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Coop's Shot Tower

Last Updated: July 20, 2024 City Secrets
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avatar By Sam Baldwin

It is a must-visit attraction in Melbourne. Explore the historic tower and learn about its role in manufacturing lead shots. Don’t forget to enjoy the stunning views from the top!

Melbourne Central/211 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Source: j-imaging

What?

It stands as a testament to Melbourne’s rich industrial history. Located within the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, this iconic brick tower is used to manufacture lead shot pellets, turning molten lead into perfectly spherical shots.

Today, the tower is enveloped by a magnificent glass cone, adding a blend of the old and the new, showcasing the city’s fusion of historical and contemporary architecture.

The Story

Erected by the Coop family in 1889-90, it was once the tallest building in Melbourne’s Central Business District until the mid-1940s. The premise behind its construction was simple yet fascinating. Molten lead from a lead pipe was dropped from the top of the tower. By the time it hit the water vat at the base, the lead had formed into spherical shot pellets. This method of shot-making could produce up to six tonnes of shot in a single day.

However, as the demand for lead shots dwindled and new firearm regulations came into effect, the tower ceased its operations in 1961. Facing potential demolition, the tower was saved in 1973, ensuring that this piece of the city’s industrial history remained intact. Later, in a daring architectural move by architect Kisho Kurokawa, the tower was incorporated into the design of the Shopping Centre, with a 50-metre glass cone built around it.

historical black and white photo of Melbourne City Loop Museum Station, now Melbourne Central, under construction 1974 with Coop's Shot Tower 2 Source: https://openverse.org/image/fdfdee6b-0e1e-4913-9eeb-2df405e66d2a

What Is Coop’s Shot Tower Famous For?

The Shot Tower Museum on the first floor offers a glimpse into the city’s manufacturing past, showcasing the old-fashioned methods used to make shots, from weights to nails and solder. Visitors can take the 300-odd stairs to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the CBD. As an added treat, the café on the second floor of the tower offers a relaxing spot for visitors to rejuvenate.

The Shot Tower, along with its flanking building, is an enduring landmark in Melbourne. Apart from its historical significance, the tower’s integration with the modern shopping centre and the striking glass cone has made it a must-visit attraction in the heart of the city.

Did You Know?

How To Get There?

You can visit the stunning Tower by these public transportation options:

Bus: 207, 250, 251, 302, 905

Train: BELGRAVE, GLEN WAVERLEY, MERNDA

Tram: 1, 16, 5, 59, 67, 72

Nearest Parking and Cost

The 353 Exhibition St is the nearest 2-hour free parking at La Trobe St near Shot Tower.

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

Visiting the place? Don’t miss these nearby attractions:

Queen Victoria Market Meat, Poultry & Seafood Hall, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne Australia Source: https://openverse.org/image/5437fe69-b1fc-4e72-a52b-17b6603794ac

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is a bustling, historic open-air market known for its fresh produce, gourmet food, unique souvenirs, and vibrant atmosphere.

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria is a historic and cultural landmark renowned for its stunning architecture, vast collection of books, and beautiful reading rooms.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
Presgrave Place 800 m
Hosier Lane 1.1 km
Ponyfish Island 1.3 km
Federation Square 1.3 km
Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Walk 1.4 km

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at Coop’s Shot Tower.
  2. Continue your journey to Presgrave Place, a hidden laneway known for its street art and unique cafes, providing a quieter and artsy ambiance.
  3. Explore Hosier Lane by a walk, a vibrant street art hub showcasing Melbourne’s artistic spirit.
  4. Proceed to Ponyfish Island, a floating bar beneath the Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, offering a unique riverside experience.
  5. Walk to Fed Square, a cultural hub offering events, art, and a lively atmosphere.
  6. Conclude your day with a stroll to the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Walk, delving into the rich Indigenous culture of Australia.

Melbourne’s hidden gems provide a diverse and authentic experience, from street art and cultural walks to historical landmarks and unique riverside settings. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply soaking in the local atmosphere, Melbourne’s hidden gems offer a day of discovery and connection with the city’s unique character.

Best Eateries Around

Check out these popular restaurants near the area:

inside view of The European in Melbourne Source: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRvVfov2IEeheNSKvljPwjMMmubCZx1lKicDA&usqp=CAU

The European

The European is a sophisticated dining establishment, offering a blend of classic European cuisine in a charming, old-world ambiance.

Supernormal

Supernormal is a popular Asian-inspired restaurant, known for its unique fusion dishes and vibrant, contemporary atmosphere.

Entry Price

There is no fee to enter the tower.

Final Thoughts

Seamlessly blending historical significance with contemporary architecture, the Tower stands as an enduring symbol of the city’s rich industrial past within its bustling urban space.

Uncover the allure of Melbourne. Participate in Melbourne Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues and discover the city’s hidden treasures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to questions about this iconic tower.

1. What is the Coop’s Shot Tower?

It is a significant landmark in the Melbourne CBD. It not only serves as an important commercial property, but it is also an attraction for tourists and locals alike. The tower showcases impressive architecture and a vibrant array of shopping and entertainment options within the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre.

2. What is special about the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre?

It is more than just a central shopping facility. It is nested within the iconic Shot Tower, which adds a unique historic charm to it. The centre blends history with modern-day conveniences, creating a vibrant, bustling space teeming with fashion, food and culture.

3. What is the Coop’s Shot Tower?

It is a 50-metre-high tower that was built in the 1880s to make shot pellets or lead shots. After the demand for lead shot dwindled, the tower was integrated into the Shopping Centre design. It stands as a fascinating relic of the past encased within the Cone of the centre.

4. How was the shot made in the tower?

The shot was made by dropping molten lead from the top of the tower through a sieve. As it fell, the lead formed into spherical shot pellets and by the time it hit the water at the bottom, the pellets were solidified. It is estimated that six tonnes of shots were made each week in this process.

5. Where is the Shot Tower Museum?

The Shot Tower Museum is located on the second floor of the tower, where the history of shot-making and the tower’s significance are beautifully showcased.

6. How long was it the tallest building in Melbourne’s CBD?

It was the tallest building in the CBD for over six decades, holding this title until the mid-1940s.

Sources

https://www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/melbourne/see-and-do/art-and-culture/architecture-and-design/coops-shot-tower

https://www.melbournecentral.com.au/visitor-info/our-heritage

https://moovitapp.com/index/en-gb/public_transportation-Melbourne_Central-Melbourne-site_19321347-2803

https://www.melbournecentral.com.au/centre-info/location-parking

https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/

http://www.theeuropean.com.au/

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