On 22 November 1961 the building where I currently work was opened. It was a salubrious Department Store before the advent of mega malls and a very stylish place to shop. As a teen I used to shop among the three floors of fabulous food hall. A poor man's Harrods. They sold just about everything from, quality apparel, homewares and what Australians interestingly call "Manchester" (linen and bedding) to furniture and were one of the first Australian shops to be sophisticated enough to release a 'catalogue'. My mum and I would often browse and have a nice lunch in their restaurant.
Then came the mega malls of the late 70's and early 80's. A huge Westfield shopping centre was built near the Railway station about 1km from the existing building and the whole store moved into the new retail precinct.
The building was transformed into a factory outlet "Brand Smart" where you could by bargain designer brands on two floors and grab a kebab or fast food in the basement. Then another mega factory outlet opened about 5kms away and Brand Smart moved, lock stock and barrel. By now, the building had been listed as a fine example of 60's architecture and is heritage leaving the owners little opportunity to develop it into anything other than four sprawling floors.
The food fast food court and a hold-out newsagency stayed until about 3 months go but they too have now vanished leaving nothing but counter tops and a few sporadically placed plastic chairs. I was too slow with my camera and the food hall has now been cordoned off so I couldn't get through for a photo.
Today, it's a shell. Our office occupies the top floor and there's nothing on Lower Ground other than a little cafe and the ground and first floors lie dormant.
It's as if the whole place has been hit with a neutron bomb or all the inhabitants slaughtered by some insidious epidemic and all that remains are a few shopfittings and of course, the signs that nobody reads anymore. It's rather spooky, no sign of life:
Theme Thursday once again so pop along and see what 'signs' others are talking about!