Flinders Street Ballroom, broken

So with #PatriciaPiccinini’s show coming up in the #FlindersStreetBallroom, finally the public will be able to see it – and that it’s actually in a terrible state, with no plaster ! And no funds to repair it. In 2017-18, the plaster walls and pressed metal ceilings were all taken off because a. they were heavily damaged by YEARS of water getting in, and b. they had to insert steel framing to strengthen the structure (against earthquakes believe it or not).

So they spent $70mill repairing the roofs and the external walls of the giant building, but there were no $ for the interior – so anyone want to volunteer to run a campaign ? Ask @danielandrewsmp to find another $70 mill ? It’ll be all mixed up with what use it might have, but I reckon there’s enough work to get on with ! The public hasn’t been allowed in much for decades because – safety ? Exits ? I’m told there’s only 3 stairs up in the whole 250m length of the building (there’s supposed to one at least every 30m). So what’s different now ?? Be great to see it repaired, and maybe handed over over to the ministry of the arts for young artists and designers as studios and exhibition spaces, though there’s prob room for another whole floor to be maybe tech start-up businesses too, the kind of low rent spaces that are getting rarer in the CBD. Good idea ?

Some more images of the #FlindersStreetStationBallroom in its earliest days; it was actually built as a lecture hall, the centrepiece of the top floor which was added to the original 1899 design about 1902, to house what was to be called the #VictorianRailwaysInstitute, an organisation for employees dedicated to both improving instruction and social activities. The railways was the largest employer in Victoria at the time. Later it was used for dances, hence the ballroom name. The institute grew to have satellites in many suburbs and county towns, and still exists. 1st image c1930 from the @vic_archives, others from the 1910s @library_vic.

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