Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swallows of Port Melbourne

Swallows of Port Melbourne

For most of its life this Port Melbourne pub was known as the Southern Cross Hotel. From 1873 to around 1990 this was certainly the case. After that time it became Swallows Hotel or as their sign reads, Swallows of Port Melb.

Detail, Swallows of Port MelbourneAt some time in the 1930s this Victorian building got a makeover to become Port's most deco of pubs.

From a distance the corner parapret with its three speedlines and flagpole are the most noticable features but standing on the footpath in front of the hotel, these dark green panels are clearly the best Art Deco elements on the facade.

Swallows of Port Melbourne

Reference:
Chartered Scoundrels - A Brief History of Port Melbourne Hotels, by Pat Grainger, Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, April 2007.

10 comments:

  1. The corner parapet with its three speedlines and flagpole are lovely, but not unique. However the speedlines curve in a more interesting way than is usual.

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  2. Thanks for sharing that those lines are called speed lines. I love speed lines. This is a very nice looking building.

    Cheers,
    Lisa

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  3. Lisa, yes we call them speedlines and they are very common on all manner of Art Deco objects from buildings, cars, ships, trains, radios, vacuum cleaners and beyond. At the Symposium held in conjunction with the Art Deco 1910-1939 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2008, Dr Matthew Martin presented a talk entitled Sstreamliners: Travel & Transportation and Industrial Design where he referred to short or cut-off speedines as speed whiskers which I just love as a descriptive term.

    Hels, for sure, not unique but the way the lines have been applied is the most interesting aspect of the design.

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  4. Sorry that is of course Streamliners with just the one 's' at the start for Matthew Martin's talk.

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  5. Interesting that you should be having this discussion as I was just admiring what I now know are speedlines on the building on the corner of Barkly and Blessington St in St Kilda today.

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  6. I'm trying to picture that intersection and I can't recall the building. I'll have to check it out the next time I am in St Kilda.

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  7. hi, i can see 4 lines /speedlines..not 3...?

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    Replies
    1. You are 100% correct. I obviously can't count. Swallows employs the not so frequently used deco rule of four.

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