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Notes on Building Projects
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Note. The information on this page concerning buildings comes mainly from a speedy 'first pass' through the RCMPC records at UMA and from dipping into the Monash Papers at NLA looking for information on other themes. It is presented to indicate the nature and scope of John Monash's work in building construction. Details should be used with caution. For an overview of early development of reinforced concrete in Australia, see e.g. Lewis, M. 1988.

Electricity Company Offices Floors

This project comprised floors for offices of the City of Melbourne's electricity supply company in Spencer St. The official title seems to have been "Electric Light Station Office" and it was adjacent to the power station. The architect was E H Morton, City Surveyor, and the builders Murray & Crow. The quote was delivered in June 1908 and RCMPC's first requisition for materials was issued on 11 August. On 1 October, RCMPC advised the builders that their work was substantially complete, but on 22nd agreed that this had been a mistake. A final account for £427-10-0 was submitted to the builders on 11 December. In March 1909, Morton advised that the granolithic finish was badly cracked and wearing away. A memo from JM tells Alex Lynch to fix it quickly. In a letter to Morton, he blamed the quality of the "Red Cross" brand of cement used. (RCMPC probably used this under duress.)

Robert Reid's Warehouse

This was a fairly large but routine job for Robert Reid & Co. in Flinders St. It involved ground and first floors and roof. The architects were Bates Peebles & Smart and the builder C. Langford. Computations, quantities and estimate are dated 15 June 1908, and the quote for £3819 was issued on 16th. There are no drawings for this building in the J Thomas Collection, but an early sketch in the UMA file dated 31 March suggests steel main girders (encased in concrete) and reinforced concrete joists. Our notes give no indication of when work started, but detailed calculations were made in September, including those for the roof. Requisition No.2 was issued on 20 October. It seems that JM waited until 26 October before sending a copy of the calculations and the design of the first floor, and then only in response to a request via the architects. On 31 March, RCMPC advised that final completion was "in sight" and on 23 April that work was "approaching completion"; suggesting they were under some pressure from the client or builder. They submitted an account on the same date for £3463-12-3d.

Snider's & Abraham's Warehouse (project)

Engineer H R Crawford approached Monash about this job. My reading of the correspondence was that Crawford gave the impression he wanted RCMPC to get the job, but that a requirement for speed of construction weighed against them. The letters, which date from 2 June 1908 to 28 August 1908, have remained in RCMPC's Quotation files. Miles Lewis states that Crawford went ahead with a design of his own and started construction in 1908, but then converted to the flat slab system of C A P Turner. [Lewis 1988 pp.17-18.]

City Destructor Floor

This was a small job consisting of a slab 105 × 20 feet sitting on RSJs at 5'-3" centres. Extracts from the specification were copied on 27 July 1908. RCMPC's design was approved by the City Architect on 28 January. On 15 March he demanded repair of a large crack in the floor.

Novitiate, Flemington (Melbourne)

This job seems to have been of a reasonable size - £1100 for floors and partitions - but our notes suggest the RCMPC documentation is meagre. A note on scrap paper dated 20 July 1908 states that the architects are Granger Kennedy & Little and the name H R Hutchison is associated with "Cont. engineering". The builders were Peters & Hetherington. Notes on a meeting with Mr Peters are dated a week later. Structural computations by P T Fairway come in the middle of August. The only drawing in JTC, by J A Laing and signed by Monash on 15 September, is entitled "Details of Girders"; but only the concrete outline is shown. Reinforcement details were at this stage confidential.

In late September, notes were made on the specification, suggesting tenders werre not called until then. The first requisition is dated 22 November. RCMPC submitted accounts to the builders on 7 December and 30 March 1909, the first being surprisingly close to start date. A dispute had developed between RCMPC and Peters & Hetherington over payment for work at the City Abattoirs. This concerned the amount of commission to be paid to the builder, and at the Novitiate included conflict over measurments of work done and the nature of a verbal agreement. In May and June 1909, Monash drew up a legal case, headed "John Monash will prove". Fairway, E H Morton and Alex Lynch were to be called as witnesses. [I have not checked whether this in fact went to court.]


Dessicator Floor

This was a small job worth £82 on which we have minimal information from the Quotation files. The Dessicator was located in South Kensington (Melbourne). The quote was submitted on 20 July 1908, and Gibson was informed that it was "now finished" on 15 September.

