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Culture

The New Opera House (Tivoli Theatre) shortly after its opening in 1901. Original raw photograph from The State Library of Victoria, restored by me.

The Titillating Tivoli Theatre

249 Bourke Street. 1901 William Pitt. Before the Tivoli Theatre was built, the site it stood on what was home to a business consisting of a timber yard and stables in the mid 19 th Century. In the 1860's the Australian and New York Letting and Livery Stables replaced the older business and interestingly the business also included a hall on the upper level. During 1866 the hall was known as The Varieties and then later as the Opera Comique; the...

Get Court Up! Australian Open 2014 and expansion plans beyond

It's that time of year again when the Grand Slam of the Asia-Pacific region rolls into town bringing with it hot weather, tourists and the world's best players to the blue Plexicushion hard courts of Melbourne Park. The city is abuzz as it's engulfed by a carnival-like atmosphere whilst work places are full of bleary eyed employees who were up until the early hours of the day watching their heroes battle it out. The slogan for this year's...

Casey Cultural Precinct comes up with the goods

I didn't expect to be writing about a momentous project in the municipality I spent my Secondary School days and most weekends, however this is most certainly warranted. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised when perusing our forum and in particular a thread created by Urban Melbourne member Fedsquared featuring the new Casey Cultural Precinct . After a 6 month design competition with finalists including Ashton Raggatt McDougall, DCM and John...

Melbourne takes the next step to a 24-hour city

As an avid observer and participant of all the great activities and experiences Melbourne has to offer, it has been quite astonishing to see the amount of new hospitality outlets appearing all over the CBD and inner city. This increase can be attributed to a number of different factors but in my opinion, I believe that the main factor has been the prolonged and continuous policy implementation from the City of Melbourne and the Victorian...

Could Australia build a New York Highline?

The celebrated New York Highline is one of the world’s urban redesign success stories. Formerly an abandoned railway, it is now an elevated park running past, over and through the buildings of Manhattan. Robert Hammond , co-founder and Executive Director of “Friends of the Highline”, was in Melbourne for Melbourne Knowledge Week telling the story of the project. But it’s not just the Highline. Around the world urban transport provides opportunities to revitalise cities, and Australia can learn from this too.
One penny token, minted in 1862. Issued by Fenwick Brothers, Importers & Clothiers. It features Observatory House and the Flagstaff in Flagstaff Gardens.

Melbourne Traders Tokens - History in your palm

Melbourne in the late 1840s through to the 1860s was affected by a coinage crisis. The crisis mainly related to a shortage of small change in circulation. At this time, British coinage was in use, however not enough coins were being supplied for Melbourne’s booming population and economy. Out of necessity, savvy entrepreneurial businesses of the day began issuing trade tokens. These tokens, which were mainly made of copper, were most often the...

Thought into Form and why it should MADA

'Thought into Form' , Monash Art Design & Architecture 's (MADA) inaugural publication was this week launched by Dean, Shane Murray. The publication showcases the work of the faculty's staff and students, giving an insight into the processes and methodology of art, design and architectural learning at an undergraduate level and providing ' the starting point for discourse about how the multidisciplinary will help shape and inform our future...

Is Offspring the tipping point for Australian television drama?

One of the great by-products of Television dramas like Offspring being filmed in areas which ooze urbanity is it provides mainstream Australia with a looking glass - no matter how outrageous story lines can get - into what single and family life can be like in urban areas. Offspring differs somewhat from previous productions which John Edwards has worked on like The Secret Life of Us in that there is no beachy backdrop, no sole focus on the...

Former Royal Melbourne Mint - A rich history

280-318 William Street (south east-corner of William and Latrobe Streets) 1871-1872 John James Clarke Commenced in 1871 and completed in 1872, on the site of the first Melbourne Exhibition Building, the former Royal Mint is considered one of the finest renaissance revival buildings in Australia. Design work by JJ Clarke of the administration building, which remains today, began in 1869 when Victoria was given permission by the Royal British Mint...

Weekend reads from the Internet

Trucks chaos threat to city , Adam Carey, The Age How did Melbourne's 'laneway culture' come about? Alan Davies, Crikey. - One should make it a weekly habit of reading Alan's blog, the best from this week. Melbourne's best breakfasts - Top 10 , Anna Spargo-Ryan, The Guardian - What's everyone's thoughts on that list? I haven't visited any of them - plug for the best of my locals, Fine and Dandy Food Stuffs , I'm not a coffee drinker, but the...

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 07:00
Hawthorn's Queens Avenue is emerging as an apartment hot spot of sorts, as developers realise the worth of converting the light industrial and commercial strip into a higher density apartment enclave. Running parallel to Burwood Road, Queens Avenue now has six apartment developments in progress.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 12:00
Carolyn Whitzman , University of Melbourne Liveability is an increasingly important goal of Australian planning policy. And creating cities where residents can get to most of the services they need within 20 to 30 minutes has been proposed, at both federal and state level, as a key liveability-related mechanism.

Visual Melbourne

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 12:00
Part Three follows on from the Part One: Yarra's Edge and Part Two: Victoria Harbour. The focus of today's piece will be NewQuay and Harbour Town, the northern most precincts within Docklands. NewQuay NewQuay was the first precinct to open way back in 2003 and has probably evolved the most.

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Transport & Design

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 12:00
The Victorian Government has announced the winning bidders in the tender to power Melbourne's tram network by renewable energy. At the same time, the Victorian Government has announced plans to legislate the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) ensuring that by 2020, 25% of Victoria's energy will come from renewable sources and the target rises to 40% by 2025.

Sustainability & Environment

Monday, August 21, 2017 - 12:00
The notion of Melbourne becoming a 20-minute City has been explored heavily in recent times. Seeking to provide Melburnians with the ability to 'live locally', the 20-minute City, in essence, strives to provide people with the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, cycle or local public transport trip of their home.