The original Maples furniture store in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, was destroyed by fire in 1934. Rebuilding of the ‘modern warehouse’ began in August 1935—three showroom floors, two staircases and an electric lift (!), and a facade of cement with a sandstone finish, which incorporated the large letters that luckily, on the day I was there, were not covered up by the monstrous bank banner that had been strung up previously.

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