Yesterday we looked at some of the features and history of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, built in 1879 – 1880. If you missed that post, you can revisit it here.
Back when it was completed in 1880, the Exhibition Building was the tallest building in Melbourne, and you could see the Port Philip Bay and the busy port of the Yarra River from the top of the dome. Nowadays, however, the tall buildings of the nearby city obscure the view of the river and sea.
Now for the first time in 130 years, the rooftop itself is open to the public. I went along on a tour, and heard some more about the history of the dome before we were taken up to the roof top.
It is interesting to note that of about 50 iconic buildings built around the world for the World Fairs in the late 1800s to early 1900s, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne is the only one in the world that still stands as it was originally constructed, with the same surrounding Carlton gardens, AND is still used today for its orginal purpose of holding exhibitions!
The Australian Quilting Convention was on whilst we were there, with stalls and information as far as the eye could see! A quilter's paradise, in fact!
Initially the day was sunny, but quickly clouded over. Here are some of my photos from the tour:
Close up views of the fountain at the main South entrance:
Despite the inside of the Exhibtion Building being painted in single (solid) colours many times over during its lifetime, extensive records of the original colour scheme and cornice paintings had been kept, thankfully. The interior of the building was restored to its original colours in 2001, and aren't we glad they did!
It is a work of art, don't you agree!
Even the enormous fan lights at either end are the originals:
We hope you have enjoyed this small review of the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. As always, my poor photos do not do it justice!
But it may inspire you to do the tour if you either live, or are visting Melbourne some time in the future.......or to seek out other International Exhibition Buildings which still exist around the world!
Tomorrow we are going to have a TagCloud Day on revisiting some past posts on Buildings and Structures.