OHM 2014 – First look at the Argus Building renovations
Melbourne was flooded with a sea of purple last weekend, as Open House Melbourne opened the doors to some of Melbourne’s favourite and iconic buildings to the public, for the seventh year. This year, I volunteered my photography skills
to document this insightful, not-for-profit event.
Open House Melbourne is always a highlight of my annual photography events. I am a sucker for local history and sneaking into places, and it was a pleasure to be able to give back to this cultural event by volunteering as an event photographer. Over the weekend, I managed to see behind closed doors of some remarkable historic sights that I had never seen and revisit some old favourites.
Check out my archive of Open House Melbourne photos 2010-2014.
Restored ceiling at Argus Building
During my Uni days, the Argus Building on the corner of Elizabeth & Latrobe Streets was always boarded up, covered in graffiti and probably occupied by squatters. I was intrigued.
The Argus Building was home to local newspaper The Argus, which ceased publication in the 1950s and ceased occupation. It’s beaux arts-style architecture fell into disrepair until the Melbourne Institute of Technology earmarked it for redevelopment to turn it into a bustling CBD campus. While only the facade was heritage listed, the long-term foresight of the university and architect firm DesignInc painstakingly restored the foyer and it’s ornate vaulted ceiling to its former grandeur. OHM provided the first glimpse of the renovations to the public, due to open January 2015.
Old Melbourne Gaol
OHM Pop-up Bar at Old Melbourne Gaol
Believe it or not, this was my first time visiting the Old Melbourne Gaol (well… I am a local, not a tourist). What a way to experience it – illuminated red for Open House Melbourne’s Pop-up Bar event. Built in 1839, it famously housed bush-ranger Ned Kelly. Now a museum, you can explore the gaol cells and learn about the men and women who were imprisoned here, some notorious, some wrongly convicted, which gives great insight to the values Australia held at the time.
Hawthorn Tram Depot
Inside a 1920′s X Class M&MTB Tram
Finally opened to the public, I believe the Hawthorn Tram Depot will become one of Melbourne’s must-see tourist spots. Housing an impressively restored collection of Melbourne’s tram fleet throughout the years, patrons can walk in, sit in the drivers seat and toot the horns of these iconic public transportation vehicles.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Inside St Patrick’s Cathedral
Built in the heat of Melbourne’s gold rush, this cathedral was built in the opulence of Gothic Revival style, which perfectly encapsulates ‘booming Melbourne’. I liked this cute moment captured, a little girl mesmerised by the candles against the grandeur of the medieval-style doors.
Mirrored walls at Hamer Hall
From the old, to the new… I satisfied my inner music nerd with a visit to The Arts Centre. It’s not often that we celebrate 1980′s architecture, but the lights reflecting in the mirrored staircase is a fantastic way to enter a venue.