Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keeping Track Of Tram Stops

Remember The Time When Timber Ruled?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


This old tram stop on Dandenong Road is a wonderful reminder of what Melbourne looked like in the colonial era. The city is famous for its trams (trolley cars, to some of my readers) and there are not many of the old, preserved tram shelters left. I know there is at least one more on St Kilda Road and I’m sure there are a few others dotted around the city.

A couple of years ago, when the tram shelters along Dandenong Road (Dandy Road, to Melburnians) were being renovated, I wondered if this one would be retained or whether it would come down to make way for the slimline, no-fuss, alloy and glass constructions that seem so unobtrusive.

To my relief, it remained where it was. As you can see in the photograph below, back in the days when carpentry was about as hi-tech as anyone wanted to get, good seating and an adequate roof was all-important. It is painted in the green and gold colours that represent this country and its sturdy construction offers protection not just from the elements, but also from the whipping breeze that is such a part of Melbourne.


Dandy Road runs four lanes in each direction, while the trams run up and down the wide median strip. In this shot (below) taken from the opposite footpath, you can actually see a silver/grey minimalist structure between the camera and my subject. That is one of the new tram shelters, where display advertising panels face the traffic.

This last shot is actually a close-up of the roofline of the old tram shelter. It wasn’t so much the terracotta colour that drew my attention, as the graceful curves. Against the light sky, the contrast was perfect.


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37 comments:

Moannie said...

we have a shelter just like that one, sadly it has had to be fenced off because of mindless vandals.Now no-one can enjoy it.

Sometimes I just want to hit someone.

leslie said...

The old style is so much more esthetic in my eyes. I love the colours and the architecture of it! But, as Moannie says above, there are so many idiots out there defacing anything they see. Does this structure get graffiti-ed?

TerriRainer said...

I love old architecture. Too many times a beautiful structure is torn down in the name of "progress", and I think that is sad.

:) Terri

Maggie May said...

There used to be a similar one in a lovely place near us but it was wrecked by vandals.
Good to see that some things get looked after.

Kat said...

They just don't make 'em like that anymore. So true. And so sad.

RuneE said...

I wish they made them like this nowadays! More like concrete bomb-shelters.

Louise said...

I'm glad they didn't tear that down, too! It is interesting to see the contrast between the old and the new.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

This tram station has soooo much character that it would be a CRIME to replace it. Glad the powers that be figured that out! ;-)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Just beautiful. I love the colors. I wish more of this type of architecture was still around.

kjpweb said...

That is beautiful craftsmanship!
All metal and glass now in Europe.
And here in the states there basically is no public transportation to talk about. Son not even that!
Cheers, Klaus

fishing guy said...

David: You have captured your world so beautifully. Thanks for sharing Melbourne with us. Lovely carpentry for certain.

Reader Wil said...

What a beautiful tram shelter! I have never seen tram shelters in Cairns or even Sydney. Great!

ewok1993 said...

What an educational post. I enjoyed this post. See you next week.

Susan said...

Oh I'm in heaven looking at this. Every time someone 'renovates' an old station building or replaces trams or locomotives, I'm heartbroken: thank you for sharing these photos, and the story!

Luiz Ramos said...

Good report. Antique architecture and tradition are beautiful.

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is quite nice David. Reminds me of some of the houses on my Gordon blog.

pat houseworth said...

Great photos as usual David....happy to say my house, built as a church parsonage back in 1923 is wood, right down to the floors...only the slate roof and basement are other.

imac said...

Great shots David......

WillThink4Wine said...

I much prefer the quaint wooden shelters! I am not a fan of modern -advertising everywhere.

joan said...

I like the old style shelter, so much more character. I like all of the details that you captured.

Maria said...

I also wish they would use more timber that concrete and glass nowadays...
Anyway, glad that there are still some of the old trams stations in Melbourne! The ornaments onthe roof are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

Pernille said...

That's beautiful! I wish they could make them like this nowadays!

Maria said...

Thanks for visiting! Yes, I know Merisi's Viennese blog! It is very beautiful!
Have a nice week!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

i love the green and bright yellow.

Migs CFL fan said...

Excellent pics as always. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

Wren said...

Oh, gosh, how could anyone possibly prefer the bare minimum shelter to these?

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Great post David and very interesting, I had no idea about the trams

Arija said...

I remember those before the glass monsters appeared where your legs turned to ice and the seats were anti-posterior devices.
A really nice post. By the way, do you know what the building behind it is?

Lawstude said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour. This 2nd week of meme really makes us appreciate the many places that we don't usually see or ever had a chance to visit like the one you showed me in this post. Hope you get to have time to check my world too. Another great job and more to come in the coming weeks.

A Blog In The Rough said...

what a shame that the world values advertising over the older well built things. Ahh such is life

Lawstude said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour. This 2nd week of meme really makes us appreciate the many places that we don't usually see or ever had a chance to visit like the one you showed me in this post. Hope you get to have time to check my world too. Another great job and more to come in the coming weeks.

Greyscale Territory said...

Lovely shots! Good to see this other side of Melbourne beyond the trendy inner city cafes. I did not know of these shelters in Melbourne. I am still learning about Melbourne, though I admit to mainly wandering the Mornington Peninsula.

gen/entry here said...

That is pretty style and the colors are also nice. Old style but the beauty itself is awesome.

Lana Gramlich said...

What a lovely little structure. I think that's a problem with our world today...there's not enough art/beauty employed in mundania anymore.

CrazyCath said...

I find it a great shame how metal and glass seem to take over the place the world over, leaving the beauty of the carefully and lovingly carved structures to rot away. I am so pleased this one has been renovated for us to enjoy.

A dying art. A well preserved piece of your world.

D Lo said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I wanted to comment on the pictures you posted...reminded me very much of some of the beautiful architecture I was lucky enough to see when I lived in Hong Kong a year ago...they definately don't build things like they use to!

soulbrush said...

this is amazing. i agree with moannie, the vandals spoil it all!