Open House Event

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By Richard

It’s nearly time for the Open House event again.

Open House Melbourne (OHM) is an annual event that provides the public with a free and rare opportunity to discover historic buildings of marvelous architecture and engineering nestled around the city.

This year 111 buildings around Melbourne will be opened for a whole weekend. The public will be able to walk through and explore these buildings free of charge or they can partake in one of the frequently run guided tours (that are also free).

Over the course of the weekend you can visit prominent sites like Rod Laver Arena and the Supreme Court of Victoria, but also less widely known buildings like the Former Public Records Office; arguably not as fascinating, but significant in Melbourne’s history nonetheless.

A number of sites in St Kilda are also included in the building list this year. Buildings expected to be opened are the Edgewater Towers: one of Melbourne’s earliest, large scale apartment blocks, Esplanade Vaults: arched vaults dating back to 1891 built beneath the Upper Esplanade extension, and the Palais Theatre: 1920’s picture palace with unique design features.

The event first began in 2008 and although only eight buildings were open the event still attracted 30,000 visits. Since then it has become an annual event and the number of buildings opened has greatly increased each year along with the number of visitors.

OHM is not-for-profit and therefore depends upon volunteers to ensure a smoothly run weekend. Each year the event draws in more and more volunteers due to the increased number of buildings that are opened for access.

This year’s event runs on the 28th and 29th of July, so make sure you check it out if you have an interest in architecture or want to learn more about the history of Melbourne’s buildings. Melbourne is not usually regarded as a city that has much architectural significance but this event is likely to surprise one on how many historically significant buildings there are hidden in Melbourne.

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