Art & Design
Posted by Alana Aphoy
08. Nov, 2010
With talks of renovation, it feels timely to focus my attention on the neglected Flinders Street Station, one of Melbourne’s oldest architectural structures.
Filled with buskers, goths, ‘gumbies’ and dodgy fried food, Flinders Street is a constantly changing portrait of the city. Nearly every Melbournian has a memory of Flinders Street: whether as a teenager, when meeting under the clocks was the jumping off point for adolescent adventures in the big smoke, or as an adult, meeting friends for a night of Comedy Festival shows or a night at the theatre, Flinders Street is iconic for many reasons.
Built in the early 1900’s, Flinders Street station was inspired by the French Renaissance period. Originally a series of weatherboard train sheds situated next to a fish market, the current building was designed by railway employees James Fawcett and H.P.C. Ashworth. The elaborate dome houses a gym, library, lecture hall and ballroom, sadly abandoned and neglected over the last few decades. Servicing 110, 000 commuters daily, it’s easily the busiest station in Melbourne.
However it’s Flinders’ Street location rather than it’s locomotives that make it such an interesting space. It’s across the road from Federation Square and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), both architecturally interesting sights and great places to visit. It is also walking distance to Southbank, the Arts Centre, the revamped Malthouse Theater and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).
So next time you find yourself waiting by the stairs or under the clocks, take a little time to reflect about the yellow building and how it’s so much more than a transport hub. Flinders Street Station is a place where you can connect with Melbourne.