I arrived into Melbourne early for a business meeting, I thought I would go for a walk to clear my head before attending it. As I took the long way to the Offices, I walked past this magnificent building.
It is truly stunning. The club was established in 1878 as clubrooms and a lodging house for businessmen, one of nine clubs founded in Melbourne during the 19th century.
There were three stages to building this, the first two stages, designed by architect and member Lloyd Tayler, were completed between 1879 and 1894.
Tayler was asked to leave the club in 1895 and architect J Charlesworth completed the construction.
The building is regarded as the grandest and most intact Victorian era clubrooms in Australia and far more opulent than the Melbourne Club established much earlier.
The architectural grandeur of the building and its internal rooms reflects the wealth of the Victorian era and the social standing of the “gentlemen’s club” of merchants, bankers, lawyers and squatters.
Interestingly enough, I walked into the lobby keen to know what the building was. A gentleman inside was quite affronted by my presence, even though it was evident that I was keenly interesting in the architecture of the building. Their website states," The Club is always a most welcoming environment for all Members, guests and employees." It further states that, " we are encouraging our Members to be most welcoming of both male and female guests into the Club to enjoy not only its special unique heritage surroundings"... well ... it seems that the members or staff are not up to the most recent challenge of being welcoming to both genders.
Architecturally this should be a five star rating, but the lack of welcome or even manners significantly changes the experience for me. I can't believe I have the audacity to be a woman. :)