Program issued by the M.U.I.O.O.F. (Manchester Unity International Order of Oddfellows) to commemorate the official opening night on 17th December 1932 of the Manchester Unity Building, located on the southwest corner of Swanston and Collins Streets, Melbourne.

The evening included a number of toasts, musical numbers, comedy routines and a lantern slide presentation showing it being built, with commentary by the building's architect Marcus Barlow.

Physical Description

Thin card program, which has been folded in half to form four pages. On the front cover is printed a two-coloured image of the Manchester Unity Building at night, surrounded by a large group of people. Inside is printed an order of proceedings for the event. The back cover is plain.


The program is significant due to its links to the opening of one of Melbourne's most recognisable architectural landmarks of the inter-war years, the Manchester Unity Building.

Designed by architect Marcus Barlow and built for the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, the Manchester Unity Building was completed in 1932. It was built at the height of the great depression, using round-the-clock eight hour shifts.

It was Melbourne's tallest building of the time, with its ornamental towers reaching beyond the then height limit of 132 feet. Its distinctive Commercial Gothic Modern style drew freely upon Raymond Hood's award-winning 1922 design for the Chicago Tribune Tower.

With its American-inspired styling reaching effortlessly skyward, the Manchester Unity represented a new faith in commerce and progress in inter-war Melbourne. Located on the prominent Swanston and Collins Street corner, it remains one of the city's most impressive buildings, and most prized example of Art Deco architecture.

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