Veranda arch, South Yarra

This is included on this web page for its curiosity value. It was an architectural feature associated with the verandah of a house at the corner of Ackland and Walsh Streets, South Yarra. The architect was Purchas. The arch was 9 inches wide and had a span of 24 feet. The quote, for £10 was dated 7 August 1908. A quick inspection of the location suggests the house has been demolished.

Brooks Robinson (quotes)

This was for architects A & K Henderson. A quote of £654 was submitted in August 1908, for 42 squares of fourth floor for the "back building" of Brooks Robinson & Co. In February 1909, a second quote of £300 was made for a floor designed for 2.5 cwt per square foot (280 psf) and a roof designed for 80 psf.

"De Graves" St Warehouse

This project involved a floor, flat roof and a sprinkler tank for a building on Degraves St, Melbourne. The architects were Thos. Watts & Sons and the builder William Sinclair. The first document in the file is a note made by H G Jenkinson on 4 September 1908 concerning a meeting with Watts. The next day, Monash made a quick design and estimate as a check on HGJ's figuring. Notes and tracings by W E L Wears date from 1 October and show a reinforced concrete first floor, a timber second floor and a reinforced concrete roof. At the end of the month, JM made notes on the proposed sprinkler tank. Final computations were made by P T Fairway late in November, and the first requisition was issued on 25th.

The detailed drawing for the rectangular tank was signed by JM on 24 February 1909. For some reason, its construction was cancelled by the architect just after work started. Monash sent a bill to Watts for £57 for costs incurred, including design, administration, completion of foundations and column formwork, and delivery of sand.

The shape of the tank and the nature of its supports may have been imposed by restricted space and attempts to meet architectural requirements, but they seem quite strange from an engineering point of view.

RCMPC submitted its final account for £740 in an atmosphere of dispute with Sinclair who sent a bitter complaint alleging shoddy work and complaining that water was ponding on the roof. In a letter to Gibson, JM hotly denied this, labelling it a calumny and claiming that Sinclair was merely trying to avoid paying what RCMPC was entitled to. Solicitors were called in.

In November 1909, Wears advised that "Brooks etc" [solictors?] had reopened negotiations on the tank. JM reminded him that the original quote had been for £178, to which Wears had been "compelled" to add a 10 per cent commission for Sinclair. This had been agreed to only because the tank was a small part of a larger contract. Hence RCMPC should quote the original £178 plus the cost of any demolition required before the tank could be constructed. Thereafter, our information is patchy, but a single letter shows that JM and Sinclair were still discussing accounts at the end of December.

Convent, Windsor (Melbourne) - project.

In September and October 1908, RCMPC was in contact with Grainger, Kennedy & Little concerning this building. The project engineer was H G Jenkinson. Documents remained in the Quotation file.

"Mitchell's Building No.3."

This is not a third building, but additional work at Oliver's Lane to the value of £160. Documents remained in the Quotation file.

Russell's Building (project)
the battle over outdated Building Regulations continues

On 27 November 1908, Monash received a visit from architect W B Forster concerning a proposed public lecture hall in Bourke St, for a Dr Russell. JM told Forster that if he could persuade the City Building Surveyor, E H Morton to give permission to build the walls and flat roof in reinforced concrete, the cost would be between £800 and £1000. However on 8 December he wrote to Forster: "I have had two interviews with the Building Surveyor on the question of Dr Russell's building. I am sorry to say that I met with no success. The position is exactly as you diagnosed it. Mr Morton is willing himself to give permission for the proposed building in Reinforced Concrete but is disinclined to undertake the burdensome trask of convincing the Referees. He states that Grants Building cannot be regarded as a precedent, as in fact he allowed the work to go on on lines much less severe than the Referees wanted, and he does not wish this fact to come into public notice. He says that the only remedy is for the public to make a great outcry at the extravagant delay in legalising the new Regulations. If this were done, he thinks it would precipitate matters, and probably pave the way for Dr Russell getting the concessions he desires in regard to this building."

A draft letter, obviously intended for the newspapers, is dated 15 December 1908. JM has written "Forster" at the top. The style of the letter is consistent with JM's. It begins "What is the City Council doing about the new Building Regulations? The public would like to know …" Twelve months have passed since revision was promised, and two years since the matter was raised. The old regulations are obsolete and restrictive and cause an extravagant waste of valuable city frontage due to the heavy brick walls specified. The methods of fire-proofing specified have been shown to be farcical by recent fires overseas and in Australia. We are far behind Europe and the US in this regard. "It is scarcely credible … that our Melbourne Regulations absolutely forbid both the use of the best known methods of fireproofing and the use of the most modern and economic principles of construction. It seems that revised regulations have been drafted [JM evidently could not admit he knew this to be so] but some quarters are objecting to sections relating to light and air. These might have an argument, but the dispute should not hold up the entire revision." [I have not checked whether this letter was published.]


