Those steps. Those clocks. That dome…
Melbourne just wouldn’t be Melbourne without Flinders Street Railway Station. ‘On the steps’ or ‘under the clocks’ (one and the same location) is the traditional meeting place for converging Melburnians, which is why you’ll see so many people loitering under the front arch of the station. This is probably the city’s best-loved and most iconic building, and has been acknowledged as such by Heritage Victoria.
The station started life as a pile of sheds back in 1854, but after a few decades the city decided it needed a more permanent building, so a station-designing competition was held. A couple lads named James Fawcett and HPC Ashworth won the gig (and £500) and the new station was completed in 1910.
One lovely little piece of trivia about Flinders Street Station is that the retro clocks adorning the front of the building really are quite seriously retro – they are originals dating back to the 1860s. Apparently, during the early 1980s the clocks were removed and digital replacements were due to be installed, but the public kicked up such a huge fuss that the decision was reversed in a single day. The clocks were immediately re-installed, although they have been altered to operate automatically rather than manually (in the old black-and-white days, a worker would have to physically change the clocks 900 times a day with a long pole).V