The man of the house and I spent the weekend in the city at a work function arranged by his employer. Not our usual kind of thing, we don’t spend time in the city, and we would have looked like real hicks as we wandered around the streets looking up as though big buildings were something new to us.
Whenever we go to the city we love looking at the buildings hiding behind the modernized shop fronts, and, really, everything over the level of the ground floor. It is like a different world. When you look up, you see what the building looked like originally and get an idea of how different the city was in its early years. I wonder how many people walk past these old buildings every day and only see the modern cafe or boutique clothing shop and don’t have any idea of the true age of the building.
The Sir Charles Hotham Hotel on the corner of Flinders and Spencer Street was a perfect example. We were crossing the lights and I whipped out my camera and took a photo, vowing to look it up on Trove when I got home. Apologies for the quality of the photo but I was trying to pretend that the 7 eleven that made up the ground floor didn’t exist. When people drop in there for a packet of fags or the paper do they notice the age of the building, or do they just see the bit they use at the bottom? I am sure the people who stay in the upstairs accommodation notice that the building is far from modern, but I bet they just moan about it and never wonder about all the things that have happened there.
I found quite a few articles reporting events that have occurred in this building. Among others, it was 114 years ago that those cricket lovers were assaulted from above and 118 years ago the miner Edward Murphy had a small fortune (for the time) in gold stolen.
The death of John Creely in 1949 may make you feel uncomfortable if you ever have cause to use the loo out the back.