|Yep, dessert for brunch and it was delish|
The tour starts in a very civilised manner - with bubbles and brunch at the 1932 Café & Restaurant. The brunch even included dessert - because is it never not OK to finish a meal with dessert? Food was pretty good and the bubbles, well they went down so well, we had to order another round.
On to the tour. The MUB was built in 1932 and it was the new headquarters of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), a non-profit friendly society whose noble motto was ‘Friendship, Love and Truth’. Melbourne architect Marcus Barlow was entrusted with the design and had drawn his inspiration from the 1927 Chicago Tribune Building in the United States.
|Those Oddfellows were just that - odd|
This Gothic style building, was Melbourne’s tallest when completed ( 64 metres, including the tower). The Melbourne Age described it as a ‘Wonder Building’, with ‘every modern convenience for tenants and their clients’. It was built at a total cost of almost £600,000 for land and buildings.
|1st floor teeth pulling|
The first escalators in Melbourne were installed in the MUB, with 60,000 people riding the magical stairway on opening day. The beautiful lifts were also a thing of wonder with people asking the lift attendants to slow them down as they were getting dizzy being whizzed up into the sky.
Sadly, although it was a popular and important building it was neglected and in 1996 the building was strata-titled allowing individuals and small businesses to buy spaces. So it's re-birth commenced.
In 2002 a small dental practice moved in . Smile Solutions (SS) MD Dr Kia Pajouhesh fell in love with the building and became chairman of the Owners Corporation committee and has had a lot to do with the restoration, refurbishments and upgrades of the buildings common areas and exterior. SS now own 5 levels, the tower, plus 2 of the arcade shops. No wonder visiting the dentist is so expensive - but at least they have poured money into this beauty.
|The Tower and the open rooftop area|
Our tour guide was the lovely Chloe who gave us plenty of info as we walked around ooing and aahing at the details. The rooftop terrace used to be a café and would have been amazing. Still has great views and has the door to the magical tower. Thinking of getting some dental work done just so I can actually go in.
|They even tracked down and restored the original chairs|