In the Media: Samantha Landy, Herald Sun July 22, 2019 9:33am, News.com.au, realestate.com.au
Melbourne’s biggest weekend of the year for stickybeaks is fast approaching, so we’ve picked out some standouts from Open House Melbourne’s massive program of 200-plus buildings.
Attention stickybeaks — a bunch of Melbourne’s most weird, wonderful and well-known buildings will open their doors to the public next weekend.
Curious Melburnians will peek behind the scenes at St Kilda landmark Luna Park, peruse the birthplace of Victoria Bitter, and explore recently-built floors in Melbourne’s soon-to-be tallest tower, Australia 108, as part of Open House Melbourne.
More than 200 buildings are part of this year’s program.
Open House Melbourne program and business manager Victoria Bennett said this marked dramatic growth from the event’s first year in 2008, when just eight buildings on Swanston St took part.
Since then, OHM has overseen more than 900,000 visits to 934 sites across the city.
“Now we’re all over metropolitan Melbourne,” Ms Bennett said.
“We’re providing access to places people wouldn’t normally be able to access, allowing them to engage with great architecture.”
Ms Bennett said about 50 of this year’s properties required pre-bookings. But attendees could simply turn up to view the vast majority across July 27-28.
They’ll be treated to guided tours from buildings’ architects, designers and custodians at a host of the sites.
Select attendees will tour Luna Park’s century-old Great Scenic Railway, including its normally off-limits motor room and heritage-listed maintenance shed, along with the 1912 fun park’s famed carousel and ghost train.
Ms Bennett said the skyscraper — which will stretch 100 levels when it’s completed mid next year — was part of last year’s program, but the floors open this year hadn’t been built then.
At the other end of the spectrum, one of Melbourne’s oldest remaining residences can be viewed in Melton: the 1854 Willows Homestead.
The former hosted Princess Margaret during her 1975 royal tour, and featured in Hollywood film Charlotte’s Web.
Ms Bennett’s picks included the CBD’s recently refurbished The Capitol theatre — described by leading architect Robin Boyd as “the best cinema that was ever built” — and Williamstown “historic gem” Blunt Boat Builders.
Open House has expanded to Ballarat and Bendigo in recent years, with the latter city set to host its second event later this year.
Visit openhousemelbourne.org for buildings’ opening hours and more information