Flinders Street Station Wedding Photo Locations
Best Wedding Photo Location Melbourne Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street railway station is a railway station on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Backing onto the city reach of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the complex covers two whole city blocks and extends from Swanston Street to Queen Street.
Flinders Street is served by Metro's suburban services, and VLine regional services to Gippsland. It is the busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network and the busiest railway station in Australia, with over 92,600 daily entries per weekday recorded in the 2011/12 fiscal year. It was the first railway station in an Australian city and the world's busiest passenger station in the late 1920s.
In 1882, the government decided to build a new central passenger station to replace the existing ad-hoc station buildings. A design competition was finally held in 1899, and 17 entries were received. The competition was essentially for the detailed design of the station building, because the location of the concourse and entrances, the track and platform layout, the type of platform roofing, and even the room layout to some extent, were already decided.
In 1899, the £500 first prize was awarded to railway employees James Fawcett and H.P.C. Ashworth, of Fawcett and Ashworth, whose design, named Green Light, was of French Renaissance style. It included a large dome over the main entrance, and tall clock tower over the Elizabeth Street entrance. A train shed over the platforms was intended to have many arched roofs running north-south, but only an alternative plan survives, depicting an impressive three-arched roof (running east-west) over the concourse.
Work began in 1900 on the rearrangement of the station tracks, while the final design of the station building was still being worked on. Work on the central pedestrian subway started in 1901, with the foundations of the main building completed by 1903.
In 1904, in mid construction, the plans were extensively modified by the Railways Commissioners. The proposed train shed was replaced by individual platform roofs, and it was decided not to include a concourse roof. To increase office space, a fourth storey was added to the main building, which resulted in the arches above each entrance on Flinders Street being lowered, decreasing their dominance.
By 1907, the station had eleven platforms but, in 1909, the decision was made to construct platforms 12 and 13 east of Swanston Street. In the same year, platform 1 was extended eastwards to cater for country passenger traffic. One of the original platform verandas from the old station was dismantled and re-erected at Hawthorn station, in the inner-eastern suburbs.
In 1905, work began on the station building itself, starting at the west end and progressing towards the main dome. Ballarat builder Peter Rodger was awarded the £93,000 contract. The building was originally to have been faced in stone, but that was considered too costly, so red brick, with cement render details, was used for the main building instead. Grey granite from Harcourt was used for many details at ground level on the Flinders street side, "in view of the importance of this great public work". The southern facade of the main building consisted of a lightweight timber frame clad with zinc sheets, which were scored into blocks and painted red in order to look like large bricks. That was done to created corridors instead of what were to be open-access balconies inside the train shed.
Work on the dome started in 1906. The structure required heavy foundations as it extended over railway tracks. In May 1908, work was progressing more slowly than planned, with the expected completion date of April 1909 increasingly unlikely to be met. Rodger's contract was terminated in August 1908. A Royal Commission was appointed in May 1910, finding that Rodger could be held accountable for the slow progress in 1908, but he should be compensated for the difficulties before then. The Way and Works Branch of the Victorian Railways took over the project, and the station was essentially finished by mid-1909. The verandah along Flinders Street, and the concourse roof and verandah along Swanston Street, were not completed until after the official opening in 1910.
The building has three levels at the concourse, or Swanston Street, end, and four at the lower Elizabeth Street, or platform, end. Numerous shops and lettable spaces were provided, some on the concourse, but especially along the Flinders Street frontage, many at lower than street level, accessed by stairs, which created a fifth / basement level. The top three levels of the main building contain a large number of rooms, particularly along the Flinders Street frontage, mostly intended for railway use, but also many as lettable spaces. Numerous ticket windows were located at each entry, with services, such as a restaurant, country booking office, lost luggage office and visitors help booth, at the concourse or platform level. Much of the top floor was purpose-built for the then new Victorian Railway Institute, including a library, gym and a lecture hall, later used as a Wedding Ballroom. Those rooms have been largely abandoned and decaying since the 1980s. For a number of years in the 1930s and 1940s, the building featured a creche next to the main dome on the top floor, with an open-air playground on an adjoining roof. Since 1910, the basement store beside the main entrance has been occupied by a hat store, known as 'City Hatters' since 1933.
The first electric train service operated from Flinders Street to Essendon in 1919, and by 1926 it was the world's busiest passenger station. To cater for the increasing numbers of passengers, the Degraves Street subway from the station was extended to the north side of Flinders Street in 1954. In March 1966, Platform One was extended to 2,322 feet (708 m) long.
The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks–one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Melburnian saying "I'll meet you under the clocks" refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the time-tabled time of departure for trains on each line; another saying, "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. Flinders Street Station is responsible for two of Melbourne's busiest pedestrian crossings, both across Flinders Street, including one of Melbourne's few pedestrian scrambles.
Officially opened in 1910, Flinders Street Station is perfect for those wanting to incorporate Melbourne history into their cherished wedding photos.
If Melbourne’s hustle and bustle isn’t your idea of fun, perhaps iconic Flinders Street Station is not the wedding photography location for you.
Should you be interested, keep in mind that it is often hard to organise your wedding photos in a location that is so widely used by the Melbourne public. There’s little to no chance you’ll capture the iconic building without a few of the public in your shot, so if privacy is important to you, perhaps it’s best to reconsider Flinders Street Station. However, if you’re in the area anyway, you could simply cross the road and take your photos at Federation Square instead.
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