Chapter 11
Accessing Melbourne
The construction coincided with the height of the gold rush era in Victoria, which
explains the lavish use of 23 carat gold throughout the building. It is worth taking a
tour of Parliament not just for its historical importance, but for its sheer grandeur
and beauty. When Parliament is not sitting, tours commence from the front
vestibule at various times, call 9651 8568 for details. Wheelchair access is gained
by the security station, off Macarthur Place (two dedicated parking spaces are
provided) and there is an accessible unisex toilet just off the corridor. The building
has full lift service.
Old Treasury Building
Spring St, Old Treasury Building, was completed between 1857 62 and reflects
the development of Melbourne and  the top end of Collins St  in a burgeoning
colony.
Built in a Renaissance Revival style in Bacchus Marsh freestone and with a slate
roof, the building is considered the finest conservative Classical building in
Australia. Built to house Victoria's gold reserves, it has served as Government
Printers Office and as State Government Offices. Today it is a museum with the top
floor as offices for the Governor of Victoria.
The lower two floors are used as a permanent museum (9651 2233, open M F
9am 5pm, S, S 10am 4pm, adult $5, seniors $4, child/concession $3, family $13),
displaying the history of Victoria from the perspective of the gold rush years    Built
on Gold, Victoria's Gold Journey and Legacy 1852/62 , plus other changing
exhibitions.
The basement level vaults have been cleverly renovated to reveal elements of
developing Victoria over the 1850's and 60's. Audio visual displays provide an
BUILDINGS & SCULPTURES
insight to the life at the time while several rooms have been recreated as the
caretakers cottage. A man died there and his ghost still haunts the building!
Access for a wheelchair is gained by a rear door from Treasury Place. There is a
significant grade (reaches a maximum 11.6%) up to a buzzer which summons
museum staff to let you in. Better access is by coming from Spring St and staying
on the path close to the building. A unisex accessible toilet is on this level and a
small lift conveys you to the upper levels.
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