In celebration of The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s centenary and in time for the festive season, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto is proud to announce their new hotel ambassador, Mr Wooliam.
Mr Wooliam plays a significant role in telling the story of the hotel’s 1890’s Melbourne heritage and history.
Why is Wooliam a sheep?
The significance of why Wooliam is a sheep is he pays homage back to the Wool Exchange Building. One of the two buildings which makes up the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto hotel, the Winfield building was previously known as the Wool Exchange Building and was the location of the first amalgamated wool exchange which incorporated an auction hall that brought together all of Melbourne wool sales.
Now named Winfield, the famous Melbourne Wool Exchange held auctions until 1972.
The coinciding Rialto building housed offices for wool warehousing and broking companies, including Strachan & Bostock and for a period in the early 1900’s it also housed the offices of the Melbourne Woolbrokers Association.
The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia was established in December 1919 and 2019 marks their centenary celebration.
“The heritage and history of our buildings plays a significant part in our story telling, with the Wool Exchange Building being a Melbourne icon” Nga Nguyen, Marketing Manager of InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
What does the name Wooliam stand for?
William Pitt is well known as the architect who designed the Rialto building and was part the inspiration behind the name.
Nga adds, “We thought it would be very fitting to name our new hotel ambassador a name which represents the significance of both buildings, named after the sheep’s wool sold in the Wool Exchange Building and also named after the architect of the Rialto building, William Pitt”.
Melbourne-born architect William Pitt commenced his practice in 1879, winning first prize for his design of the Melbourne Coffee Palace. Pitt’s career peaked during the land boom of the 1880’s and his work exemplified of extravagance of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’.
Toward the end of 1880’s boom, Pitt designed a series of office buildings on Collins Street, including designing the prestigious Rialto building.
The Rialto’s gothic revival style could be seen in Pitt’s other buildings around Melbourne, such as the Federal Coffee Palace, the redesigned Princess Theatre, the Melbourne Stock Exchange and the Olderfleet building adjacent to the Rialto building.
Wooliam is available to purchase on your next visit to the hotel or though the hotel’s online gift store.
Follow Wooliam’s adventures every weekend through InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto’s Facebook page with “Weekends with Wooliam” for inspiration on how to plan your next weekend in Melbourne.
Wooliam Soft Plush | InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
Purchase InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto’s new hotel ambassador through the online gift store today, by visiting: https://www.melbourne.intercontinental.com/product/wooliam-plush