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Nicholas Building
Melbourne
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Nicholas Building

Nicholas Building

37 Swanston Street
Melbourne

Nicholas Building

Melbourne


The Nicholas Building was designed by the architect Harry Norris and built for Alfred Nicholas - the highly successful developer of Aspro. The building was competed in 1926 and is influenced by the 'Chicago Style' of architecture. It adheres to the height limits imposed at that period in the CBD and in these several blocks of Swanston Street that constraining height can also be clearly seen in buildings such as the Manchester Unity Building and Century Building.

The facade is of terra cotta with a deep green faience glaze which was designed to be self cleaning. A delightful feature is the small Cathedral Arcade with its glass roof. Note also in this arcade the (now inactive) mailbox with its glass chute carrying letters down from the floors above. The lifts remained, until recently, some of the last in Melbourne to be operated by a 'lift lady'.

Initially the building functioned as offices and a mixture of the type of small businesses which do not require a streetfront presence such as milliners, accountants, tailors etc. Over time the mix has changed and in recent decades the building has become home to numbers of smaller artist studios, jewellers and the like. One of the best known artists to have a studio in the building was the late Vali Myers. On the first floor you can find the Poets Bookshop.

Some forthcoming events at the Nicholas Building:

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