History

Melocco Bros. Anthony, Galliano and Peter

Peter Melocco, aged 26, arrived in Sydney on the 6th May 1908. Originally from a village named Toppo in the province of Udine, Northern Italy, Peter's training, as a mosaic artist and marble worker began at the Coopers Union Trade College in New York.

Peter rented a shop at 16 Regent St, Redfern, NSW in October that same year and this is where the operations of Melocco commenced.

One of Peter's first achievements was convincing Cardinal Moran to consider his design for the altar floor of the Chapel of the Irish Saints in the eastern wing of St Mary's Cathedral. Peter impressed Cardinal Moran with his enthusiasm and designs and whilst he was initially hesitant because of Peter’s age he proceeded.
It took Peter just over two years to complete this floor of over 600m2. That was nothing compared to Peter's subsequent masterpiece, The Crypt at St Mary's Cathedral but it was a start.

The job left Peter with a profit of 200 pounds which he used to bring his brothers Anthony and Galliano to Australia in June 1910. Melocco then became Melocco Brothers. Galliano was a 12 year old school boy and Anthony a tradesman trained as a mosaic worker in Paris. Anthony immediately joined his brother Peter in the business while Galliano studied as a Mechanical Engineer. From school Galliano went to sea as a merchant seaman and did not join the family until 1920.

In 1913 Melocco Bros. moved to a larger premises in Parramatta Road, opposite the University Grounds. The Melocco’s stayed here until 1919 when they bought the property at No1 Booth St, Annandale where the company stayed until the 1970's.

The Melocco Bros. were the first tradesmen to practice the Mosaic Craft in New South Wales. The first five years of the company's existence was dominated by work in bathrooms around Sydney's eastern suburbs. The Melocco’s introduced Terrazzo to Australia, which immediately became a very popular bathroom material and also carried out some of the finest decorative plaster work in many private homes, theatres and public buildings. In the 1920’s there were between 100 - 200 people working for Melocco.

The depression of the 1930's saw Galliano began to play an active part in the company. He built up the concrete and construction side of the company and it was through concrete placing and road work that Melocco where able to keep their employees busy during these tough times.

Melocco Bros. were the first private company to use mechanical cement mixers.

During the 30's "composite stone" was introduced, a combination of cement, dye, marble & granite chips, made up into pre-cast panels. These panels Melocco used as facing to many Sydney Buildings.

The amount of Terrazzo work fell away until the 50's and concrete work really took over. During this period Anthony became ill and left the firm, he later died in 1948.

Three of the major Terrazzo works completed during and after the war were:

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Interstate Booking Office, Central Railway NSW

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State Library, NSW

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Crypt at St Mary's Cathedral






The Terrazzo inlay floor in The Crypt at St Mary's Cathedral took Peter from 1945 to 1958. The design was in the shape of a Celtic cross done in consultation with the late Rev. Dr. W. Leonard. This was Peter's last great work and to many considered his greatest before sadly dying in 1961. It is a work of International standard when compared to inlay work carried out overseas and really should be visited whilst in Sydney.

During the late 50's Melocco expanded into regional Victoria purchasing Charles Heath & Sons, (stonemasons in South Melbourne), and Demarco Brothers (Terrazzo, Granolithic & Concrete Placing South Melbourne) which operations were amalgamated and moved to the current site at Springvale in 1963.

At this time Melocco had developed the largest fleet of agitator trucks in Australia trading under the name of Certified Concrete and hence it was no surprise that the company was purchased by Blue Metal Industries (BMI) in 1962 to augment their large aggregate & sand business.

In 1982 Boral Ltd acquired BMI Ltd and during the 80's Melocco Pty Ltd continued to prosper through major re equipment and the purchase of Granites of Australia in Canberra.

The Management of Melocco purchased the operations from Boral in 2000 & re-established the Sydney office at, of all places, the old offices at Booth Street. The Company has continued to prosper with a focus on the continued development of the Australian Stone Industry, new stone resources and new equipment.
 

Martins Place - NSW

State Theatre - NSW