Cathedral Room, Collins Street, then and now.

Fantastic photo recently emerged of what we now call the #CathedralRoom at the #GothicBank in #CollinsStreet, taken by Charles Bristow Walker c1897 at the @nationallibraryaus. Shows that the #floortiling done in the 1991-3 restoration by @lovellchen was not even close and how the original skylight (down a 6 storey lightwell) which was the only natural lighting, was very bright – or it might be a long exposure. Designed by #WilliamPitt as part of the very extravagant #MelbourneStockExchange, completed in 1891, as a kind of meeting vestibule/ reading room, where members could take guests. The glass floor illuminated the basement dining room (!). In the 1920s it was fitted with counters when the bank next door took it over. It’s all made of carved #OamaruLimestone, still creamy in colour. No wonder the Stock Exchange company eventually had to sell.

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