Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Melbourne Building

PJ O'Reilly's is an Irish pub on Alinga Street, Civic. It's been there since 1999, and is a popular venue for after-work drinks and functions.

The pub is housed in part of the Melbourne Building. Because I've had a really busy weekend and I'm exhausted, I'm just going to quote from Wikipedia on this building (and the matching Sydney Building):

The Melbourne and Sydney buildings were based on design principles set by John Sulman in sketch form. The design work was finalised by J H Kirkpatrick. The buildings were the model which establish the colonnade principle, an important design element throughout Civic. From 1921 to 1924 Sulman was chairman of the Federal Capital Advisory Committee, and in that role was involved in the planning of Canberra and refining Griffin's plan.

Sulman's concept of arcaded loggias was derived from Brunelleschi's Ospedale degli Innocenti (Foundling Hospital) and the cloisters of the 15th century Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze. The Mediterranean influence was maintained by Kirkpatrick with Roman roof tiles and cast embellishments such as roundels. The buildings were originally constructed with open first floor verandahs which have since largely been glazed in.

The Melbourne Building was sold sequentially as independent parcels from 1927 until 1946. The corner of West Row and London Circuit was built specifically for the Bank of New South Wales (now the Westpac Banking Corporation). The manager lived above the bank. Much of the Melbourne Building facing West Row was completed by the Commonwealth Government in 1946 and used as the location of the Commonwealth Employment Service. From 1944 to 1953, the Canberra University College was housed in the Melbourne building. On 11 April 1953 the Melbourne Building was severely damaged by fire and the college relocated (it eventually became the Australian National University).


Anonymous said...

Had lunch there on Thursday! x Sam

Mo said...

Bet it rocks on the weekend