Friday, 15 January 2010

Skywatch - the value of looking up


Whilst doddling down to Central Station one day last week, I looked up and not only did I see the sky but also this old warehouse on the corner of Commonwealth and Elizabeth Streets. James Griffith established Griffiths Bros. in Melbourne in 1879 in a warehouse in Flinders Street. Being entrepreneurial, he soon established warehouses in other capital cities. The company is now owned by brothers, Peter and Dennis Patisteas only the third set of owners in 130 years.


A lot of the building is in a sad state of disrepair, even the faded sign has been defaced with an arrow! This is a danger signal, as the surrounding area is awash with multi-storey apartment blocks!


Around the back of the building, the short edge of the wedge, the decay is much more apparent, with windows cracked, pipes rusted away, and the removal of fire escapes leaving doorways treacherous.


Down on street level, I am not convinced that the sign "From factory to you" is associated with Griffiths Teas. Firstly the font is out of place, and secondly, that expression does not seem to go with either tea or coffee.


A member of the Skywatch Friday community.

43 comments:

Olivier said...

oh un Flatiron building ;) encore de belles vieilles enseignes sur cet immeuble

Birdman said...

Ah1 Looking up in many facets of our lives is a really good philosophy. Nice photos.

Jo said...

Julie, is it a wedge-shaped building or all that narrow. It IS in a sad state of [dangerous] disrepair. What an amazing capture.

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

It is still an attractive building (and your photographs show it so), even in disrepair. It probably isn't in too much danger from developers, how would an apartment building fit on that narrow lot? I can imagine standing inside, arms stretched out, touching both walls.
Three Rivers Daily Photo

claudia said...

wow beutiful pictures of a beautiful city! cheers from Firenze!

AB said...

Wow, the angle on the Griffiths Teas building looks so sharp you could cut your finger on it

bitingmidge said...

Everything here is new. Does it sound perverse to want to live in a house with a crack in the floor or a creak in a stair?

I'd like to take care of that building I think..... solistalgia meets fantasy!

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia

brattcat said...

Any possibility the building could be renovated as offices or apartments (or both)? That top shot makes it very appealing. And then you slowly reveal the deterioration. Still, with your eye, the decay is a thing of beauty.

Sylvia K said...

Very interesting old building! Definitely has personality -- which is more than you can say about a lot of newer ones! Lovely blue skies, too! Amazing the things we see when we take the time to look up!

Have a great weekend, Julie!

Sylvia

Marla said...

Hi Julie ~

Wonderful pictures. What is it about old buildings that are so intriguing? I always thought it would be so much fun to buy an old warehouse and live in it.

Have a great day!

Janie said...

That's an interesting building, one of the narrowest I have ever seen. The sky looks spectacular behind it.

Lois said...

What a fabulous old building! Hopefully it will be renovated one day.

Spiderdama said...

Great pictures!;-)
Have a nice evening!

Anne said...

Just loved this shots from this old vintage building, and so strange shape, liked it a lot :-)

eden said...

Great captures of the old building. I love the blue sky too in the background.

Have a great weekend!

Rob and Mandy said...

Could be a NY flatiron!

J Bar said...

That's a terrific angle for that first shot. Makes the building look a lot more interesting somehow.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

PurestGreen said...

I love this building. If it was in New York they would turn it into posh, airy apartments.

Vicky said...

Very interesting building and story too. I like the first one more. Thank you for your kind comments in my blog. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice SWF!!!

Vera said...

Are you making a photographical record of Sydney, Julie? Only they are so interesting and your eye for detail is so sharp, that it feels like I am getting to know this city through your eyes.

Joan Elizabeth said...

With a shape like that it's not surprising that this building is familiar to me but I've never noticed the old signs or that is for for Griffith's Tea ... once again your eye for detail has delivered another tattered bookmark treasure.

Ann said...

What a narrow building, someone in the past must have been absent minded when they drew up plots.

Great shots.

I am told you are getting up to 40s temperature. So what do you do" Stay indoors and keep the air on?

Bill S. said...

Your photos and writings are very beautiful. Wonderful for us to experience.

Pat and Bruce Caspersonn said...

Great photos. I am reminded of the many thousands of little blue signs beside the railway lines, seemingly everywhere, "XXX MILES TO GRIFFITH BROS.TEAS"
Bruce Caspersonn.

Ann said...

Great angle on the first shot. That's something else I must have walked past at some stage but haven't really noticed. Really must remember to look up.

Jossie said...

What a wonderful old building. It should be restored.

Misalyn said...

What a wonderful old building. Is there any chance of renovation and repainting? I love the first photo, with thin layer of clouds against the blue sky.

Looking at the second and third photo, it really looks like the building is old and poses danger with its delapitated windows and doors.

Have a great weekend.

Joan Elizabeth said...

You didn't post a "Best Photo of 2009" post I would have loved to have seen which one you picked from the myriad of great Sydney shots.

ρομπερτ said...

Ha, what a surprise. So, there might be even tea I could order from your city. Over here in Athens, people are mostly drinking coffee (and most of the time ice cold). Interesting to see that even the old houses seem to be more taken care of than those over here. Please have a nice Friday.

Julie said...

Yes, I decided not to contribute to the Best of 2009. I know this is a Photo Blog community, but increasingly I am trying to make a post that gives equal weight to both image and text. Probably gives me a use-by date, but I will deal with that should it arise.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Yes I understand that. My SW posts are as much about the journey as the photographs. On the other hand I've revived BMJ to give more attention to my photography skills (and poetry selections).

I don't think it matters, so long as there is a photograph in the mix ... and your following suggests people like what you are doing ... so the use-by date is a long way out yet.

Pacey said...

The building looks so great from far never mind the up close but still it made for beautiful photos Julie.

Vicki said...

What fascinating architecture. Sad to see it in so much disrepair. I hope the owners have the foresight (and dollars) to halt the decay before it’s too late. Is it a heritage-listed building?

Arija said...

I have always admired that two dimentional, almost unimolecular building.

SandyCarlson said...

There is tremendous value in looking up. Beautiful shots. I love the old ads on the brick.

Jørgen Carlsen said...

Fantastic to see what happens when we are looking up - we discover our daily surroundings as tourists see them.

diane said...

You find the most interesting buildings with those lovely old signs. I wonder what will happen to the building.

Ebie said...

Hi Julie, this is one fantastic angled shot! A very interesting building and I hope they can fix it even in this hard economic situation. I once work in NYC in a flat iron shaped building.

Regina said...

Nice looking up.
Great shots!

Happy weekend.

Diane AZ said...

That old building looks so skinny! I love the shot with the shiny new motorcycles parked outside.

VP said...

This kind of building are always a source of good photos. You're probably right about the last sign, but they carefully kept the colors of the others.

Gena @ Thinking Aloud said...

I Love this post!!! the sky pic is great, but I'm loving the details of this old buidling ... some of these pics would look magnificent in black and white!
Gena @ Thinking Aloud
a photoblog
South Africa

Tash said...

marvellous - the old signs add so much, don't they?