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A view of the foyer of the Manchester Unity Building in Melbourne, Australia.

Some information from Wikipedia:

The Manchester Unity Building is a Neo-Gothic skyscraper in Melbourne, Australia, constructed in 1932.

The site, on the north-west corner of the intersection of Collins Street and Swanston Street, was purchased by the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in 1928, reportedly for the sum of £250,000. Architect Marcus Barlow designed the building, which was built by W E Cooper Pty Ltd, contracted for the price of £215,000. Construction commenced at midnight on 1 January 1932 with the demolition of the prior buildings on the site, and proceeded around the clock in eight-hour shifts.

For the first time in Australia a construction progress schedule was used to track and manage the construction of the building.

Such was the speed of construction that in May the basement and ground floor arcade were structurally complete and ready to be fitted out, and by the end of July the roof had been laid, floors having been added at the rate of one a week on average. The shopping areas in the ground floor arcade, the basement and on the first floor were opened on 1 September.

A dinner for several hundred guests was held on 12 December 1932 in the building's basement to celebrate its opening, with Sir Stanley Argyle, the Premier of Victoria, giving a speech. On declaring the building open, Argyle pressed a button which turned on, for the first time, the lights illuminating the tower and spire.

The building is now occupied by a mix of tenants, a large number of whom specialise in dentistry.

For those who are interested, here is a link to the Wikipedia article describing the work and history of the Oddfellows Societies, which were first established in the United kingdom in the eighteenth century. Reference is also made here to the Manchester Unity.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10649 W: 63 N: 29870] (130965)
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