Hamilton Butter Factory Floor

Correspondence starts with an enquiry on 30 November 1908 from Frank Hammond who seems to have been Engineer and Clerk to the Borough of Hamilton, and Engineer to the Shire of Dundas. RCMPC had been in contact with him since June regarding construction of a bridge in the Borough to carry Penshurst Road over Grange Creek. Discussion regarding the Butter Factory continued, and on 11 June 1909, Monash confirmed that RCMPC would work directly for its proprietors, not for the builder, a Mr Patterson. The first requisition for materials was issued on the same day. Monash wrote detailed instructions for his foreman, E. Samson, on preparing the sub-grade and making the concrete floor. On 14th Hammond sent further details and a sketch plan, suggesting he was acting as consultant to the proprietors. On 21st, JM warned Samson not to take on any earthworks, as RCMPC did not want responsibility for any subsidence. The area would be 115 square yards, not the 90 originally advised. By this time, Samson was also building the bridge.

On 24th, JM agreed that Samson could construct machinery foundations, setting the price at cost plus 12.5 per cent margin. On 29th, he wrote that if it was not too late, Samson could consider separating the machinery foundations from the floor by a gap of ½ or ¼ inch because the floor was likely to settle. He continued: "the above is only my idea as a matter of precaution, and the suggestion is passed on to you to study on the ground, and to adopt same if you think the case requires it". Samson's daily reports run from 30 June to 8 July. On 15th JM sent an account for £61-17-6 to Hammond, asking him to obtain a "certificate upon the proprietor for payment of the account".

Commonwealth PWD Store, Darling Harbour, NSW (project)

In November 1908, Monash wrote to Gummow about a proposal for a building in Darling Harbour, near Sydney. "Colonel Owen, the Inspector-General of Public Works for the Commonwealth, with whom I am very friendly and frequently lunch with, invited me to come and see him and discuss a business matter. His Department is contemplating the construction of a large store at Darling Harbour, 224 ft long × 41 ft wide; 5 or 6 storeys high. He is desirous of having the whole thing fire-proofed, and is very keen indeed upon having the structure carried out in concrete steel [i.e. reinforced concrete], with light brick outer curtain walls, and with light brick veneering on the outsides of the main structural columns, so as to preserve a uniform appearance of brick walling on the outside. His object in taking this view is not only that he desires to be up to date in constructional matters, but also that he is aiming at saving a large amount of floor space. If the outer walls were built of solid brickwork, they would require to be, in the ground storey, 2'-3" thick, whereas if the building were a self-contained concrete steel frame those walls would need to be only 9" brick curtains. He would therefore save no less than 3 ft in the available width of 41'-0"."

Owen had placed the project in the hands of an architect named Vernon "for whom he has a high regard … but who, he appreciates, is likely to shy at [a] concrete steel frame on such a large scale by reason of his personal ignorance of the subject". Owen did not want to hurt the architect's feelings, but would like Gummow to approach him with a quote for a reinforced concrete frame. The problem was to explain to Vernon how Gummow had come to know of the project. Fortunately, Sir William Lyne had described the building in Parliament (using the term "steel frame" instead of "concrete steel", meaning reinforced concrete) and Gummow was to approach Vernon on this basis, offering to build the columns and floors, but leaving the remainder to be completed by small contracts or day labour. JM added "The change in the Federal Ministry might possibly now affect Col. Owen's freedom of action in the matter, and there is the possibility that, if the new Minister for Home Affairs raises objection to the letting of a contract of this kind to a specialist firm without competition, your services as designers and supervisors (the work being done by Government day labor) might be requisitioned".

Benjamin's Floors

This was a small job: a fireproof floor for Mr Benjamin costing £55. The architects were H W & F B Tompkins. The City Surveyor's Department seems to have been unusually zealous in its demands and the architects failed to pass these on to RCMPC, causing them great trouble. Both City Surveyor and Architect were ready to take umbrage. Correspondence goes from January to March 1909.

