Melbourne’s iconic Flinders St Station is the one thing that has remained consistent in my lifetime of inhabiting this wonderful city and when I found this old black and white image in reasonably good condition, I naturally got the urge to colourise it.
A quick Google search of Flinders St will show that this architectural masterpiece has not changed in over 100 years, at least not outwardly.
Designed in 1899 and completed by 1910, it sits smack in the heart of the city of Melbourne. It was Australia’s first railway station in any major city and it became the world’s busiest passenger station by the late 1920s. Just about every Melbournian has arranged to meet someone under those distinctive clocks showing the departure times of the next trains.
Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, Flinders St Station was slated for demolition on many occasions. This grand old building of monumental importance in the history of Victoria was nearly replaced by Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria buildings in the early 1960s. That eye-sore, a set of twin office tower blocks, was eventually built on the current site of Federation Square but thankfully it was demolished 30 years later. Seriously, what were they thinking in the 1960s? So many outstanding examples of 19th century architecture were demolished to make way for nothing short of ugly towering city blocks.
Fortunately today, the Flinders St Station is set to receive a $100 million facelift including upgraded public toilets and repairs to the crumbling clock tower and leaky roof. Curiously though the renovation of the decaying ballroom on the third floor will not be upgraded. Perhaps in time it will be revived for it once was an integral part of the building.
For a more in-depth exploration of this majestic building head over to this wonderful and informative Flinders St website, where you can take a virtual tour of the station.