These boots were made for walkin…

I’m a barefoot kinda gal, but when I have to put something on my feet these boots are it. They’ve been my walking shoes for the last several years taking me all over the place. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic on the beautiful old glass block sidewalk drainage covers that are all over downtown Melbourne.

The architecture in Melbourne is magnificent.
IMG_0196 A significant amount of the city was built in the late 1800’s, so there is an overwhelming victorian gothic and classical influence to the structures.SONY DSC
Flinders Station
By the way, I love that there are banners hanging on the Flinders Street train station for this adorable and humorous educational video made by the Australian Train Company called Dumb Ways to Die, if you haven’t seen it you should check it out.

Because Melbourne had a very large early immigration of Italians there are a lot of buildings that would be designated as Italianate. SONY DSC
And of course you will find many minimalist designed modern buildings in stark contrast to elaboratly decorative ones right next to each other.
I love this dog sculpture that stands on a downtown street corner, it reminds me of Frieda’s dog GeorgeSONY DSC
Next to the dog is another sculpture that is a wall with a constant stream of water cascading down it, that leaves stick to. People write messages and make designs from the leaves on the sidewalk, that slowly drop away to be replaced by the next persons creation.SONY DSC

Decorative iron work referred to as filigree, is a prominent feature on a lof of architecure in Melbourne. SONY DSC
I am fascinated by residential architecture in different parts of the world. These are a few examples of house styles you see in Melbourne.
The two story homes with iron filigree are called terrace houses.
The small joined ones are workers cottages. They tend to be very dark inside since the only windows are on the front and back exterior walls.

Corrugated aluminum is a common building material, evidently in the early days of Australia’s European development it was one the only building materials available.
The single dwellings that have ironwork are called Federation-filigree.

I love the way the iron work on these houses remind me of crochet edgings on vintage linens. There are also many Federation style homes with decorative woodwork trim on front porches that are the typical Federation style house.
There were so many different iron work designs, each house seemed to have a unique pattern.


The photos below are from the sides of the hotel we stayed at on Lygon street, near the Royal exhibition building where the convention was held. On the side of the hotel facing the parking lot there was a metal spider and vine with the spider web made from cable. I loved the large metal ants marching down the wall from the roof.

The nearby neighborhood of Fitzroy is an artsy hipster part of town with lots of cool shops and galleries.
Gertrude street had some really great vintage signs.

as well as lots of good street art, there are several photos from my last post that were taken there.

Brunswick street crosses Gertrude and has lots more cool urban decay architecture that houses many fun shops and cafes.


Love that giant kewpie doll!
These last two photos were taken in the laneways of downtown Melbourne, where there are many narrow alleys filled with tiny cafes and shops that are a popular meeting place year round.


I’m guessing by now it would come of no surprise to learn I worked for architects for many years in my early days as a designer.

6 Responses to “These boots were made for walkin…”

  1. Ken says:

    Glad you fell in love with Melbourne. It’s quite a city.
    The glass-block drainage covers are probably skylights in the basement beneath: the glass lets the light in, but is thick enough to protect the modesty of Victorian ladies walking overhead.
    The story goes that the cast-iron “lace” which decorates so many old buildings came out on ships from Britain as ballast: an item at once practical, decorative and profitable.
    The corrugated aluminium was corrugated galvanised iron sheeting. The modern version is colour-coated so the “tin” roofs don ‘t have to be painted

    • Hi Ken,

      thanks for the additional historical information. What fancy ballast! And a great visual explaining the cloudy glass 🙂 I can only imagine how loud the roofs must be in a hail storm.

      • Ken says:

        Deafening! But the gentle night-time drumming of rain on a tin roof has been (and remains) the preferred lullaby for many generations of Aussies.

  2. Metal roofs like these are very common here in the south. Lots of my neighbors are re-roofing their homes here (in our historic area in NC) with them. They last forever.

  3. jennineavril says:

    I am in Brisbane, but haven’t been to Melbourne since I was a kid. Your photos were enjoyable to see,lovely. Thanks.
    Jennine in Brisbane

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