Albany Chambers (additions)

This project involved the addition of an extra storey and flat roof in reinforced concrete to an existing building with masonry walls. The premises were at 228-232 Collins Street, Melbourne. A newspaper article described it as "the first building of its kind ever erected in Melbourne". It continued: "The addition has cost between £5000 and £6000 and is to be occupied by Messrs Broothorn and Co for whom it has been designed as a high-class photographic studio".

The above is from John Gibson's clipping book. Newspaper not named. Date given only as "August 1909".

The architects were Billing, Son & Peck, represented by G A Kemter (who later became a partner in the firm). Rough computations and an approximate quote were prepared by RCMPC in February 1909. In April, P T Fairway met with Kemter. More detailed computations were prepared, schedules drawn up, and a tender lodged. RCMPC informed the architects that work could start on 4 May. They applied to A C Mountain, the City Surveyor, for permission to erect a cover to protect pedestrians. The care with which they explain the proposal suggests that the idea was fairly new at the time.

Final computations and drawings were completed by the middle of May, with the fourth floor designed for 80 pounds per square foot and the roof for 50 psf. When the calculations were sent for approval to City Architect H E Morton, he demanded that the roof be designed for 80 psf. RCMPC encouraged the architects to resist. Deepening the supporting girders would increase the height of the storey and would cause delay, as all engineering design work would have to recalculated. They suggested the architects should ask the Building Referees to agree to 50 psf.

P T Fairway prepared notes on a supporting argument. A 50 psf design load had already been adopted at several buildings in Melbourne: Rubira's Cafe, Buckley & Nunn's store, the AMLF Building in William St, and Bank Place Chambers. A figure of 60 psf had been used at Mitchell's Building, but the combined dead and live loads had been taken as 110 psf, as was proposed for Albany Chambers. A figure of 40 psf had been adopted for the roof of the Town Hall Council Chamber, complicated by using a Factor of Safety of 4 for live load, but only 3 for dead load. Working back from this showed that the Albany roof, as designed, could take 65 psf live load - and if one allowed for the concrete added for screeding, it could take 70 psf. In summary: many roofs had been designed for 50 psf - and in reality, the Albany roof would be able to take almost 80 psf [!] Morton agreed to accept the 50.

Inevitably, tenants in floors below were inconvenienced by construction work and complained via R W S Dickson, attorney for Major J E W Howey [owner?]. JM replied: "I regret that you are troubled with complaints and claims regarding alleged damages to tenants. A detailed enquiry into the matter would convince you that the damage … has been greatly exaggerated". It was not correct to say that any possible precautions had been neglected. Weather conditions had been excessively severe. JM claimed the tenants were making the most of what were, "under the circumstances, inevitable inconveniences" which were in fact trifling. Dickson begged to differ. Early in August RCMPC received more letters of complaint from individuals and businesses about broken glass, flooding and dust.

On 9 September, RCMPC informed the architects that work was complete "except for a few trifling matters". In October repairs were carried out to satisfy the tenants. Negotiations then began on settlement of claims. RCMPC's position included a statement that savings were made "owing to the Building Surveyor not insisting on the whole of the external walls being carried down in Reinforced Concrete to lower floor level". Drawings from JTC show that the additional storey was fitted into a complex roofscape which had masonry walls projecting in places well above the level of the new fourth floor slab. These were left in place and stub columns and walls added on top of them to support the new roof slab.

The tops of the masonry walls of the existing building followed a complex roof line, rising above what will now be the floor of the new storey. This drawing shows how the masonry is to be cut down slightly to provide a series of horizontal levels on which the concrete walls of the new storey can sit.

This longitudinal section through the new r.c. storey shows the inside of the east wall. An existing 14 inch brick wall has been trimmed (cross-hatched areas) to form a base for the r.c. upper portions which are complete with attached columns and their bases. The brick is here tinted sand-colour for emphasis. The uppermost horizontal line is the top of the parapet. Just below it is the roof slab with central gap for the light well.

RCMPC had agreed to allow for the cost saving, but now argued that it should be set against costs incurred due to changes in architectural design during construction. (These seem to have related to increased window areas, requiring adjustment of structural members.) A meeting to achieve final agreement took place on 5 November with Dickson, Peck, Monash, Gibson and Fairway present. Peck certified a payment of £2060 to RCMPC for the reinforced concrete work, on which he received one per cent commission.

In May 1910, Fairway provided J A Smith at the University of Melbourne with a diagram for use in class, based on Albany Chambers and "showing an additional storey construction entirely in Reinforced Concrete on existing brick walls".

Reference: Building August 1910, p.79 (photo).

