A sunny Friday lunchtime in June. Nothing much on and fancied a walk so took a look at the list for a bit of inspiration and headed out to visit the ANZ Banking Museum. Now I've walked past this building on the corner of Queen Street and Collins Street many times and thought to myself it's a beautiful old building, but haven't given it much thought and had never been inside. Time to remedy that.
The ANZ Gothic Bank as it's called (yes really) is made up of two buildings. The former English, Scottish and Australian (ES&A) Bank on the corner and the former Melbourne Stock Exchange. In 1923 the two buildings were renovated and combined, and became known as the 'Gothic Bank.' Love it. They've since been restored as ANZ World Headquarters.
So, down the stairs to the slightly tacky ANZ Banking Museum (free). Old money boxes, a few old adding machines and a bit of money history. Not that exciting, but the lovely attendant down there (who was looking rather thrilled to have someone visiting) came over for a chat.
Good thing, because I hadn't thought to actually go into the buildings themselves.
|Does your bank branch have ceilings like these|
The ground floor is open to the public as it is a functioning branch of the ANZ . Gorgeous iron columns, wooden benches and beautifully painted ceilings. Really rather special.
Then into the Cathedral Room in the former Stock Exchange building and wow! It was originally the main trading room of the Stock Exchange, with six granite columns, carved arched ceilings a beautiful stained glass window and gorgeous floor tiles. Not sure if it is used for anything these days as it's empty, but if you've never stuck your
head in for a look - it is well worth it.
A pleasant way to spend a lunchtime, beats sitting at your desk and a tick off the list! Happy Days.