Before you go looking for it, be sure to read the updates at the bottom.
The gigantic transport mural was perhaps one of the best features of the old Spencer Street station. By Harold Freedman, it depicts the first century of Victoria’s transport — from 1835 to 1935. It was commissioned by the state government in 1973, and unveiled in 1978.
Following the rebuilding and (pointless) renaming, it’s been hidden away in the shopping centre where it’s virtually invisible to most people. (But hey, at least it has been retained on public display.)
Here’s how to find it.
Firstly make your way to the Bourke Street end of the station, either via the platforms if you’re coming off a train, or via the escalators.
Go into the shopping centre formerly known as DFO, now called “Spencer Street”.
Ignore the shops (both open and vacant) and go all the way to the end. Yeah it’s a long way — more than a full city block. (If you’re coming from Lonsdale Street or further north, you can enter part the way along at an entrance at the Spencer/Lonsdale Street intersection.)
Once you reach the end, look up, above the shops — there it is.
Opposite the mural, in a spot where most wouldn’t notice it, is a stairway (with wheelchair lift) to a viewing area. Make your way up…
Behold, the mural in all its glory.
Note the top section is private transport, in the middle public transport, and at the bottom is commercial. This, and the history of the mural, is detailed in the helpful explanatory panel.
The above photo, larger
Update: The mural is included in this Melbourne history app for iTunes and Android.
Update December 2013 — I’m told that changes in the shopping centre mean the mural is not currently able to be accessed and viewed.
Update March 2014 — This Age article from earlier this month notes the mural is still in place, but is now only viewable via one of the factory outlet stores, and is partially obscured. See also: photo from Marcus Wong.