Payne's Warehouse (Additional floor)

Our notes on the file in UMA suggest this project included the addition of a second floor supported on reinforced concrete columns, a flat roof, a cover to an internal roadway, and concrete encasing of steel beams. The building was in Bourke Street with a frontage of 64 feet and a length of 164 ft. The architects were H W & F B Tompkins and the builder Clements Langford.

Quantities and an estimate were prepared by P T Fairway on 24 March 1909. Monash made initial calculations the next day and set out the basis on which RCMPC would provide quotes to Builders. A list of interested contractors (mid-April) includes Peters & Hetherington, J S G Wright, J C Duncan and Murray & Crow, as well as Langford.

The only relevant drawing in JTC details nothing more than the second floor beams and slabs with the tops of the supporting columns. However, it does include a layout plan showing that the perimeter of the floor was supported on heavy masonry walls, penetrated over much of their length by large windows, so that the support came in effect from masonry piers.

At the end of May, Fairway made detailed calculations. These, together with a complete set of drawings, were sent to Tompkins to pass on to the City Architect. RCMPC explained: "the latter insists that he must review and approve of these designs and calculations before the work is commenced". However, the first requisition for materials was issued the next day (1 June). Monash applied for progress payments from Langford in July and September. The final account, for £1007, was issued on 5 October 1909.

For engineers

Fairway's calculations were mainly on proformas. Columns were now sized simply by dividing the load in pounds by a factor of 612. Thus a column required to carry 74,300 lbs would need an area of 74300 / 612 = 121 square inches. PTF notes that a column 11 inches square "with 1.5 per cent reinforcement would be ample". This very simple process could be used because:

  1. the masonry walls resisted horizontal wind force, which therefore caused no bending stresses in the columns,
  2. the danger of column buckling was minimised because the masonry walls prevented sway of the building, and r.c. columns were typically stout,
  3. a high 'factor of safety' covered the minimal danger of buckling and also stresses caused in columns by unsymmetrical loading of floors.

Monash normally used a factor of safety of 4, based on calculated stress. Earthquake loading was not considered a problem in Australia until late in the century.

Banks & Co Warehouse (flat roof?)

This building, in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, was a simple rectangle with masonry walls and internal dimensions about 62 ft × 131 ft. The architects were again Billing Son & Peck, with Peck the active partner in this case. The builder was McDonald. Our research notes and the drawings in JTC leave room for doubt, but this job seems to have involved mainly a roof slab and its supporting beams. Its perimeter was carried by the masonry walls. Internally there was a masonry cross-wall and seven pairs of cast iron pipe columns.

Initial calculations were made from 19 April 1909 and a letter of tender submitted on 21st. The next day RCMPC sent a quotation for stiffening the 14 cast iron pipe columns "by constructing within same a reinforced concrete core". The core was to consist of "very strong cement concrete, together with four longitudinal reinforcing rods in each column". The writer (JM?) explained that it was hard to estimate the resulting increase in strength, but "I am of opinion that the work … will tend to materially increase the stiffness of the column and reduce any tendency to flexure". This probably referred to what today we would call 'buckling'.

Monash made contact with McDonald in the middle of May, asking for detailed dimensions, so that drawings could be sent to E H Morton, the City Architect, for approval. The first requisition for materials was issued on 1 June after which P T Fairway made detailed calculations. These were sent to Morton, with drawings, on 11th.

On 21 June, Morton wrote "The architect having constructed crosswalls in above building, the restrictions as to construction imposed by the Referees do not now apply, and provided the roof be covered with any of the materials set out in Schedule F Bylaw 92, there are no regulations as to method of construction to be approved of or load to be provided for".

On 13 July RCMPC reported that the roof plate was complete, except for the bulkheads over the lifts and stripping of formwork. A final account for £952 was sent to McDonald on 10 August 1909.

Patent challenge to C A D'Ebro

On 20 April 1909, RCMPC's clerk noted a phone call from contractor G Fraser of Northcote regarding a 4-inch concrete floor to be built at the abattoirs in Oakleigh, a suburb of Melbourne. The floor had evidently been designed by the architect-engineer Charles D'Ebro.

