Monday, June 30, 2014

Where in Melbourne Puzzle July 2014

Welcome, this is the Osca Monthly Where in Melbourne Puzzle page.
(There is a new puzzle posted at the beginning of every Month.)


This month's puzzle has not been solved and is revealed today, 28th July 2014. 
 Scroll down to read all about July's mystery location.

 Clue 1 - 'Not all volcanoes are the same'

"Ok, I thought the palm tree would have helped suggesting that the location might be a park of some kind. I've also included the seat in the first clue. It appears to have been around for a while. But of course the big clue is the reference to a volcano. As with the other puzzles, this location is close to the heart of the city where volcanoes don't exactly abound."

"Never mind, it is time for another clue.

  Clue 2 - 'Oh look, another palm tree. But this one is a different species'


 "Unfortunately, at this point of updating the blog on the 28th to reveal the answer, one of those inexplicable computer things happened and the blog reverted to a draft from about 2 weeks ago.

I have lost all the post from clue 2 onwards and the work I did on the history.


I will attempt to re-build the article."

Clue 3 made a reference to the lovely green lawn, more species of plants and a garden setting.
 Clue 4 went something like this -

In 1873, then curator of these gardens, William Guilfoyle had a bluestone reservoir built to solve watering problems. Inspired by tropical landscapes he'd seen in his travels, Guilfoyle designed and landscaped the reservoir to be reminiscent of a volcano.

When the gardens connected to mains water in the 1930's, the reservoir fell into disrepair, but it's been resurrected over the last few years by landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw.

 And now for the Solution

 This month's photo is of Guilfoyle's Volcano at the Botanic Gardens.

. . .

A little bit of history about Guilfoyle's Volcano.

William Robert Guilfoyle (1840-1912) was a landscape gardener and botanist, acknowledged as the architect of the Royal Botanic Gardens and responsible for the design of many parks and gardens in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

 W R Guilfoyle

Born in Chelsea, England, to Charlotte (née Delafosse) and Michael Guilfoyle, a landscape gardener and nurseryman, the family migrated to Sydney in 1853. William Guilfoyle was educated at Lyndhurst College, Glebe where he received botanical instruction by William Woolls, William Sharp MacLeay and John MacGillivray, who all encouraged him to follow in his father's career.

 In 1868 William Guilfoyle was appointed to the scientific staff of HMS Challenger that travelled around the Pacific Ocean.

 HMS Challenger
He recorded the voyage with a series of watercolour sketches and a detailed account in the Sydney Mail. Guilfoyle settled in the Tweed River valley where he grew tobacco and sugar cane and first met the noted German botanist, Ferdinand von Mueller.

Australian Botany (1878)

In April 1873 Mueller created the genus Guilfoylia and described William Guilfoyle as "distinguished as a collector who evidenced great ardour" and held high hopes for his collecting ability. Mueller's opinion changed when Guilfoyle was appointed to take his place as Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne on 21 July 1873.

Mueller accused Guilfoyle of being a "nurseryman with no claims to scientific knowledge whatever" and of getting the job due to being related to the wife of the responsible Minister and went on to subsequently abolish Guilfoylia as part of the genus of Cadellia in his botanical census of 1882.

His scientific and educational approach to the Botanic Gardens come in for criticism by influential Melburnians, who wanted a more aesthetic gardens for recreational use.

 Plan of the Melbourne Botanic Garden by William R Guilfoyle - Director.

William Guilfoyle set about creating the Gardens’ world-famous "picturesque" landscape style.

Over the next 35 years, Guilfoyle sculpted sweeping lawns, meandering paths and glittering lakes, creating a series of vistas offering a surprise around every corner. The swamp and lagoon were separated from the Yarra River under the direction of Carlo Catani, a civil engineer with the Public Works Department, allowing Guilfoyle to create the chain of ornamental lakes further adding to the beauty of the gardens.

