Airdate: The Lost City of Melbourne

The attempted ‘modernisation’ of Melbourne in the 1950s destroyed buildings deemed “too Victorian”, and Whelan The Wrecker’s’ demolition blitz began.

Archival film The Lost City of Melbourne looks at the modernisation of a city in the 1950s, and what was lost as a result…

In the 1850s, Melbourne was the fastest growing city in the world. “They dreamt big, they built big…. It was a city jumping out of its skin” and became an epicentre of film and hospitality culture.

However, the attempted ‘modernisation’ of Melbourne in the 1950s destroyed much of the city. Original buildings were deemed “too Victorian”, the opposite of a modern metropolis, and Whelan The Wrecker’s’ demolition blitz began. Featuring rare archival film & photography, this film is a revelatory work that allows its audience to reimagine the former glory of the lost city of Melbourne.

8:30pm Tuesday on SBS.

3 Responses

  1. An excellent, beautifully made documentary – it’s absolutely awful to see what’s been lost but this film is also a cheering reminder of what’s been saved, and a lovely tribute to both.

  2. Brisbane suffered a similar fate with some historical buildings being demolished thanks to Joe Bjelke Peterson and what was then termed The White Shoe Brigade and the Deen Brothers demolition compay..but they were so underhanded they often did the demolition in the middle of the night and we would wake up next morning and find out beautiful heritage listed buildings we gone….even though people demonstrated, had petitions and protects…their motto on their trucks was “All We Leave Behind Are The Memories”….one significant building we lost was the heritage listed Cloudland Ballroom which had many great concerts from Buddy Holly (playing there 3 out of his 6 Australian tours) Cold Chisel, The Go Betweens, The Saints even Keith Urban…Midnight Oil spoke out about the buildings and are even mentioned in the song Dreamworld on the Diesel and Dust album..the Queen even made a stop at a state reception during her Silver Jubilee..all this destruction in the name of progress and modernisation.

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