Once upon a time, 1858-59 according to the National Trust of Australia classification, the Bank of New South Wales built their Melbourne head office, designed by Joseph Reed, in Collins Street. By the 1930s, the bank needed a new building so their old head office was demolished but the façade was saved and gifted to the University of Melbourne.
In 1938 it was incorporated into what became known as the Old Commerce Building at the university's Parkville campus. You can see the join in the photo below.
Old Commerce had some nice deco features as you will see in the following pics.
And some nice metalwork on the stairways inside.
Over the summer, the Old Commerce Building was demolished to allow for the construction of a new building for the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, but don't worry, the old bank facade will be saved and in the new building. And some of the deco fittings from Old Commerce were offered for sale so hopefully the lamps and the window grills are still floating around somewhere.
This amazing doorway belongs to one of the best Art Deco buildings in Shanghai. Designed by Dayu Doon, it was built in 1935 as a building for the China Aviation Association. The insignia above the door attests to that aviation link.
But there is another, more tangible link to the original purpose of this building.
The front of the building consists of the central circular section with two full-height wings, one on either side, of course. This front section is than connected to another pair of wings but a tapering corridor with a rounded roof sloping downwards as it progresses towards the rear wings which are smaller both in height and width than the other pair.
From 1866 until 1993 James Smith and the company that grew from his original drapery business were a major part of the Wellington retail sector. This building was constructed in 1907 and the firm had architects King & Dawson modernise the façade in 1932 and design an extension along Manners Street in 1934. Further extensions was also added in Cuba Street in the 1960s.
Ten year's after the store closed, the building is still used for retail purposes and the corner still bears the James Smith name.
This deco building is part of what was originally the Warragul Shire Council Saleyards. With a rationalisation of Victoria's local government areas in the mid 1990s, Warragul Shire became part of Baw Baw Shire and at some point the sale yards become the Baw Baw Livestock Exchange Pty Ltd.
It's lovely that they didn't remove the old lettering when the ownership changed.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.