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Myer Emporium

Peter Maltezos's picture
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Text from Melbourne Architecture

Myer Emporium

314-336 Bourke Street

1933 HW and FB Tompkins

Napier Waller (Mural Hall)

 

The Myer Emporium is the vertical Streamlined Moderne member of the seriers of Myer buildings that lie between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets. Sidney Myer replaced his 1913 store with this one in 1931, during the Depression, a brave move achieved only through 24-hour shifts that enabled the store to open for Christmas in 1933. The building is externally relatively undistinguished, apart from its clock, repetitive façade and parapet of fins. Its most striking feature is inside. The Myer Mural Hall features the work of artist Napier Waller, who had lost his right arm during World War 1, then learnt to paint with his left arm and went on to become Melbourne’s major mural artist. His Myer murals depict women in all manner of fields; women’s fashion throughout history; and sea and land transport vehicles throughout history.

 

Below, a painting of the Myer building ~ 1930s.

 

Next seven down, from several years ago, starting off with the Bourke Street façade.

 

Currently in storage and to be rebuilt/reassembled, the footbridge in Little Bourke Street that connected the Bourke Street building with the Lonsdale Street building.

 

Lonsdale Street façade.

Notice the ‘S’ in MYER’S has been filled in for the recent name change to MYER.

 

Above, the Napier Waller Myer Mural Hall from a few years ago and below, during a fashion show in the 1960s.

 

Above, the department store that Myer took over and later demolished.

Below, The group of stores that Myer occupied on Lonsdale Street, later demolished for its Lonsdale Street Building.

 

The first Myer’s store in Australia seen below in a Bendigo postcard (middle right).

 

Below, ~ 1930s, the scene on the pavement in front of Myer’s (Bourke Street) during a sale.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Myer all decked out for the Olympic Games in 1956.

 

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Sidney Myer

Ambrose Pratt

Quartet Books Australia PTY LTD

First published in 1978

 

Out of print

 

This is the story of Sidney Myer, the penniless migrant boy who founded a multi-million-dollar Australian merchandising empire based in Melbourne.

It is hard for us to understand a man who lived his life as if it were a novel, with panache, steadfastness and a passion. A man incomprehensible to us in his upbringing and his success, a man truly benevolent who yet benefited by the great tragedies of his time – the first World War and the Depression. But through the eyes of his contemporary Ambrose Pratt we see him – a shooting star who bequeathed an institution.

 

One can only wish that such a man was still alive today.

Another different biography on Sydney Myer has been recently published as well.

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Photo I took of the Myer Mural Hall back in 2005:

Recent photo from the Myer website showing new renovations:

http://www.myer.com.au/p/our-services/mural-hall/

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture

A bird’s eye view of the new Myer Bourke Street.

 

 

From Bourke Street, paint now removed from the windows.

 

 

Next four images from arch daily.

From Little Bourke Street. 

 

Inside Bourke Street store.

 

 

http://www.archdaily.com/

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture

A great aerial from John Gollings.

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Glennwilson's picture

That one is just before the demo started.

They removed the back of stage area, behind the glass in the Mural Hall. Shame.

Wouldn't the building look so much better without the awnings. Get rid of them in the mall at least.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Aussie Steve's picture

I hosted a private function in the Myer Mural Hall a few years back and it is certainly a spectacular space.

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