History in the backyard

Have you ever walked past a grand old building and wondered what history lay beneath those ancient walls of stone?

A building like this for instance?


If there was one architectural art form I am crazy about, it’ll probably have to be Art Deco! This love affair for all things flapper and jazz sprung from an art exhibition I attended a few years back featuring all things from that era.

I’ve learnt how to spot some of the telling features of architecture in houses or buildings from that era. They tend to sport clean lines and geometric shapes and designs – something considered modern in the 1920s and 1930s. Like this office that we saw on our walk this afternoon – the curved wall and window are quite characteristic of art deco design.


Now back to our building – we had passed it a million times on the way to the shops and had never once thought more of it. Today, while we were waiting at the lights, my curiosity finally got the better of me and I decided to do a little snooping online when back home to find out further!


Turns out that this building used to be a cable tram engine house in the late 1800s and is one of the existing relics of Melbourne’s cable tram network! A famous Australian architect – Harry Norris (his work is scattered throughout the city- hmmmm I might be tempted to make a special trip into town in the near future to share with you his amazing designs) later redesigned the building during the Jazz age and the Capitol Bakery occupied the premises.

The brightly lit signboard of the Soda Rock diner, which is currently housed in the building, might be a little distracting but if you look past that, you might be able to spot some fine architectural detail like this carved cob of corn in the stonework….


And those telltale long, clean lines on the walls of the building!


Sadly the building is making way for some high rise accommodation and will be torn down really soon (such is the price of progress). I’m glad I got to know a little more about it before it disappears from the face of this earth!

Have a fabulous Monday daaahlings!


One thought on “History in the backyard

  1. Pingback: On the street « A happy moment a day- my project 365

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