Kate B

DISPLAYING POSTS BY: Kate B (3)

Kate B

Kate works in the Melbourne Museum and Immigration Discovery Centres. She studied Fashion and Textiles and now Industrial and Communication Design. Kate loves trawling for treasures in op shops and making stuff out of other stuff.

Old Customs House revisited

Author
by Kate B
Publish date
21 January 2013
Comments
Comments (4)

I loved the post on the restoration of Old Customs House – do you have any earlier images of the Old Customs House?

Stepping further back in time this post will look at images of Old Customs House from 1957-1969. Customs officers moved out of Old Customs House in 1965. The building was then used as the Melbourne offices for the Commonwealth Parliament and its local members. 

The following images sourced from the National Archives of Australia show the Old Customs House during this period.

Eastern View, Long Room 1957 Eastern View, Long Room 1957
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National Archives of Australia
 

The chandeliers, clock and parquetry flooring are no longer a feature of the Long Room today. The restoration of the Long Room included researching the original flooring, and sourcing and laying a near exact copy of the original tiling.

Eastern View, Long Room 1965  Old Customs House, Eastern View, Long Room 1965
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National Archives of Australia
 

Desks and partitions were installed to create a workspace for office staff.

Western View, Ground Floor 1969 Old Customs House, Western View, Ground Floor 1969
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National ARchives Australia
 

In this image the lifts are directly opposite the grand staircase on the western side of the building.  The lift today is still on the western side but moved about three meters to the left. 

  South East View, Ground Floor Foyer 1969 South East View, Ground Floor Foyer 1969
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National Archives Australia
 

One of the main differences here is the glass wall creating a vestibule from the street entrance. Other differences include the central desk and carpeted floor. 

  First or Second Floor Corridor, 1965 Old Customs House, First or Second Floor Corridor, 1965
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National Archives of Australia
 

Cupboards, shelving and seating line the walls of the corridor and linoleum covers the original marbled flooring.

  South View, Rear Courtyard Old Customs House 1969 South View, Rear Courtyard Old Customs House 1969
Image: National Archives of Australia
Source: National Archives Australia
 

The rear courtyard area now features the Immigration Museum’s Tribute Garden. There is now also a glass atrium attached to the rear entrance of the building.

The Immigration Museum opened in the Old Customs House in 1998 and houses a number of exciting exhibitions exploring the history of immigration to Victoria, contemporary issues exploring identity, international and local community exhibitions and the history of The Old Customs House.

Immigration Museum is open daily from 10am - 5pm

Got a question? Ask us!

Old Customs House

Author
by Kate B
Publish date
25 June 2012
Comments
Comments (4)

Your Question: Does the museum hold any images of the restoration of Old Customs House?

In 1998, the Immigration Museum opened in Old Customs House. Since its completion in 1876, considerable changes had been made to the building's interior. Customs officers vacated in 1965 and the building was used as Melbourne offices for the Commonwealth Parliament. Linoleum tiles had replaced original floors, office partitions disguised the original layout, plasterwork was cracked and paintwork peeling.

Customs House interior Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Much work was required to restore the building and to adapt the facilities so it could function as a contemporary museum. Consequently, many of the twentieth century additions were removed and architectural features such as tiled floors, moulded ceilings and timber details were restored.

Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Customs House renovation: Immigration Museum Customs House renovation: Immigration Museum
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The images from the Museum Victoria collection demonstrate some of this restoration process as well as the development of some of the Immigration Museum's original exhibits (many of which have now changed).

Old Customs House exterior being renovated Old Customs House exterior being renovated
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Old Customs House exterior being renovated Old Customs House exterior being renovated
Source: Museum Victoria
 

To see the Old Customs House as it looked as the offices for the Commonwealth Parliament, the National Archives of Australia have a series of images of the building during those years. You can search for these images on Picture Australia or on the National Archives website.

Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum. Long Room with finished tesselated flooring Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum. Long Room with finished tesselated flooring
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum. Construction of The Boat in the Long Room Customs House being renovated prior to housing Immmigration Museum. Construction of The Boat in the Long Room
Source: Museum Victoria
  

Links

Old Customs House

What was the Lloyd Triestino Trio?

Author
by Kate B
Publish date
12 February 2012
Comments
Comments (9)

Your Question: What was the Lloyd Triestino Trio?  

Austrian Lloyd was founded as an insurance company in 1833 and when Trieste became part of Italy in 1919 the company name was changed to Lloyd Triestino. A shipping section was established in 1936, and Lloyd Triestino became one of the world's biggest shipping companies.

After World War II Lloyd Triestino re-established its Australian service with existing ships and began a rebuilding programme ordering seven new liners. Of these new liners three were for the Australian service, launched in 1950 these three ships became known as the Treistino Trio.

Pamphlet Express Service Fares to Italy Australia, Oceania & Neptunia Lloyd Triestino Line Jun 1955 Pamphlet Express Service Fares to Italy Australia, Oceania & Neptunia Lloyd Triestino Line Jun 1955 (HT 2610).
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The first to be built was the Australia launched on 21 May 1950, departing Trieste on 19 April 1951 and arriving in Melbourne on 17 May. The second ship Oceania launched on 30 July 1950, departed Genoa for its maiden voyage on 18 August 1951.The third, Neptunia, launched on 1 October 1950, departing on its maiden voyage on 14 September 1951 and arriving in Brisbane on 18 October.

In 1958 all three ships were withdrawn from service for a refit – air-conditioning was extended throughout the entire ship and accommodation altered to be suitable for 136 first class passengers and 536 tourist class passengers. From October 1960 Neptunia began operating as a single tourist-class ship; however the Australia and Oceania were not altered in this way.

Postcards - Lloyd Triestino Line, circa 1950s Postcards - Lloyd Triestino Line, circa 1950s (HT1497).
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In 1960 Lloyd Triestino placed orders for two new liners which would be twice the size of the existing Australian fleet and were built to replace the Triestino trio. When these new ships entered the trade in 1963, Australia, Oceania and Neptunia were withdrawn from the Australian trade and transferred to the Italia line. The Australia was renamed the Donizetti, Oceania renamed Rossini and Neptunia renamed Verdi.

The Triestino Trio had all emerged from the same shipyard in the 1950s and spent their entire careers operating together; they ended their careers in La Spezia, Italy within months of each other. Donizetti and Rossini were laid up in late 1976 joined by Verdi in January of 1977. All three ships were offered for sale with Donizetti and Verdi purchased by shipbreakers in June 1977. Rossini was moved to another Italian company, Tirrenia, but with no use for her she was also sold to shipbreakers in September 1977.

Got a question? Ask us!

Links:

Triestino in MV Collections

Museum Victoria Migration Collection

Picture Australia

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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