Student Union, Melbourne University

Original post 23 March 2020:

The history and future of the Melb uni student union has come up, and now I look, it seems incredible that in 1968-70, ‘they’ (architects Egglestone Secomb McDonald) demolished most of the 1863 National Museum, by Reed & Barnes – but they did ! This is 13 years after the University controversially demolished the charred remains of Wilson Hall, and also plonked the Raymond Priestly tower between the old 1850s quad and 1938 Chemistry – a concerted effort to expunge the Gothic ?

Part of the far right hand section was kept, containing the theatre, which was inserted there in 1938, theres only bay visible but a few more bays are hidden, as are the roof trusses. The 1968-70 changes also demolished the central section of the 1938 Gawler & Drummond additions to the Museum, in a nice cream brick Gothic / Tudor like other 30s buildings, still there in part, ie the buffet room section, visible out the back.

It would be nice when the Union moves to the new ‘Student hub’ that as much as possible of the old stuff is rescued ? or do we like the brick Brutalist classical front more ? (I dont). 2023 update : the new student precinct is now complete, but I can’t see any details on what might happen to the old union building.

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