.
Fondest memory: Security at the station has also been improved with the installation of closed circuit television monitoring and better lighting.
New escalators were installed to every platform at Flinders Street Station as part of the refurbishment.
A construction contract has been awarded and the works commenced in mid January 2005. The Department of Infrastructure (You have to love that, another department to make sure all the departments are working together!) is working with Connex to ensure that the rehabilitation works are progressively undertaken and completed by early 2006.
Management of the station:
While Flinders Street Station remains in the ownership of the State Government (and therefore the Victorian community), the day-to-day management of the station is the responsibility of train operator Connex under its franchise contract with the Government.
Parliament House and the imperialistic overtones in its architecture is one of the standout buildings in the CBD, as it should be. It is one of Melbourne's best known landmarks. Facing the intersection of Spring and Bourke streets, the west facade of the building; sweeping steps, elegant lamps, grand colonnade, suggests solidity and strength.
Appearances are deceptive. Parliament House is incomplete. The generous vision of nineteenth century architect, Peter Kerr, has not been fully realised. The story of Parliament House is one of staged construction and architectural ambition thwarted.
Choosing a Site:
Victoria's first Legislative Council (1851-6) took the decision. Arguments over the best site in Melbourne for such a building were intense. It was not until April 1854 that Eastern Hill, the current Spring Street site, was agreed upon.
As importantly, it was not until December 1855 that Colonial Engineer, Charles Pasley, handed responsibility for the design and construction of a building for the new Parliament to two architects in his office, Peter Kerr and John George Knight. By 1853 a Parliament House design competition had been held. The entries were judged inadequate. As a result Pasley had himself produced an ordinary design that had been accepted by the Legislative Council.
Kerr in turn adapted and significantly improved Pasley's work, transforming it into a grand vision. He laboured over his drawing board, working on the building on and off for the next forty years. In the process he produced more than 600 detailed sketches and designs, while his colleague Knight managed the actual site construction.
From this team effort emerged one of Melbourne's most dramatic nineteenth century buildings constructed in distinct stages.
1856: The Legislative Chambers
Almost immediately on the proclamation of the Constitution, and even as Peter Kerr was still working at his drawings, work began on the two legislative chambers.
Fondest memory: Building at a rate that now seems extraordinary, the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly were sufficiently complete to permit the first Parliament of Victoria to meet there and begin work in November 1856. The work had taken just 10 months.
To colonial Victorians the chambers looked impressive. Two free-standing, bluestone buildings, unconnected and rising three stories tall on the highest part of Melbourne, they dominated the city.
Melburnians were even more impressed by the interiors. Classical decorations, gold-leaf, columns, statuary, burgundy carpets and seating in the Legislative Council, forest-green in the Legislative Assembly duplicating the Westminster colours, added sophistication to an otherwise callow Melbourne. Its citizens were overwhelmed.
1860: The Library
No sooner were the Chambers complete than work began on the Library. Construction of this eastern wing began in 1858 and was completed in 1860.
This had the effect of joining the two legislative chambers at the rear, thereby forming a `U-shaped' building.
Fondest memory: Another of my favourite views of Melbourne city.... the famous dome and distinctive colourings of Flinders Street Station, taken from the ultra modern, glass and arty Federation Square, and looking over other modern parts of the city as well.
Favorite thing: Flinders Station is both a landmark and a functioning and fairly busy train station. At least half of the directions that I've gotten from people in Melbourne started at Flinders. Both commuter and inter-city trains operate from there, I believe.
Favorite thing: The Flinders Street Station is the hub of Melbourne's train system with all trains beginning or ending their journey there. You cannot miss it - it is the large orange building located on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.
Favorite thing: While in Melbourne, this building will be of great importance to you - this is the main train station, just across St. Paul's Cathedral. So, this will be your starting point in touring the city…