I'm not sure when I first noticed this view of the Manchester Unity building on the corner of Collins & Swanston Sts in Melbourne. The photo is taken from the City Square, over the shoulders of Burke & Wills, memorialised by Charles Summer in 1865 following their 1860-61 ill-fated exploring expedition to cross Australia south to north from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
While the Manchester Unity building, designed by Marcus Barlow, has been here since 1932, the poor old explorers have been in a few locations around Melbourne in their 140-odd years before finding this home on the edge of the City Square in 1994.
The problem with trees is, they grow! While that is the bane of Art Deco photographer they do make the streets of the French Concession lovely and cool in a somewhat hot and dusty Shanghai. Glimpsed through the leaves of a Plane tree, this is Elizabeth Apartments from 1930.
This wonderful building is the former Rong Family Villa in Shanghai. It has recently been repainted is definitely one of the best buildings I saw in Shanghai. It is now used as a Children's Palace which is a space used by schoolchildren who are members of the Young Pioneers go to study extra subjects.
And, by the way, if you don't know about Shanghai Art Deco you should check out the Shanghai Art Deco Facebook page which is the official page for the World Congress on Art Deco to be held in Shanghai in 2015.
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.