From Railway To Pokemon Stop. The 100 Year History Of Unity Hall.
Since laying of the foundation stone on 29 august 1916 until its 100th year Unity Hall has been an important meeting place and opened many opportunities for countless Melbournians and those recently arrived in Melbourne. As the home of the Australian Railways Union and the Victorian Tramways Union the meeting hall and offices provided a focal point for socialising with dances and movies staged in the hall as well as during the 1950’s as a place for newly arrived skilled railway workers to improve their English language skills. Today the building is still an important meeting and resting place that serves as an introduction point for international visitors since it’s conversion during 2006 into the multi award winning Alto Hotel on Bourke. In keeping with our ever changing world the location is the epitome of the current tech world as a ‘Poke Stop’ for the now ubiquitous global online game. Lending the location to another aspect of ‘meeting’ by brining Pokemon hunters together. While some things change, some remain the same with much of the original external visual appeal of the building remaining intact. Although by today’s standards, a low rise building of 4 storeys the charm of the Art Nouveau styled lead light windows and terrazzo flooring in the entrance lobby floor are still in use today. Serving as a small reminder of the architects Neo Baroque design intentions.