A feature of Guilfoyle’s designs were the erection of over a dozen structures in the Gardens, including pavlions, summer houses, rotundas and ‘temples’. These structures were generally located at junctions along the path system and took advantage of an attractive view. They were also practical buildings providing much needed shelter from Melbourne’s hot summer sun and unpredictable rain. The Rose Pavilion, for instance, was used for band recitals during the summer months. 

The Rose pavillion.

Another, the "Temple of the Winds" monument was dedicated to Governor Charles La Trobe. The temple is composed of 10 columns instead of the normal 8 or 12 which are more easily divisible by the four points of the compass. According to historian Ken Duxbury, such structures added a picturesque charm to the landscape, highlighting points of visual interest along the trail of the paths and serving a role not dissimilar to the grottos, classical temples, follies, hermitages and pagodas along the circuit walks of the classic ‘English Landscape School’ gardens such as Stourhead.

The Temple of Winds monument to La Trobe.

In addition to these structures, Guilfoyle added a series of large iron archways to highlight entry to the rest houses and to mark points of transition like ‘doorways’. About ten of these archways still remain

Guilfoyle originally constructed his 'volcano' in 1876 with the aim of providing gravity-fed irrigation for the Botanic Gardens. It remained the main water supply until the 1930's, when the gardens were connected to the mains water and the reservoir fell into disrepair.

For many years there had been plans to reopen the volcano to the public and finally in 2008 the project received the much needed funding and work commenced. 

Guilfolye, was quoted as saying, “Combine the useful with the ornamental.” The restoration by lanscape architect Andrew Laidlaw has made it into a reservoir again. Combining the ornamental with the useful.

With an overall planting theme of “Gardening for an Increasingly Dry Climate”, the design is aimed at showcasing plants that perform well under such conditions.
 Entrance to Guilfoyle's volcano.

With no original plans to go on, Andrew Laidlaw set out to evoke a volcanic eruption by using succulents, which when not watered turn red creating 'lava flows' right around the volcano and bold features including rocks that appear as if they have been blasted out of the volcano and strewn over the landscape.

Getting there:

Tram 8 will take you almost to the Volcano. Get off at the Corner of Domain Road and Park Street and walk into the gardens.  It is right there. The Botanical Gardens can also be accessed from St Kilda Road – follow the signs to Guifoyle’s Volcano.


1 hour free in Domain Road. Paid parking in Birdwood Avenue.

Opening Hours:-

The gardens are open from 7.30am to sunset every day of the year.

research links :
This page was last updated Monday July 28th 15:35PM AEST.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where in Melbourne Puzzle - June 2014

Where in Melbourne Puzzle - June 2014.

 10:25 AM Tuesday 3rd of June



Clue 1 - This structure was originally named after the then Princess of Wales.

 The puzzle has been solved, we have a Winner !

Congratulations Rob !

Rob is an Osca customer.

The rest of the picture clues revealed:
 Clue 2
 Clue 3

 Clue 4

 Reveal - Her Majestys theatre, Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

About Her Majestys theatre :

The site where Her Majesty’s Theatre now stands was first purchased £100 in a government land sale in February 1839 but remained virtually empty until the gold rush years of the late 1850s.

In the early 1880's a large open air entertainment venue known as the Hippodrome was constructed on the site. At that time it was owned by the grandson of the original purchaser George Porter.
Her Majestys Melbourne
 In 1884, Jean Joubert secured a 30 year lease on the site and constructed thirteen three-storey houses with shop fronts along Exhibition and Little Bourke Streets. In the centre of these buildings, he built what was, at the time, the largest theatre in the Southern Hemisphere. Named the Alexandra Theatre after the then Princess of Wales, it was designed by a toung architect Nahum Barnett who later became one of the most prolific and long-serving architects in Melbourne in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After an outlay of £40,000 (£15,000 over budget), the theatre and surrounding shops known as 'the Alexandra Buildings' were opened on 1 October 1886. The theatre was affectionately referred to as ‘the Aleck’.