Monash's assistant H J Jenkinson was detailed to make notes on the specification and JM wrote the following letter to D'Ebro:

"Dear Sir, Through the enquiry of an intending tenderer, our attention has been drawn to the fact that in connection with the Abattoirs for the Shire of Mulgrave &c [Borough of Oakleigh], a construction has been specified which is covered by Letters Patent No. 12880 of this Company as the Agent of the Proprietor and Sole Licensee. We feel assured that you are unaware of this, and would not knowingly trespass upon our rights in the matter; and therefore as we are desirous that no embarrassment should follow in this case, we may mention that we are always agreeable, in cases where it is not desired that we should perform and guarantee the work, to license this form of construction, upon the basis of 10 per cent of value, estimated at 8/- per c. yard, such royalty payment covering any technical advice thereon that may be sought from us. Lest you may feel any doubt upon the matter now raised, we invite you to peruse and consider the specification and drawings of the Letters Patent above cited, which are still in full force, and to add that, although the validity of this Patent has been questioned, it has been judicially upheld, and recognised by State Government, it being the fact that the invention covering the construction disclosed was unknown in Victoria at the time the patent was first applied for."

The few documents relating to this matter were placed in RCMPC's "Quotation File". If D'Ebro replied, his letter was not filed with them.

Alliance Buildings (RCMPC unsuccessful)

RCMPC's attempt to tie up the sub-contract for reinforced concrete work on this project prior to the calling of general tenders was met by the Master Builders' Association with an announcement that members should refuse to tender for the overall building contract. The project was for a 5-storey building at 400-402 Collins St for Australian Alliance Assurance. As was common practice up to 1909, Monash had been in touch with the architects (in this case Sydney Smith & Ogg) early in the design process, assisting with rough calculations, estimates and engineering sketches for the reinforced concrete structure. First contact dates from late April 1909. In mid-July RCMPC delivered their quote to the architects. On 24 August, the MBA announced a meeting solely to discuss the Alliance Buildings project. The following day they published a notice in The Age newspaper instructing members that they SHOULD NOT tender for the job.

An absence of further correspondence in the RCMPC archives suggests the firm did not obtain any work on this project. In April 1910, they quoted Wormald Bros & Wears for additions to the AAA Building, but again appear to have been unsuccessful.

A likely explanation for the MBA's action is that the architects had made the r.c. work a 'prime cost item' in the general contract - i.e. specified that it should be done by RCMPC at a price already fixed. (We have not located the tender documents, or reports of them, in order to confirm this.) In the preceding February (1909), the MBA had used political pressure to overturn a similar prime cost arrangement between RCMPC and the architects of the new Reading Room for the Melbourne Public Library. The overall contract later went to Swanson Bros who appointed a British firm to take over engineering of the reinforced concrete substructure and dome.
Another possible explanation for the MBA's ban of 24 August is that it had got wind of RCMPC's plans to move into the field as master builders themselves.

Investigation of timber building collapse

In mid-April 1909, Monash was called in to investigate the collapse of a two-storey timber building that had been hit by a tornado while under construction for the Oriental Timber Co in North Geelong. A dozen workers were injured, and two of them died. Monash's report was critical of the design of the building which was inadequately braced. The drawings had come from a US firm. Apparently intended for builders who were thoroughly familiar with this form of construction, they did not show the bolts or nails necessary for the connections. The disaster was written up in the Melbourne newspapers on 24 April. JM charged £8-15-6d for his professional services between 14th and 22nd. In June he sent OTC his recommendations for strengthening the building against "vibration" from wind and machinery.

Reilly St Drain cover collapse

In May 1909, a portion of the concrete cover of the large Reilly St Drain in Collingwood collapsed and a horse, cart and driver fell into the hole. The cover had been built by a rival company and reinforced with Kahn bars and expanded metal. Monash saw the failure as supporting his contention (against the Master Builders) that reinforced concrete construction should be carried out only by specialist firms like RCMPC. [More.]

"Arnside" Stables

Refer to text.This is another in the 'no job too small' category. The client was Sir Rupert Clarke of South Yarra, the architect "Colonel" Tunbridge, and the general contractors Macpherson & Lewis of Middle Brighton. The plans in JTC show a small rectangular building with internal dimensions about 14 × 18 feet, probably an annex to the stables. It had a "man's room" on the ground floor and a loft above. The floor of the loft was formed by two rectangular portions of r.c. slab, the larger one ribbed. This left space for a stair well in one corner. There are also calculations (in UMA) for arched lintels over the stable doors. Laing, Fairway and Monash all had a hand in the computations early in June 1909. Construction took place in July and was completed by 21st. The account totalled £30-10-0.

Arnside is mentioned in the Melbourne Mansions web site.

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