Monday, September 17, 2012

Dazzling splendour mark II and a day off

 The tower of the Manchester Unity Building

The Manchester Unity Building on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets is one of Melbourne's architectural gems and it's about to get even more awesome. 

According to a story in The Age today, a dentist bought the first floor of the building in 2003 and has been progressively buying more of it to house his dental practice, and restoring it as he goes - including bringing back the lighting installation on the tower. 

The MU Building was completed (in record time) in 1932 and unveiled in December of that year with a light show, which The Argus newspaper described thusly: 
For the first time, the ornamental turreted tower, and the flag surmounting it, leapt out of the dark in dazzling splendour, illuminated by hidden floodlights from all sides.
Leapt out of the dark! In dazzling splendour!  Haha. There's going to be more leaping and bedazzlement on the eve of the AFL Grand Final on 28 September when the new tower lighting is turned on, accompanied by fireworks. 

I've been inside the MU Building and it's a beautiful space. You can see some of it - including the boardroom and the stairs leading to the top of the tower - in the video accompanying The Age story I've linked to above.  

The ceiling of one of the lifts in the MU Building

The dentist - Dr Kia Pajouhesh  - also appears. His passion for the building is obvious and endearing. What a wonderful thing to do - spending your own money to restore a building that's not only your place of business, but also a building loved by so many. If only some wealthy businessperson would do the same for the Nylex clock...   

I have Friday off work. I'm taking an annual leave day just because. Luke and I are contemplating driving down to Queenscliff and catching  the ferry across to Sorrento. Neither of us has been on the ferry before. This really should be remedied. 


Andrew said...

I was really excited when I read about the lighting of MU. Keep a look out for dolphins on the ferry trip.

missjane said...

Oh, this is my favourite building! I'm so pleased it'll be getting lights and fireworks. To think I was being judgemental of the dentist for his logos in the windows... that will teach me.