Accessing Melbourne
Chapter 11
was converted to public space, the Open Postal Hall. It is curious that the Elizabeth
St facade remains unfinished, nevertheless the GPO is as significant a meeting
place as Melbourne's other two meeting places; under the clocks at Flinders St
Station and the portico of the Town Hall.
Access to the main entry is via a ramp (11%) where the post boxes and automatic
stamp dispensers are high (1.4m).
The Melbourne Town Hall
90 130 Swanston St, The Melbourne Town Hall was first constructed between
1851 4. A new building was constructed following a design competition held
during 1864 6, won by architect Joseph Reed. The foundation stone was laid in
1867 by Prince Alfred and construction took five years between 1867 72, including
the main hall (with its chandeliers, murals and organ as a significant feature of the
interior), administrative offices, Lord Mayor's room and Council Chamber. The
portico, designed by Joseph Reed's firm, was completed in 1887 8 and the
Administration Building, adjoining the town hall to the north, was completed in
1908 10.
The Melbourne Town Hall is extremely significant to the citizens of Melbourne as
the civic centre since 1867. It is seen to be Victorian Classical in architectural style,
and despite a fire in 1925 which destroyed the interior and organ, is essentially
intact. The new organ is today considered a scarce example of 1920's British
organ building craftsmanship.
Access into the Town Hall Council Offices is flat from Swanston St through
automatic doors. The reception area has a wheelchair friendly counter but access
to the offices is secured. Access to the Town Hall proper from Swanston St Walk is
via a grade up (5.3%) adjacent to the portico, then down once inside to flat access
BUILDINGS & SCULPTURES
to the lifts. An accessible unisex toilet is available past the lift.
Melbourne's Visitors Information Centre (9658 9745) on the corner of Swanston
St and Little Collins St through automatic opening doors. Free tours are available
through the Town Hall (9658 9658) on Mon, Wed & Thurs.
Victoria State Library
304 328 Swanston St, Victoria State Library, (9669 9888/TTY 9669 9035,
www.slv.vic.gov.au). Governor La Trobe initiated the establishment of the Library
and as was usual, a competition was held to determine a winning design and
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