Built of red brick with rendered detailing, the central entrance was defined by a raised mansard roof and a distinctive semi-circular window over the doorway.

The Alexandra Theatre had particular success with Australian based plays, including adaptations of works by local authors Marcus Clarke, Ralph Boldrewood and Fergus Hume.

In 1900, the theatre was taken over by James Cassius Williamson. Williamson’s first decision was to commission William Pitt (the architect who had created the Princess Theatre) to refurbish the building. After initial minor refurbishment, the Alexandra Theatre was renamed Her Majesty’s Theatre after Queen Victoria and re-opened on 19 May 1900.

Under Williamson’s management the theatre prospered successfully presenting seasons of opera and musical comedy.
Her Majestys Melbourne
The theatre complex underwent its first major expansion between 1902 and 1904. Designed again by William Pitt, three new buildings were added to accommodate a three storey dressing room, scene dock and paint frame building containing space for painting scenery backdrops with special machinery for raising and lowering the canvasses. All three of these buildings are still part of the theatre complex while the building at Cohen Place now houses the Chinese Museum.

Dame Melba on the $100 note
Dame Nellie Melba had famously complained in 1909 that the auditorium’s acoustics were ‘dead’; she wasn’t performing at the theatre but tested the sound privately. As a result, modifications were made to the auditorium and Dame Melba made her Australian opera debut at the theatre in November 1911 and gave her final, final, final farewell performance there in 1928.
Dame Melba's final performance
J C Williamson's company purchased the theatre outright in 1915. It was the headquarters of the JCW empire until 1978. Many of the productions staged by Williamsons were built at Her Majesty’s and had their Australian premieres there before touring. At its height, Williamsons owned and operated nine theatres in Australia and New Zealand and was the largest theatrical entrepreneur in the world. J C Williamson died in 1913.

In 1924, the name was changed to His Majesty’s Theatre. It had remained Her Majesty’s following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, even though a king was on the throne from that time.

Her Majestys façade detail
Major works carried out in the 1920s also saw the remodelling to the ground floor facade to Exhibition Street including elaborate doors and extensive use of terracotta tiling. Although the configuration is now different, the external doors and wall finishes fitted then were the same as they are today.

Early in the morning of 25 October 1929, a fire broke out in the main auditorium. The extent of the damage was limited by automatic sprinklers and a fire proof curtain at the front of the stage. The auditorium and lobbies were rebuilt in 1934 in an elegant and sumptuous Art Deco style.

The existing neon sign on the Exhibition Street facade was installed in the late 1930's.

Her Majesty’s Theatre was sold to Gabriel Rose in May 1978 after almost 80 years of association with the J C Williamson organisation. In 1987, a number of temporary alterations were made to the interior of the auditorium in order to accommodate the production of the musical Cats. All alterations made were reinstated in late 1988 at the end of the season.

In 1986, in the year of her 100th anniversary, Her Majesty’s was classified by the National Trust and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

In June 2000, Mike Walsh saved the site from being turned into a car park, purchased the theatre and set about replacing the decaying infrastructure. Major renovations occurred over the next two years. The stage house was completely demolished and rebuilt with technical facilities that now allow the theatre to house the most demanding of modern productions.

Further work continues around the building to improve facilities for patrons and performers alike. However, one of the charms of Her Majesty’s is that there are constant reminders both ‘front of house’ and backstage of the glorious history of the building, from the original 1886 Alexandra, to the establishment of the J C Williamson family in the early 1900s and the 1934 rebuild. Her Majesty’s is a true icon of Australian theatre, held in great affection by audiences and theatre workers alike.

Research links :

 Her Majestys Melbourne


 Dingeengoete blog




Melbourne Neon






 The July 2014 Where in Melbourne puzzle will posted on the 1st of July 2014.

This page was last updated 3 June 2014.