Victorian icon : the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne / David Dunstan ; with contributions by Mimi Colligan [and fourteen others] Dunstan, David, 1950-

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Dunstan, David, 1950-
Royal Exhibition Building (Melbourne, Vic.); Exhibition buildings - Victoria - Melbourne - History.; Reed, Joseph, 1823-1890.
“Specially constructed in the Carlton Gardens for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880-81, the Royal Exhibition Building is a grand expression of Victorian style and optimism. For many years it was the largest building in Australia, attracting spectacular events like the Centennial International Exhibition of 1888 and the opening of Federal Parliament in 1901. It has taken everything in its stride - housing the Victorian State Parliament, an influenza hospital, an examination centre, an art gallery and museum, a Royal Australian Air Force depot, a migration centre, a war memorial and government offices. It has also served as the location for concerts, revival meetings, sporting events, trade fairs and baby shows. Older Australians will remember the Aquarium and the Royale Ballroom. Since 1945, the building has been Melbourne’s main commercial exhibition venue, introducing countless Australians to new developments in housing, automobiles, leisure, art and computes. Yet once it was condemned as a white elephant, threatened with demolition, neglected and branded a fire trap. Nonetheless, it has survived and prospered. In recent years its value has been better recognised. Restored by its trustees, its fabric, sculptures, fountains, sumptuous interior decorations and murals now reveal their former glory. This wonderfully ornate building is today recognised as a rare example of its type and period, the most intact of the nineteenth-century World Fair buildings, and a work of art in its own right.”--Book jacket.
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