Wandering Melbourne

No more wandering aimlessly from record store to bookshop to coffee shop: these pocket guides provide great short walks full of fascinating architectural stuff. See buildings and be amazed at what you can learn about social and cultural history.
Book Info
Title: 
Melburne Architectural Walking Guides
Author: 
Footpath Guides
Publisher: 
Footpath Guides

The initial titles from the Melbourne-based Footpath Guides establish an attractive and accessible invitation to get to know Melbourne’s very considerable architectural contributions.  Coming as a boxed set of three, the Melbourne Architectural Walking Guides hit the bookstands in August 2015. This set includes Joseph Reed 1850-1890, St Kilda 1850-1960 and my personal favourite, Melbourne Mid-Century which covers the International Style which saw Melbourne transformed from ‘genteel’ into a world city embracing commercial modernism. Each book is approximately 90 pages with a handy fold out back-cover map of the walking route. The creative trio behind this initiative is Jacques Sheard: text and photography, Sonia Post: design, and Dave Roper is listed as producer.  

The format is straightforward and highly readable.  A few pages of introduction provide a brief overview of the architect or the style/period being covered and key developments in Melbourne’s social and economic history that are germane to the streetscape. Each building in the walking tour is represented by an image (either photo or pictorial) with a very short description outlining the key architectural elements or innovations encompassed in the building. Buildings which may be significant for unrelated reasons and which the route passes, are also included under the heading, *of note.   

I learned so much from reading these and was seriously tempted to try to take the tour virtually with google street view but I restrained myself as that would scarcely do justice to the concept. The walks range from 45 minutes to one hour for the St Kilda tour, to two to two-and-a-half hours for the Melbourne Mid-Century. But I suggest you’d be better to adopt a flaneur’s pace and allow yourself plenty of time for loitering and lingering in some of the great foodie havens you’ll be passing by. These are handy pocket-sized books that won’t weigh you down. If you want to discover more about Melbourne, I strongly recommend.  $50.00 for a boxed set of three. Can be ordered from www.footpathguides.com