First published with City Journal News – http://thecityjournal.net/news/flinders-street-restoration-cant-come-soon-enough-tourists/
Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station is getting a makeover, with a new paint job and and waterproofing currently underway.
Scaffolding covering the station front is expected to be removed in early 2018.
City of Melbourne ambassadors David and Norma say the restoration cannot come soon enough for tourists wanting to take pictures of the landmark.
“I have been showing tourists a brochure with a picture of what the station looked like before the scaffolding,” David says.
“A lot of tourists want to take pictures of the station so it is very important that it is restored.”
The station’s exterior is being repainted in original colours, a lighter stone shade than the previous mustard.
The paint restoration is part of a $100 million station repair project which began in early 2015.
Restoring and repairing the station’s crumbling facade, fixing the leaky roof, upgrading platforms and entrances, and restoring the heritage clock tower will be completed during the heritage revamp which will return the building to its original 1910 style.
Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allen says the upgrades will restore the station to its “former glory”.
“Flinders Street Station will be returned to its original colours, to reflect and celebrate the history of this iconic Melbourne landmark,” she says.
“It’s part of our $100 million upgrade of the busy station, to … make it safer, more accessible and more user friendly for the millions of passengers who use it every year.”
Flinders Street Station is the busiest station in the southern hemisphere, according to City of Melbourne.
Over 1500 trains and 110,000 commuters pass through the station each day.
Melbourne Heritage Action president Tristan Davies says the station has cultural significance.
“As well as the fact heritage is important, buildings act as landmarks of people’s identity of the city and what kind of city they want to live in,” he said.
“As much as heritage is about history, it is also about uses of the city and keeping things alive. You are not just protecting architecture but the way space is used.
“If you look at a lot of American cities where they have demolished their downtowns, it has turned into car-parking and office space and there is no life left in the city.”
Melburnians can now see the first completed section of paint work which has restored the Yarra River side of the building to its original cream and red colour.
The restoration project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.