Architectural neighbours #3 – Sublime vs Subway

A lovely evening to be in Melbourne for the tribute for Nelson Mandela.

In the break between events I had a wander along the unloveliness that is Swanston St and took a closer look at Cathedral Arcade.

Tucked away between the mess of souvenir shops and fast food outlets, the arcade is part of the monumental Nicholas Building.

Completed in 1926, the building is home to artisans and crafty folk of which I am blissfully ignorant. So another proper visit is due.

Although photos by others make the arcade look luminous – it seems a little under-loved and in need of some proper reverence.

Jamming a Subway and an ever ubiquitous 7-11 on the corner of this great building seems completely jarring –

(I did make the photo of Subway a bit sepia just to be fair).

Some more words on the interior delights of the building can be read at Trudy’s Playing in the Attic blog which is itself delightful in every way.


7 thoughts on “Architectural neighbours #3 – Sublime vs Subway

  1. Love this! My favorite spots in Paris are the “passages” like this one. I visited Melbourne in January 1998 and loved every minute of it…were it not for the $2,000 airfare and 20-hour flight, I’d have been back quite soon….


    • Hi Caitlin – I’ll post up some more of these – some pretty, some not so pretty! Keep saving up for another chance to visit – Melbourne has changed a lot since ’98 and I’m sure you would love it – a visit for the writer’s festival perhaps? When I get on a long flight I always take it as a chance to leave all my domestic cares behind for a day! Then time just flies..


      • I loved Melbourne so much…the river, the buildings, the neighborhoods. It reminded me of my hometown, Toronto, but much prettier. I have some fun watercolors I painted there, including one of Flinders St. Station. I need to find and frame it.

        Wld love to return but $$$$$ is very tight in NY in a bad economy in journalism.


    • Hi Stephen – luckily Starbucks was run out of town in Melbourne – although there is one left on Swanston St for tourists and the uninitiated. :>> 7/11 definitely is a successful rash on the urban landscape here though.


  2. Aahh, good to hear I’m not the only one who thinks Swanston St is unlovely and a bit of a visual mess….thank you! Our creative souls need some refinement, which can be seen in buildings such as this one, one of my faves. Not sure if it’s Art Nouveau of Art Deco (methinks Nouveau) and I love that glass ceiling in the arcade. It’s a difficult thing to photograph well using just the natural lighting, but I love its design nonetheless.

    Some of the small businesses in the building are a street photographer’s paradise, and, yes, please go back and just visit, drop in uninvited, they won’t mind!

    PS: I missed visiting you on nov.26 at the exhibition as I had promised; not feeling too well that day, unfortunately! I would like to ask, ‘though, if you know of any very good crochet-people who could give me some paid-for one-on-one lessons; trying to find same is impossible! I have a mission in mind, to do with breast cancer and support kits provided free (but not by me, by others). Your help would be invaluable. Perhaps we could get together at Brunetti’s City Square to talk over same?! 🙂


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