Chapter 11
Accessing Melbourne
architect. In 1854 Joseph Reed (Melbourne Town Hall) won the competition and
construction progressed in stages until 1870, but it was not until 1961 that the long
facade was finally completed.
The library is famous for its domed reading room which was opened in 1913. The
deign was based upon two great libraries of the time, the British Museum Library in
London and the Library of Congress in Washington USA. The room is octagonal with
four reading levels. The dome was originally a skylight but was covered over with
copper due to many water leaks.
There are three disabled persons car parks on La Trobe St, then a gently ramped
(3.5%) entry to the portico which overlooks a forecourt with sculptures of Sir
Redmund Barry (Chair of the Board of Trustees which funded the library, unveiled
1887), Jeanne D'Arc (1907) and St George and the Dragon (1888). There is an
accessible unisex toilet and a lift is available with staff assistance. The library
provides services to assist people with disabilities, ask at the Information Desk.
Free tours are conducted on Mondays through to Thursdays, again ask at the
Information desk.
The Museum which occupies the rest of the site is under renovation prior to
housing the collection from the National Gallery of Victoria while its building in St
Kilda Rd is renovated and enlarged. The Museum will eventually move to a new
facility being constructed at Carlton Gardens, next to the Royal Exhibition Building
and IMAX Theatre. It is due to be completed by the year 2001.
The sculpture Architectural Fragment appears on the pavement as though a chunk
of the State Library has fallen from the building (Petrus Spronk, 1993).
BUILDINGS & SCULPTURES
Queen Victoria Hospital Tower Building
210 Lonsdale St, Queen Victoria Hospital Tower building now the Queen Victoria
Women's Centre (9663 8799). The site bounded by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell
and Little Lonsdale Sts was the location of Melbourne's first public hospital in
1846. In 1910 the Melbourne Hospital was built on the site and in 1944 it relocated
to a site further up Swanston St at Parkville (it was then the Royal Melbourne
Hospital). The Queen Victoria Hospital was operated as a hospital run by women for
women for over forty years.
The 1910 former Queen Victoria Hospital occupied the whole block, what remains
is a tower section of the original building, the bluestone footings running around
88
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